how 20 hours free child care will work
Well, it won't on current policy, unless users want to pay extra to make a free policy work.
Centres who opt in for 20 hours free will see if parents will pay the optional extra charges to force retention in the scheme. If not enough parents pay the optional extra compulsory charges, centres will either pull out of the scheme or reduce the quality of care. Centres who offer part day care can't increase their charges after 20 hours because they don't open long enough.
But if some parents want to pay the optional charges to keep their kids in childcare and they get a WINZ subsidy, that won't be able to be topped up because they are "optional charges".
Everyone loses out. But this policy is not about childcare. It is more about getting children out of parents homes so mums can go to work and to make early childhood services part of the education system. It also reduces cost to the Government as less money is paid out on Working for Families if both parents work full time. That, to the Government, is more important than the extra costs on families who want to take part in 20 hours free.
There will be some families who one partner is on a low income in a situation where childcare costs, reduced WFF payments and missed access to WINZ subsidies and grants, added transport and lunch costs at work will mean in some cases they would be better off if both partners were not working - particularly if the other partner is also on a low income.
They can then put a little bit less into KiwiSaver but still get $1000 Kickstart from the Govt.