Extraordinary Care Fund

If you're caring for someone else's child who shows promise in a particular area, or is experiencing difficulties, we may be able to help with an Extraordinary Care Fund grant.


  • You can apply for a grant of up to $2,000 each financial year (1 July - 30 June).
  • If you're caring for more than one child, you can apply for a grant for each child.
  • Who can get it

    You can apply for a grant from the fund if you get the Orphan's Benefit or Unsupported Child's Benefit.

    You must have extra costs because the child you support is either:

      • showing promise through high achievement for a particular skill or talent, or
      • experiencing difficulties that are impacting on their development, eg a child with learning or behavioral difficulties who would benefit from doing a particular course or activity.

    Decisions about whether to award a grant are based on the needs of the child, rather than their family's financial situation.

    Showing promise

    Some costs that might meet the criteria under showing promise are:

      • selection for participation in an arts, science, innovation, technology or academic programme or event
      • attendance at a sporting competition in New Zealand
      • private music lessons and instrument hire or purchase for a child who's progressed well beyond their peers in a group lesson setting.

    Experiencing difficulties

      • orthodontic work (not funded through the Ministry of Health) that would lessen difficulties faced by the child
      • courses or activities to:
        • develop a child's self-esteem, physical capability or social skills
        • improve a child's ability to learn if they have learning difficulties
      • swimming lessons if the child hasn't learnt to swim through school lessons.
  • What you can get

    You can get up to $2,000 per child each year between 1 July - 30 June.

    The table below shows the types of costs that are often applied for, and a cost guide to give you a rough idea of how much we can pay.

    Cost type Cost guide



    Secondary school level: Up to $1,400

    Intermediate school level: Up to $1,200

    Primary school level: Up to $750

    Musical instruments Up to $900
    Music lessons $150 to $250 per term
    Clothing and equipment for sports and arts $500 to $1,200


    Psychological fees/services

    $60 to $200 per session

    Development programmes

    eg. Speech development, YMCA programmes

    Initial assessment $125 to $180 per hour.

    $45 to $130 per session

    Extra tuition $400 to $880 per term
    Orthodontics Maximum amount that can be paid in a financial year is $2,000.

    There may be other costs we haven't mentioned here that you can still apply for. Grants are made based on your child's needs and documents that support this.

    We don't pay for:

    • costs covered by an Establishment Grant or School and Year Start-up Payment
    • health and medical costs, eg:
      • doctor's visits
      • medication
    • everyday costs, eg:
      • school trips
      • vehicles
      • legal costs
      • childcare
    • overseas travel and costs related to this, eg:
      • hotels
      • overseas courses
    • teacher aides
    • school uniforms.
  • How to apply

    Step 1 - Fill out an application form

    Print and fill out the Extraordinary Care Fund Grant application form.

    If you can't print the form, call us and we'll post one to you.

    If you apply before:

    You will hear back from us after:

    19 February 2021 13 April 2021
    9 July 2021 27 August 2021
    15 October 2021 3 December 2021

    Step 2- Provide ID and proof of costs

    You'll need to provide:

    • identification for yourself, eg a Community Service Card or a SuperGold Card.
    • proof of the cost you're applying for, eg. a:
      • quote
      • receipt, or
      • letter from an organiser asking for payment.

    Step 3 - Provide letters of support

    A letter of support clearly outlines any promise shown or difficulty experienced from an independent person, eg a:

    • teacher
    • coach, or
    • other person of standing in the community.

    Applying for a cost that's not sports or arts

    If you're applying for a cost that's:

    • under $500, you need to provide one letter of support.
    • $500 or more, you need to provide 2 letters of support.

    Applying for sports or arts costs

    If you're applying for sports or arts costs:

    • under $1,000, you don't need to provide any letters of support
    • $1,000 or more, you'll need to supply 2 letters of support.

    Step 4 - Provide other documents

    You may need to provide some other documents as well, it depends what you're applying for.

    Applying for orthodontic treatment

    You'll also need to provide documentation from the orthodontist outlining:

    • the proposed treatment
    • how long the treatment will take
    • confirmation of any payments made so far and the balance owing.

    Applying for technology

    You'll also need to provide documentation:

    • from the school outlining their recommended item, especially if they have a 'bring your own device' (BYOD) programme
    • from an independent person (eg, a teacher) outlining your need for anything that's significantly more expensive than what the school recommends.

    Applying for costs over $2,000

    If you're applying for a cost that's more than $2,000, you'll also need to provide proof of how you can pay for the rest of the cost.

    Step 5 - Send us your form and documents

    Once completed, you'll need to send all forms and documents to us. Call us to talk about the best way to do this.

  • What happens next

    We'll write to you to let you know whether your application has been approved.

    If you apply before:

    You will hear back from us after:

    19 February 2021 13 April 2021
    9 July 2021 27 August 2021
    15 October 2021 3 December 2021

    As the amount of money available in the fund is limited, we may not be able to approve all applications. Funding recommendations are made by a panel whose members are selected for their skills, knowledge and experience.