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young parent payment

a payment for taiohi who are bringing up children

If you’re aged 16 - 19 and you’re responsible for a child, you might be able to get a Young Parent Payment towards your living costs.

who can get it

You may be able to get the payment if you’re bringing up your own child, or if you’re supporting whānau like brothers, sisters or cousins.

To get the payment, you must be either:

  • 16 or 17 years old and living with parents who can get family tax credit, or
  • 16 or 17, and you can’t live at home or get help with money from anyone, and
  • 16 to 19 and bringing up a child.

If you haven’t got a child but you can’t live at home, you may be able to get a Youth Payment to cover your living expenses. 

Youth Payment

how it works

The amount of money you’ll get depends on your circumstances, but you can check the current rates at the Work and Income website.

young parent payment: current rates

In most cases, your rent and bills will be paid for you, and you’ll be given a weekly allowance of up to $50. Any money left after this will be put on a payment card you can use to buy food, groceries and essentials like stationery for school or baby clothes.

managing your payment

While you’re getting Young Parent Payment, you’ll work with a youth coach to become an expert at managing your money. We’ll send you on a budgeting course as soon as there’s a space. Your payment will increase by $10 per week if you:

  • complete your budgeting course, and
  • show your coach that you’ve spent your money wisely for three months.

This is called a budgeting incentive. When you’ve earned all the incentives you can, you may get to look after more of your payment yourself.

caring for your child

Your youth coach will support you to build a great life for your child. We’ll send you on a parenting course as soon as there’s a space. Your payment will increase by $10 per week if you:

  • have been enrolled in the youth service for at least 3 months,
  • complete the parenting course,
  • keep your child’s Well Child/Tamariki Ora checks up to date,
  • make sure your child is enrolled with a public health provider, and
  • make sure your child is enrolled in a childcare programme when it’s time for you to go back into education.

This is called a parenting incentive.

studying or training

Bringing up a child is an important job, but you matter too! When your baby is old enough, your coach will help you get back into education, training, or work-based learning.

This will happen when your child is six months old if there’s a space for you in a local teen parent unit. If not, it’ll happen when your child is twelve months old.

Your coach will help you figure out the education or training you want and support you to succeed at it. This might be at school, but it doesn’t have to be. The kind of education that’s right for you will depend on the career you want and how you like to work.

Training opportunities for taiohi

You can get money to help cover the cost of childcare while you work or study.

Help with childcare costs

Your payment will increase by $10 per week if you attend and participate in a education programme for 6 months. This is called an education incentive.

payment card

A payment card is a bit like an Eftpos card. We load money onto it, and you can use it to buy things you need, like food, toiletries, stationery for school or baby clothes. You can use your card in shops that have registered with us to accept it. 

The money on your card won’t expire and can be saved up. If at the end of your time with Youth Service you have money left on your payment card, we can transfer the balance (over $10) back into your bank account.

If a hardship payment is added to your card, you need to spend it within three days or it will expire.

The Work and Income website has more information about payment cards, like where and how you can use them.

Payment cards

Where you can use your payment card

how to get it

You can fill in an application form online. When we look at your form, we’ll check whether you might be able to get any other help from us.

apply online

You can also contact a youth service provider in your region. They can help you with your application.

contact your nearest provider