In 2012, the Kidsfirst Board introduced 30 hours free each week for all children regardless of age. This was a direct response to the hardships faced by the Canterbury and West Coast communities as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes and Pike River Mine disaster. Kidsfirst families have enjoyed access to 30 hours free in the six years since then. This initiative has been reviewed each year by the Kidsfirst Board as per our fees policy.
There will be changes to our fees structure next year as we are no longer in a position to be able to offer all of the additional free hours - effective from the beginning of the 2019 Kindergarten Year.
These changes are as follows:
Fees are to be charged to be charged at $6.00 per hour inclusive of GST for the following:
All hours used by children aged under two years
Hours over 20 hours for children aged 2 – 5 years
Why has Kidsfirst changed their Fees policy?
Sadly, due to a number of factors – including government under-funding and increased operational costs– we are no longer able to offer the additional free hours to parents from January 2019.
What does this mean for me?
- We are no longer offering 30 free hours to all children.
- Children aged 3 – 5 will have 20 ECE hours - (government-funded hours). You will still need to declare if these hours are being split with another ECE service.
- Children aged 2-3 years will also be offered 20 hours free, subsidised by Kidsfirst. Parents of two year olds will have to make a commitment - that when their child turns three, their government-funded 20 ECE hours will be used only at a Kidsfirst service.
- Children aged 2 – 5 who attend more than 20 hours per week will be charged for any additional hours over and above the 20.
- Children aged under two years will now have to pay for all hours enrolled
* Please note:
- families who start in 2018 will still be eligible for up to 30 hours free until the end of 2018 as the changes will come into effect from the start of term one 2019.
- We don’t charge fees if the kindergarten is closed over term break. We do charge if your child is absent for sickness or holidays.
How much will it cost me for my child to attend?
Families with children aged 2-3 years who attend for 20 hours or less per week, and who have made a commitment to use their 20 ECE hours - (government-funded hours) at Kidsfirst when their child turns three, will be charged nothing to attend. Kidsfirst will subsidise up to 20 hours per week for these children.
Families with children aged 3 – 5 years who attend for 20 hours or less per week, and who have committed their 20 ECE hours - (government-funded hours) to Kidsfirst will be charged nothing to attend.
Families with children aged 2 – 5 years who attend for more than 20 hours will be charged $6 per additional hour (GST inclusive).
Families whose children attend but use their 20 ECE hours - (government-funded hours) at another service will be charged $6 per hour (GST inclusive) for all hours not claimed as 20 ECE hours - (government-funded hours) at their Kidsfirst service.
Families with children aged under two years will be charged $6 per hour enrolled (GST inclusive).
If more than one sibling attends the kindergarten/centre, a 10% discount applies for each additional child provided the full entitlement of 20 Hours ECE (government-funded hours) is being used at the kindergarten.
However…for hours to be charged over and above the 20 free hours
You may be eligible for the WINZ childcare subsidy. You can self-check eligibility online at https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/childcare-subsidy.html
If you think you are eligible you can submit an application (forms are available at your kindergarten) or you can download a form from the Work and Income website or you can apply online by clicking ‘Apply online’ on the Work and Income website (see link above).
Make contact with Work & Income by phoning 0800 559 009 to let them know you are going to apply. Work and Income prefer 4-5 weeks’ notice so that they can process your application before fees are charged however, if you don’t manage to get an application in before the end of the year they will backdate the subsidy to the first point of contact (by telephone call or date of submission of application).
If you need any further support you can ask your Head Teacher or contact your local Work & Income Service Centre. For families with English as a second language Work & Income have translators available to assist you by telephone.
What if I can’t afford to pay fees and I’m not eligible for a subsidy?
Talk to your Head Teacher. We want to support children and families to participate in early childhood education, and we want to make this work for you.
You can reduce your hours: Obviously we hope that you choose not to reduce the number of hours your child is enrolled – every hour spent at Kindergarten helps to build the foundations for lifelong learning. But we understand that you must prioritise, and we will work with you to ensure you can afford the hours you need.
