One of the biggest concerns as a young parent is around having enough money to care for your child and for yourself. Knowing what your main expenses will be such as food, clothing, housing, transport, child care and health and where to get financial support can help you to manage these expenses and reduce stress.
Your financial situation will depend on your circumstances. Whether you are supported in full or part by your family and/or partner, or are earning an income, it’s a good idea to check whether you are entitled to any payments from the government.
The government offers a variety of payments to parents through Centrelink, including:
- Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement — if you meet certain eligibility requirements
- Parental Leave Pay — for eligible working parents who are on leave from work to care for their child
- Dad and Partner Pay — two weeks government-funded pay for eligible working dads or partners
- Child Care Subsidy — to help pay for the cost of approved child care
- Additional Child Care Subsidy (transition to work)(commonly known as JET Child Care Fee Assistance) — to help pay for child care if you want to start working again or are job searching, working or studying
- Family Tax Benefit (often called the ‘small pay’) — to assist with costs of raising children
- Parenting Payment (often called the ‘big pay’) – the main income support payment to assist with costs of raising children
- Household assistance payments — for example, Single Income Family Supplement and the Energy Supplement
Centrelink can help you find out whether you are eligible for any of these payments.
You may need to wait before getting any money, so contact Centrelink 3 months before the birth of your baby. Call the Families and Parents line on 13 61 50 to get started.
You may also be eligible for other payments that are not related to your baby. Check with Centrelink for other benefits that apply to your situation, such as:
The government also offers a range of services to help you manage your money and any Centrelink payments you receive. These services include Centrepay, Rent Deduction Scheme, MoneySmart and Income Management. Also, the government Job Seekers website can help you find work.
If you are at risk of becoming homeless or need extra help with financial support, Centrelink offers these payments:
- Rent Assistance — financial help to people who pay rent and receive a Centrelink payment
- Crisis Payments — a one-off payment to help people who have experienced extreme circumstances
- Telephone Allowance — helps with the costs of maintaining a telephone and a home internet service
If you’re really stressed about money, ASIC’s MoneySmart website has practical information on how to get your finances in better shape. You can also talk to a free and independent financial counsellor by calling the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. Lifeline provides counselling on 13 11 14 or you can call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436.
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Last reviewed: October 2021