The Child Care Subsidy for Grandparents
Grandparents Now Eligible For the Childcare Subsidy
Some grandparents are now eligible to apply for the Child Care Subsidy under Australia’s new Child Care Package.
The Grandparent Child Care Subsidy has been designed to ensure subsidised child care is available for eligible children under the care of one or more grandparents.
Under the plan, grandparents who are primary carers of a grandchild, may be eligible to receive up to 100 hours of fully-subsidised care per fortnight for each grandchild.
Intended to support the growing number of grandparents who are the primary caregivers of grandchildren in Australia, the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent) is an important element of the new Child Care Package which came into effect on July 2, 2018.
In this article, we explore the eligibility conditions and the application process for grandparents.
Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent)
Who is eligible?
The Department of Human Services sets out eligibility requirements for the Additional Child Care Subsidy for Grandparents.
According to their requirements, the applicant or thier partner must:
- Be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy
- Receive an income support payment
- Be the grandparent (or great-grandparent) of the child (including by adoption, step-parents including former stepparents, artificial conception, de facto relationships, or surrogacy arrangements)
- Be responsible for caring for the child 65% or more of the time
- Make daily decisions for the child including care, welfare and development
Under these terms, grandparents who care for their grandchild 65% or more of the time, who do not receive an income support payment, are not eligible for the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent). But they may be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy and an activity test exemption.
Grandparents who are not the primary carers of their grandchild, but do have a regular or shared care of the child, may also be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy, based on their income and hours of recognised activity.
If grandparents fail the Child Care Subsidy activity test and earn less than $66,958, they may receive up to 24 hours of subsidised care per fortnight, at 85% of the hourly rate cap.
What support will grandparents receive?
Eligible grandparents can access up to 100 hours of subsidised care each fortnight for their grandchild.
The Department will pay the Subsidy direct to the approved care provider of the grandchild.
The amount paid will be the lower of:
- 100% of the fee charged, when it is equal to or below the hourly rate cap, or
- Up to 120% of the hourly rate cap, where the fee charged is above the hourly rate cap.
What is the hourly rate cap?
A different hourly rate cap applies depending on the type of child care you access:
- Centre Based Day Care $11.77
(including long day care and occasional care)
- Family Day Care $10.90
- Outside School Hours Care $10.29
(before, after and vacation care)
- In Home Care $25.48
How does one apply?
If you are eligible for the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent) you can begin your application.
The easiest way to apply is using your myGov account, linked to Centrelink. If you do not have a myGov account, you can register for one using your Customer Reference Number (CRN). If you have never received an income support payment and do not have a CRN, you can visit your nearest service centre for further assistance.
Applicants are required to provide the department with supporting evidence within 28 days of making the application.
The documents must demonstrate you or your partner’s relationship to your grandchild, your percentage of care and decisions you make for the child’s care, welfare and development.
Evidence to prove your relationship to your grandchild may include: birth certificate, marriage certificates, adoption papers, artificial conception or surrogacy documentation, parenting plan, or family law or custody order.
Evidence of the decisions you make about the child’s care, welfare and development may include any of the above, and third-party documentation like a letter from their educator or general practitioner.
The Department of Human Services will contact you with the outcome of your application. The department will also conduct an annual review of eligibility.
A range of resources and tools are available to support grandparents with their grandchild’s early childhood education and child care arrangements.
Child care management software Xplor is just one of the tools available to grandparents, to stay connected with your grandchild while they are in care.
Your grandchild’s educator can use the Xplor app to send real-time updates, photos and videos direct to your smartphone, as well as documenting attendance, milestones, medical records and more.
Visit www.ourxplor.com for more information.