Caregiver allowance

A care allowance is paid fortnightly and covers board, personal items and pocket money. We also provide a four-weekly clothing allowance, and allowances for Christmas and birthday presents. 

 The rates set out in the table below are effective from 1 April 2021

Age of child/young person

Weekly rate

Weekly pocket money*

Birthday and 
christmas allowance (half the weekly board rate)
4-weekly clothing rate
0–4 years $203.03 $2.10 $101.52 $84.24
5–9 years $228.15 $6.90 $114.08 $95.52
10–13 years $246.93 $10.40 $123.47 $117.96
14+ years $265.62 $16.10 $132.81 $141.52
Family home caregivers $250.81 Rates as above (paid in addition to board rates) $125.41 Rates as above

* Pocket money is included in the weekly care allowance rate, except for Family Home caregivers who receive this as an additional amount.

Additional financial support

At the same time you receive your care allowance, you will also receive a standard payment of $20.00 per fortnight, called the ‘small cost payment’. This payment is to enable you to pay for additional small items the child or young person needs such as a school outing, birthday present for the child’s friend, regular cellphone top up, gold coin donation or koha.

You may be able to get other financial assistance on top of the standard care allowance outlined in the table. This is when: 

  • you are a new caregiver and you qualify for a $350 set-up grant. This money helps you prepare to care for a child. Talk to your caregiver social worker about this
  • you care for a child who is in nappies. This $20 payment is added to your weekly allowance payment. 

Other payments the child or young person in your care may qualify for, but are not included in the standard care allowance, include:

  • purchasing your child or young person's first uniform
  • school camps
  • school stationery
  • club costs (sports and interest groups)
  • school fees
  • early childhood fees
  • after school care fees.

Talk to your caregiver social worker or the child's social worker about any additional financial support.  

Inland Revenue has a number of payments including Best Start and Working for Families that you may be eligible for to help support you to care for the tamariki in your care.

Find out more about Best Start on the IRD website

Find out more about Working for Families payment

Use the Inland Revenue online calculator to estimate your payments

Published: June 14, 2019 · Updated: September 9, 2021