If you are receiving a sole parent support benefit from Work and Income, let them know about your new baby, and they will sort your Best Start payment out.
The length of time you’re eligible during the first year of Best Start will be reduced for each week of paid parental leave taken after the birth of the baby. So if you took 20 weeks of paid parental leave after the baby was born, you’d be eligible for 32 weeks of Best Start in the first year instead of 52 (since 32 is 52 minus 20).
Before you start
Before applying you will need:
- IRD numbers for you and your partner
- your bank account number
- your MSD client number if you receive a benefit.
Apply when registering your baby's birth
The easiest way to apply for Best Start is when you register your child's birth. If you've already registered the birth then scroll down and click on 'Other ways to do this'.
Otherwise, when you register your baby on SmartStart select "Start a new birth registration".
In the online registration form under the heading "Do you want to apply for Best Start now?" select "Yes".
When you register the birth and apply for Best Start payments, we automatically issue your baby an IRD number.
What happens next
After you apply we'll process your application and send you a notice. It will tell you the date of your first payment. It will also tell you how to check for other Working for Families payments.
You will get the notice:
- the next day if you use myIR
- within 10 working days if you do not use myIR.
We will also send you your baby’s IRD number.
In the first year you receive Best Start you need to tell us if:
- the child leaves your care
- you start sharing care of the child
- you are no longer the primary caregiver of the child.
If you are receiving Best Start in years 2 or 3, you have the same responsibilities as other Working for Families customers.