A new Member’s Bill from National would make the system fairer for parents who have quadruplets and quintuplets, MP for Rangitata Andrew Falloon says.
“Worldwide births of multiples are increasing as more couples turn to IVF and fertility treatment. Parents of multiples understandably require a bit of extra help for cleaning, cooking and laundry.
“At the moment parents of twins receive 240 hours home help in the first year if the family has another child under five. Parents of triplets receive 1560 hours home help to be used within two years.
“Despite the recognition that more babies means more work, the support is capped at the amount available for triplets.
“In my electorate a family welcomed quadruplets last year. My Bill would increase the support available to them, rather than just the amount available to parents of triplets.
“The Bill would extend the number of hours available to parents of quadruplets to 1940 hours - an increase of 380 hours.
“It will also future-proof support arrangements by providing for an additional 380 hours home help support for each additional child beyond quadruplets. This allows for increased support for quintuplets and higher order multiple births.
“Finally, the Bill allows for home help to be taken over 36 months in the case of quadruplets and higher order multiple births. This aligns the support with the start of 20 Hours Free available for Early Childhood Education.
“My Bill will go into the Ballot this month. The cost is around $6000 per family, which is a small amount for Government but would be a huge help for families.
"I encourage the Government to support this to make life a little bit easier for what is a busy and stressful time for new parents.”