How the Additional Child Care Subsidy helps grandparents

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  Published on Wednesday, 10 October 2018

How the Additional Child Care Subsidy helps grandparents

Library Home  >  Parenting & Family Life
  Published on Wednesday, 10 October 2018
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Grandparent care is widespread in Australia, and although some grandparents offer occasional care, emergency care or part-time care, there are others who play a larger role in the day-to-day raising of their grandchildren.

In recognition of this, the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent) is a payment that supports eligible grandparents by reducing the financial burden of child care. It has replaced the Grandparent Child Care Benefit (as of July 2018) and here are its main features.

Who is eligible for the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent)?

Because it is part of the Child Care Safety Net, this subsidy supports those grandparents who are providing principal care for grandchildren whose families are in challenging circumstances.

This means that to receive the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent), grandparents must:

  • Be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy
  • Receive an income support payment such as the age pension
  • Be the grandparent or great-grandparent of the cared for child/children
  • Be their principal carer, i.e. they are responsible for day-to-day decisions about their grandchild's care, welfare and development, and have 65 per cent or more care of them.

This care arrangement can be permanent or temporary, and when it comes to the definition of 'grandparent', the Government recognises different family situations.

As such, Services Australia views a 'grandparent' as a child's biological grandparent or great-grandparent, and this includes relationships through:

  • Adoption
  • Step parents, including former step parents
  • Artificial conception
  • De facto relationships
  • Surrogacy arrangements

Grandparents must meet all the eligibility criteria to receive the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent). However, the upside is that even if they're ineligible for that payment, they might still be able to receive the Child Care Subsidy. For example, those with regular (but not principal) care of their grandchild may be eligible for the CCS.

What does the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent) mean in real terms?

This payment provides up to 100 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight, without any need to meet the activity test requirements.

The subsidy is paid directly to approved child care services to reduce the cost of child care fees, and usually the full cost of the care is covered. This is because the Government pays 100 per cent of the actual fee charged by the service, or up to 120 per cent of the Child Care Subsidy hourly rate cap (whichever is lower).

Provided they remain eligible, there's no time limit on how long grandparents can receive the additional subsidy.

How do grandparents apply for the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent)?

This is a matter of logging on to Centrelink through myGov or going into a Centrelink office. To prove their eligibility, grandparents will also be asked for evidence of their relationship to the grandchild, how much care they provide and proof of their day-to-day decision-making.

All in all, this grandparent-focused top-up subsidy helps to break down barriers when accessing child care. And it recognises the principal role that some older Australians play in child-raising.

For more on the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparents), read our article here, and there's info about the rise of grandparent care here.

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Tuesday, 22 September 2020

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