SmartStart

Image looking over the shoulder of somebody using an ipad and a phone to connect with SmartStart

Have you seen SmartStart?  Given the projections for New Zealand’s increasing population, it’s a very smart way for new parents to get step-by-step information to help them and their babies get off to the best start!

SmartStart is the government’s first integrated, cross-agency life events service, making it easy for new and expectant parents to make sure they’re not forgetting or missing out on anything when it comes to the birth of their baby, and the first few months that follow. SmartStart allows parents to enter their baby’s due date to personalise the timeline, check items off the to-do list, and record their progress using RealMe. It also provides information about options, services and support available such as antenatal classes, paid parental leave and other financial assistance. 

Within SmartStart you can register baby's birth, apply for an Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number for baby, and if you’re an existing Ministry of Social Development client you can also use this form to notify them of the birth of your baby. Available all in one place, online, anytime. No more paper forms! A notifications feature has recently been added, which allows SmartStart users to receive reminders about specific tasks. Expectant parents simply add their baby’s due date and confirm that they wish to receive these notifications.

SmartStart is constantly improving to make it even easier for new and expectant parents to get the information they need. A new feature coming soon is Location-Based Services, which will be linked to the Ministry of Social Development’s Family Services Directory and will show users the relevant services available in their area – for example, finding local parenting groups or breastfeeding support.

Bilingual te reo headings have been added to SmartStart to make it simpler and easier for Māori users. SmartStart also has brochures available in English, te reo Māori, Simplified Chinese, Samoan, Tongan and Arabic.

So far, more than 140,000 people have visited SmartStart to see all it has to offer. More than 12,000 people have checked items off their to-do lists, making it easy to keep track of everything that needs to be organised during what is often a busy time.

If you haven’t seen SmartStart yet, you can check it out at www.smartstart.services.govt.nz. If you would like to order SmartStart brochures in any of the above languages, please email smartstart@dia.govt.nz