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Nursery funding in NZ

(8 Posts)
Cousinit Wed 08-Jun-11 13:59:50

We're emigrating to NZ next month and need to find a pre-school/kindy for our son to attend. He'll be four at the end of August. I've had a look on expat forums but can't find any info on pre-school funding and our relocation agents unsure so am hoping you NZ mumsnetters may be able to help. How many hours will he be eligible for, if any? DH and I are travelling on temp essential skills working visas which means the children are on visitors visas. TIA.

nzshar Wed 08-Jun-11 14:21:40

Well its been a while since I was in New zealand but I think there are three options usually. Kindergarten (Kindy) which are government funded but usually a small donation is asked. If I remember correctly there are afternoon sessions for younger children (3-4 year olds) and morning sessions for 4-5 year olds. I think its 5 mornings not too sure though. The others are playgroups which are like playgroups here with full parental invovlement and then childrens daycare which is like fulltime nursery care here. HTH

nzshar Wed 08-Jun-11 14:23:17

BTW I Kindys usually have quite a long waiting list just thought you might need to know that

shellybr Wed 08-Jun-11 18:29:02

It depends on the kindy but most are morning kindy for the 4 yr. The way the places work is the next child on the list who is the oldest gets the next place. For the 3 yr the next space comes up when someone moves up to 4 yr old kindy and the 4yr olds go in when a child goes into school. In NZ you go to school 2 weeks after or on your 5th birthday so it is a rolling take in. It depends were you are for waiting lists. You are allowed 20 hours free childcare and it doesn't have to be at kindy some childcare facilities offer it too. I don't know what the visa requirements are though we are permanent residents and my boys are kiwis.

buzzybee Thu 09-Jun-11 11:35:35

Are you asking whether your children will be eligible as they're on visitor visas? I have to say I own a childcare centre and I'm not entirely sure of the answer!! On our enrolment form we don't ask for proof of residency or anything like that. I think we just assume you're legal etc. On that basis, he should get the same funding subsidy as any 4 year old which is about $10 per hour for up to 20 hours then about half that for a further 10 hours (this is for teacher-lead childcare, not playgroups). Max of 6 hours subsidy per day. How much you pay over and above that depends entirely on the childcare option you go for. Kindergartens operate on a wide variety of models from sessional to school hours to full time. In general fees at kindergartens are quite low. But there may only be 1 or 2 kindys near where you live and waiting lists are long. Childcare centres are generally aimed at working parents and threfore charge by the day or the week. The fees charged usually reflect the ratios of teachers to children and what proportion of teachers are qualified teachers. Centres with good ratios are high proportions of qualified staff will charge $40-$50 per day for a full day (7.30-6 ish). Centres with few teachers and less qualified might be only $20-$30, or even less if they do half-days.

Cousinit Thu 09-Jun-11 15:41:13

Thank you folks, very useful to know all this. Yes, buzzybee, I was hoping someone would come along and answer that question! I think we might have to wait until we arrive to clarify but I'm guessing that he probably will be.

buzzybee Sat 11-Jun-11 11:10:08

Cousinit, I was talking tonight to my business partner (i.e. co-owner of our childcare centre) aka my mum smile who said she didn't know either but thought your best bet was just to ask for the application forms and say nothing if the forms didn't ask. I've never seen anything from the Ministry of Education setting out rules around this. Certainly for primary education you're likely to find he'd be classified as an "international student" and therefore charged fees. This might also be the case at Kindergartens as all the kindy teachers are government employees. But possibly not for privately owned childcare centres? If you can get him enrolled at childcare you might therefore want to consider leaving him in childcare even after her turns 5 - in NZ most children start school as soon as they turn 5 (like the next week), but legally they're not required to start school until they're 6 and childcare centres can enrol children up to age 5.99999 IYSWIM!

Cousinit Sun 12-Jun-11 06:47:49

Thanks Buzzybee. We were told that he would need to apply for a student visa when he starts school but no mention was made of school fees. I hope we wouldn't be charged. Must admit I think this system of putting the kids on separate visitor/student visas is a bit daft and is likely to make me feel rather unsettled. I think we are going to apply for PR visas as soon as we can. Husband has a permanent job and working visas granted for 5 years so hopefully shouldn't be too problematic.

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