What else are we doing to support children in poverty?
Improving child wellbeing is about more than meeting targets. We are focussed on a range of initiatives that will make a material difference to the lives of the families and children living in poverty. Some initiatives can reduce the depth and severity of poverty itself. Others, such as education and health initiatives, can address some of the related challenges faced by families and children living in poverty by mitigating the consequences of poverty and disadvantage and improving the wellbeing of children and young people.
Changes to support parents into and to remain in employment
- We are supporting parents to upskill by reinstating the Training Incentive Allowance, which provides financial support for sole parents to pursue higher qualification levels. We are also investing in more employment services through the Ministry of Social Development and expanding Flexi-wage to support more people from a benefit into work.
- We are introducing indexation of Childcare Assistance income thresholds, so they increase every year in line with wage increases and working in partnership with Out of School Care and Recreation Service (OSCAR) providers to support low-income families with after-school childcare.
Changes to support families to remain safe and well in their homes
- We are delivering more insulation and heating retrofits for low-income homeowners by extending the Warmer Kiwi Homes Programme. We are ensuring compliance with the Healthy Homes Standards with proactive investigation and enforcement and are expanding the reach and impact of the Healthy Homes Initiative, which works with low-income families to create warmer, drier, healthier homes.
- In addition to our wider changes intended to increase housing supply, we are also accelerating immediate delivery of new housing and repairs to existing stock for Māori across Aotearoa New Zealand through Whai Kāinga Whai Oranga.
Changes to ensure children have the basic essentials
- We are extending the Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches Programme to provide free and healthy school lunches to over 200,000 students and supporting KickStart to provide breakfasts for 36,000 school children in high deprivation areas.
- We are supporting KidsCan to provide 17,500 raincoats to children in need. We are also helping children learn by expanding Reading Together Te Pānui Ngātahi Partnerships and Duffy Books in Homes.
Changes in the health sector to help children get the best start in life
- We are taking action to support core health checks for children and their families through Well Child Tamariki Ora. In addition, we are supporting Pacific health providers to implement Ola Manuia - the Pacific Health and Wellbeing Action Plan.
- We're improving equitable access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services by funding Family Planning. We're also continuing primary maternity funding to enable ongoing access to free maternity services for New Zealand women.