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Gather your information

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).

Go to SmartStart website

The SmartStart website is where you register your baby and where you apply for Best Start. 

Select the second link in the primary navigation bar of the SmartStart website.

Select Start a new birth registration

The Start a new birth registration button

Check the Best Start box

In the form, select yes under the heading Do you want to apply for Best Start now? 

A yes/no toggle button

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 if you can get 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 if you applied for one.

My responsibilities

If you are just getting Best Start year one payments you need to tell us if:

  • the child leaves your care
  • you start sharing care of the child with someone else
  • you are no longer the primary caregiver of the child.

If you are receiving Best Start in years 2 or 3 or other Working for Families payments, you have the same responsibilities as other Working for Families customers.

Call us on 0800 227 773