The Australian Government provides several different payments to support families. If you are the parent or carer of a child, here are the payments you might be able to apply for.
If you and your family are affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for additional payments. Visit the Services Australia website for more information.
Family Tax Benefit
- have a dependent child or full-time secondary student aged 16 to 19 who isn’t getting a pension, payment or benefit like Youth Allowance
- care for the child for at least 35% of the time
- meet an income test
For more information about Family Tax Benefit, visit the Services Australia website.
This is the main payment you can claim while you’re caring for a young child. It’s also for job seekers who are the main carers of young children. To receive this payment you must:
- be under the income and asset test limits
- meet principal carer rules
- care for a child under 8 if you’re single or under 6 if you’re partnered
- meet residence rules
- not have claimed before the birth of the child
If you have a child under 6, you may also be asked to take part in the Government’s ParentsNext program, which helps you plan and prepare for study or employment and links you to services and activities in your community. Services Australia will contact you if you need to make an appointment. You can also volunteer to join the program. ParentsNext is not available in remote areas or on Norfolk Island. For more information, visit the ParentsNext website.
For more information about the Parenting Payment, visit the Services Australia website.
Parental Leave Pay
This is a short-term payment for up to 18 weeks to help while you are not working so you can care for a new child. To receive this payment, you must:
- be the primary carer of a newborn or newly adopted child
- have individually earned less than $150,000 or less in the 2019-20 financial year or $151,350 or less in the 2020-21 financial year
- not be working during your Paid Parental Leave period
- have met the work test in the 13 months before the child’s birth or entry into care
- have registered or applied to register your child’s birth with your state or territory birth registry, if they’re a newborn
Read more about paid parental leave here.
Dad and Partner Pay
This is a short-term payment of up to 2 weeks made if you are a father or partner on leave from work to help look after a new child. To receive this payment you must:
- care for a newborn or newly adopted child
- have individually earned $150,000 or less in the 2019-20 financial year or $151,350 or less in the 2020-21 financial year
- not be working or taking paid leave during your Dad and Partner Pay period
- have met the work test in the 13 months before your Dad and Partner Pay period starts
Read more about Dad and Partner Pay.
Child Care Subsidy
This payment helps families with the cost of childcare. It is for children 13 and under, but is also available to children 14 to 18 if they have a disability or can’t be left unsupervised. The payment is paid directly to the child care provider to reduce the fees you pay. To be eligible:
- care for a child 13 or younger who's not attending secondary school, unless an exemption applies
- use an approved child care service
- be responsible for paying the child care fees
- meet residency and immunisation requirements
The Child Care Subsidy replaced the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. The subsidy is available to parents doing recognised activities, such as paid and unpaid work, and training and studying.
For more information on Child Care Subsidy, visit the Services Australia website.
Other payments you may be entitled to
There are other payments available to help you with:
- having a baby
- paying for your rent
- paying for your telephone
- paying for the costs of healthcare through Medicare
- paying for your child’s dental care
- paying energy bills
There are several different payments for people looking after children in special circumstances.
- if you are sharing the care of a child with someone else (Services Australia will work out what you’re eligible for depending on how much care each of you provides)
- if you are a grandparent, legal guardian or other family member providing full time care for a child
- if you are adopting a child
- if you are caring for a child who is an orphan
- if you are caring for a child with a disability or serious illness
- if you live in a very remote area and your child can’t access a state school
- if you have a stillborn baby, or if your baby dies after birth
These payments all have different eligibility requirements, and time limits may apply. You can find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for by visiting Centrelink’s Payment and Service Finder.
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Last reviewed: September 2021