More than 1400 Bay of Plenty caregivers have received School and Year Start Up Payments.
More than $676,000 has been paid to caregivers in the Bay looking after children who have lost their parents, or are unable to live with them, said Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller.
"Through the School and Year Start Up payments we ensure children looked after by family carers are provided with the tools they need to make the most of their education.
"The grant gives caregivers a top up to help cover uniforms, stationary, and other back to school costs. So far this year, the payment has assisted 1,400 caregivers in our region," Mr Muller said.
Caregivers receiving either the Unsupported Child's Benefit or Orphan's Benefit are eligible for between $400 - $550 per child, depending on the child's age.
"More than 13,500 children across New Zealand are being cared for by wider family members because of the death of a parent or family breakdown.
"Family carers do a tremendous job, and this payment is a practical way we can support them to prepare the children in their care for school.
"Applications are open until the end of the month, so there is still time for eligible carers to apply through the Work and Income website or at one of our local Work and Income service centres," Mr Muller said.