Cost of living: Government's childcare subsidy package supported by Kiwis but criticised by National

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern used her big speech wrapping up the Labour Party's conference to expand access to childcare subsidies.

It will mean more than half of all families in New Zealand will now be eligible for some kind of childcare support.

While the changes will be different for every family, here's an example. A sole parent with three children aged two, four, and six who works full-time and earns just over $62,400 could now save $114 per week during the school term and $151 per week during the holidays.

Also, a couple with two children aged two and four who work full time earning collectively just over $108,000 will now be eligible for $252 a week. They previously weren't eligible for any childcare subsidy.

"Nearly every sole parent in New Zealand will be eligible for childcare assistance," Ardern said.

"Thousands of parents given back the choice to do what's best for their families."

The move to expand subsidies was applauded by Kiwis Newshub spoke to.

"It's a fantastic idea because living expenses are now really, really expensive," one person said.

"I study at the moment full-time, so if I don't have childcare I can't study," another said, adding they find it difficult as a solo parent in the current cost of living crisis.

But over at the National Party, leader Christopher Luxon panned the new package.

"The package is fine as it is, but frankly it's band-aid economics and it's not an inflation-fighting plan that gets to the underlying causes of inflation," he said.

The changes will take effect from April next year and will mean an extra 10,000 children are eligible for support. It will come at a cost of $189 million over four years, which will come out of next year's Budget.

There'll also be a chunky jump in other family support next year because Working for Families support is tied to inflation.

Family tax credits will rise by $9 a week for the eldest child to $136 a week, and by $7 for subsequent children to $111 a week. As well, the Best Start payment will lift by $4 to $69 a week.

"This kind of targeted support not only reaches those who need it most, it is support we can afford that, unlike across-the-board tax cuts, won't have a significant impact on inflation and make the problem worse," Ardern said.

Ardern is now on an election mission - and promising another cost of living fix.