Guaranteed Childcare Assistance Payment

If you're under 20 and in full-time education, training or work-based learning, you may be able to get the Guaranteed Childcare Assistance Payment (GCAP) to assist with the cost of childcare

Who can get it

You may be able to get GCAP if you're:

  • getting a Young Parent Payment (or 16-19 and included as a partner of a specified beneficiary)
  • in full-time education, training or work-based learning
  • working part-time (for up to 15 hours a week)
  • the main caregiver for a child aged either:
    • under 5, or
    • over 5 if the school has advised they can't start until the beginning of the term straight after their fifth birthday.

Or, if you're not on a benefit, and:

  • under 18
  • attending secondary school full-time
  • the main caregiver for a child aged either:
    • under 5, or
    • over 5 if the school has advised they can't start until the beginning of the term straight after their fifth birthday
  • either living with, and supported by your parents or guardian, or married or in a civil union or de facto relationship.

If you have a partner, in order to receive GCAP there needs to be a good reason why your partner can't provide childcare. For example, your partner is studying, working or actively seeking work.

Check if you can get GCAP

To find out if you could get Guaranteed Childcare Assistance Payment and what else you might qualify for, use our 'Check what you might get' tool.

  • How much you can get

    GCAP covers the actual childcare service costs, up to $6.00 an hour and up to 50 hours a week for each child and can be paid for the hours you're:

    • in full-time education, training or work-based learning (including travel time)
    • meeting your youth activity obligations, if you have them (eg attending a parenting course)
    • working part-time (for up to 15 hours a week).

    GCAP is usually paid straight to the early childhood centre or service.

    GCAP can't be paid for an informal carer.

    You can't get both GCAP and the Childcare Subsidy for the same child.

  • What type of childcare?

    Your child/children need to be attending an approved early childhood education programme. Approved programmes include:

    • early childhood education and care services including:
      • childcare centres
      • kindergartens
      • playcentres
      • Kohanga Reo
    • home-based education and care services.

    What isn't covered?

    GCAP can't be used:

    • to pay for an informal carer
    • if you are receiving a Childcare Subsidy or Early Learning Payment
    • for the same hours you are receiving 20 Hours ECE (paid by the Ministry of Education).

    Term breaks (including Christmas holidays)

    If you are still eligible for GCAP after a term break, it can be paid to ensure your child retains their place at the childcare centre.


    Absences

    GCAP will continue to be paid (if an absence fee is charged) if you or your child is temporarily sick or away.

  • How to apply

    You can apply online through MyMSD. We'll also check to see if you can get any other help from us based on the answers you give in your application.

    If you can't complete the form online you can print out and complete the application form below. Call us to talk about the best way to get this to us.

linksContact us

This information is a guide only.

Contact your Youth Service provider if you have one, otherwise contact us to talk about your individual circumstances.