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 ongoing 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.

A grandparent of a child can be one 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, the easiest way to apply is online. To do this, you need a Centrelink online account linked to myGov. If you don’t have a myGov account or a Centrelink online account you’ll need to create them.

To apply online:

  1. Sign in to myGov.
  2. Select Make a claim or view claim status, then Make a claim.
  3. Find the payment you want to apply for and select Get started, then follow the prompts to complete your claim.

Sign in to myGov

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 biological or adopted child.

Read more about the Foster Child Health Care Card.

What is needed to make a claim

When you claim a payment, we’ll ask you for certain documents or information. You need to provide these before you can submit your claim. This may include the following;

  • Personal details such as TFN for you and your partner, family income details, residence details, bank account details.
  • Child details including name and date of birth.
  • Proof of the birth or adoption, if not already established with us.
  • Details of the previous carer.
  • Care arrangements.

Evidence of a formal care arrangement may include a court order or parenting plan. Find out more about providing evidence of your care.

How Grandparent, Foster and Kinship Carer Advisers can help

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

Our Grandparent, Foster and Kinship Carer Advisers give tailored help if you’re a non-parent carer such as:

  • grandparent carer
  • foster carer
  • kinship carer
  • informal carers.

Read more about Grandparent, Foster and Kinship Carer Advisers.

What other payments and services there are

We have payments to help non-parent carers who provide care to a child with disability or a medical condition.

Medicare services

There are Medicare services available if you’re not the parent of the child you care for.

Child support for non-parent carers

If you care for a child and aren’t the parent, you may get child support from both parents.

Read about applying for child support as a non-parent carer.

Other government and community support services

There are a range of other organisations that provide support services and useful information you may find helpful. You can use Payment and Service Finder to locate assistance in your local area.

Page last updated: 28 September 2023.
QC 34851