Support for grandparent carers

Extra assistance is available if you’re a grandparent caring for your grandchildren.

If you’re a non parent carer, but aren’t a grandparent, you can read about support for non parent carers.

Who a grandparent carer is

You’re a grandparent carer if you provide care for your grandchildren. Being a grandparent carer is more than helping parents with babysitting or school pick-ups. If you’re a grandparent carer, you may be able to get extra assistance. You can read more about what payments grandparent carers can get below.

You may get Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A and FTB Part B if you care for a child at least 35% of the time.

If you’re a grandparent carer you may also be able to get help with child care fees.  Additional Child Care Subsidy is available to some grandparents who care for their grandchildren.

To get these payments a grandparent of a child can be any of the following:

  • a biological, adoptive, step grandparent or great grandparent of the child
  • the current or former partner of a biological, adoptive or relationship grandparent or great grandparent
  • a parent or grandparent of a relationship parent of the child.

A relationship parent is a person who is legally responsible for a child born as a result of artificial conception procedures or born under surrogacy arrangements.

We don’t consider the following to be a grandparent for payment and services:

  • former partners of step grandparents
  • former partners of step great grandparents.

What payments grandparent carers can get

We have payments grandparent carers can apply for. You may get extra help with:

  • the cost of raising children
  • child care costs
  • health care and Medicare.

If you’re eligible for a payment, you can apply using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

You can register for an online account if you don’t already have one.

When you apply you may need to give us documents to support your claim, including:

  • formal agreements such as court orders or care arrangements for each child
  • dates, times and documents that show a child is in your care, such as school attendance and health records.

Our Payment and Service Finder helps identify possible payments for your family.

Family Tax Benefit

As well as FTB Part A, you may get FTB Part B if you care for a child at least 35% of the time who is either:

  • 0 to 15 years
  • 16 to 18 years and a full time secondary student.

You must tell us you’re a grandparent carer if:

  • the child turns 13 while in your care
  • is already 13 or older.

If you don’t tell us this, your FTB Part B will stop. You can do this by calling our families line.

Read more about how to claim FTB.

Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy Grandparent

You may be eligible for Child Care Subsidy to help with the cost of approved child care. You’ll be exempt from the activity test if you or your partner are the principal carer of a grandchild or great grandchild. This means you can get 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight for your grandchild or great grandchild. Read more about exemptions when you’re a grandparent.

You may be able to get extra help with child care fees through Additional Child Care Subsidy Grandparent. To get it, all of the following must apply to you or your partner. One of you must:

  • be eligible for Child Care Subsidy
  • get an income support payment
  • be an eligible grandparent carer of the child
  • have 65% or more care of the child
  • make the day to day decisions about the child’s care, welfare and development.

You’ll be able to access 100 hours of subsidised care for your grandchild or great grandchild each fortnight. With this additional subsidy, we will subsidise your child care at a higher percentage. We pay it directly to your child care service. Read more about this grandparent subsidy amount.

Read more about how to apply for Additional Child Care Subsidy Grandparent.

Double Orphan Pension

A regular payment if you’re caring for a child whose parents either:

  • have died
  • are unable to care for the child in certain circumstances.

Read more about Double Orphan Pension.

Foster Child Health Care Card

This concession card helps you get cheaper medicine and some discounts for children in your care.

You don't need to be a formal foster carer to be eligible. You may be eligible if you care for a child who is not your natural or adopted child.

Read more about the Foster Child Health Care Card.

How Grandparent Advisers can help

We have advisers who help grandparents and other non parent carers who provide ongoing care for children.

Our Grandparent Advisers give tailored help if you’re a non parent carer such as:

  • grandparent carer
  • foster carer
  • kinship carer.

Read more about Grandparent Advisers.

Page last updated: 15 October 2020