Child Care Tool Kit for Families Considering a Move to New Zealand

Published on Monday, 05 December 2016
Last updated on Friday, 04 January 2019

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If you are a New Zealander living overseas and considering a return home, or a foreign national researching a move to New Zealand, you’ll undoubtedly have plenty of questions and concerns about how to secure high quality child care when and where you need it.

In New Zealand we are fortunate enough to have a high quality child care system with well-qualified and experienced carers and centres with beautiful premises. Like many countries however, the cost of child care is high and it can be hard to secure a spot, especially for children under two years old.

This tool kit has been put together to assist you make a successful transition to the New Zealand child care system and offers a range of valuable resources and articles which should help you with your planning.

Types of child care

In New Zealand we may have a different name for the type of care you need, so it’s advisable to get a very clear understanding of the types of services available here and what they are called from state-to-state.

This summary of New Zealand's main child care options is a great place to start your research.

If you have a clear idea of what sort of care you would like and haven't been able to source it, read What to do when you can't find the child care? It provides some different scenarios that may be worth considering.

Locating providers

We recommend using the search to locate and contact child care providers in the geographical areas where you are considering your move.


Many early childhood education and care providers accept online applications for wait listing. We recommend you take full advantage of this service and add your child’s name to a wait list as soon as you start thinking about a move to New Zealand. Click here for more information on the great waiting game.

Benefits & Subsidies

New Zealand has a range of Government subsidies to make it easier to cover the cost of using early childhood education and care. There are a range of residency and citizenship requirements in place for people wanting to access these benefits. Our Overview of Child Care Costs and Government Funding article offers a summary of the types of financial assistance available along with eligibility requirements.

The Tools

Types of Child Care
What to Do When You Can't Find Child Care?
The Great Waiting Game
Overview on Child Care Costs and Government Funding
Child Care Search


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What types of child care are there?

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