Please make a time to talk to your Head Teacher about any concerns you may have.
How much notice do I need to give if I want to withdraw my child from Kidsfirst?
Please talk to your Head Teacher about this as we want to work with every family to meet their needs. Parents/caregivers will need to give two weeks written notice of a child leaving the kindergarten/centre. This allows time to arrange for another child to begin attending and take the vacated place. Written notice can be given in an email or letter to your kindergarten/centre.
How often do you send out accounts?
We send out accounts from our Head office fortnightly, and would prefer to do this by email with your agreement. Payment of account is required within seven days.
How do I pay?
We cannot accept cash payments at our kindergartens/early learning centres as they are not set up to handle money in this way. However we do have other options available for you:
Invoices can be paid through online banking – you can set us up as a payee with the following ANZ bank account number:
Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association
You can make one-off payments or set up a regular payment amount each week or fortnight to cover your invoices, rather than as the invoice comes in. Please make sure you include:
- your child’s reference number
- the name of your kindergarten/centre
You can make a cash payment at any branch of the ANZ Bank – you will need our bank account details, your child’s reference number and the name of your kindergarten.
You can also make a cash payment at any branch of your own bank (such as Westpac, ANZ, BNZ, or ASB, etc.). Again, you will need our bank account details, your child’s reference number and the name of your kindergarten/ centre.
Cash payments can be made at our Head Office, 43 Birmingham Drive, Middleton, Christchurch. (Unfortunately we do not have EFTPOS facilities).
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your bill, please feel free to give us a call at Head Office on 03 338 1303.
What if I fall behind on payment?
We will contact you to discuss your options – we want to make it as easy as possible for you. If you are worried about any aspect of your account, please call our Head Office on 03 338 1303 – we’re here to help.
Who can I contact to talk about fees?
You can talk to your Head Teacher, or you can call our Head Office on 03 338 1303, or email email@example.com Our Head Office is open from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and we’re happy to talk you through any questions you may have.
Children aged 3 – 5 will have 20 ECE hours - (government-funded hours). You will still need to declare if these hours are being split with another ECE service.
Children aged 2 -3 years will also get the benefit of 20 hours free (subsidised by Kidsfirst) as long as their parents/caregivers make a commitment for the future – that when their child turns three, their 20 ECE hours - (government-funded hours) will be used only at a Kidsfirst service.
The maximum number of free hours (if eligible) per day is limited to six (6), and per week is 20 hours.
Am I eligible for up to 20 hours free?
- My child is aged 2 years and I agree to commit my 20 ECE hours to Kidsfirst when he/she turns 3.
- My child is aged 3 – 5 years and I have not committed my 20 ECE hours to another ECE provider
My 2-5 year old child attends for three days, 6 hours each day. How much will I have to pay?
You could get up to 20 hours free – so your three days (6 hours x 3 days = 18 hours) will cost you nothing.
My 2-5 year old child attends for four days, 6 hours each day. How much will I have to pay?
You could receive up to 20 hours free and you will be charged for the remaining 4 hours at $6.00 per hour = $24.00 (gst inclusive). However, you may be eligible for a WINZ subsidy – have you checked?
My 2-5 year old child attends for five days, 6 hours each day. How much will I have to pay?
You can receive up to 20 hours free and you will be charged for the remaining 10 hours at $6.00 per hour = $60.00 (gst inclusive). However, you may be eligible for a WINZ subsidy – have you checked?
My child (aged 2 – 5) attends at a Kidsfirst Early Learning Centre for 7.5 hours per day, two days per week. Will the 15 hours be free?
The maximum Free hours per day is 6. So you will get 12 hours Free over the two days, and be charged for the additional 3 hours at $6.00 per hour = $18.00 (GST inclusive).
However, you may be eligible for a WINZ subsidy – have you checked?
My 0-2 year old child attends for 3 days, 6 hours each day. How much will I have to pay?
You will be charged $6.00 per hour, so 18 hours at $6.00 per hour = $108.00 (GST inclusive).
However, you may be eligible for a WINZ subsidy – have you checked?