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Extraordinary Care Fund Guidelines

Extraordinary Care Fund Application Guidelines

The Extraordinary Care Fund is designed to help you meet the additional costs of supporting a child who is:

  • showing promise through high achievement in a particular area, or
  • experiencing difficulties that are significantly impacting on their development.

You will need to provide proof of this to support your application. 

Tip!   Download a copy of the Application form in PDF format.

Checklist of Information to Accompany Every Application

All applications need to include:

  • Details of costs such as an invoice or receipt.
If the cost relates to something like a representative trip, this could be a letter requesting payment from an organiser, and a letter from an independent person like a teacher, coach, or other person of standing in the community who can support the application (two letters if applying for $500 or more).
  • Caregivers applying for sports or arts, where the costs are under $1,000, will only need to provide proof of the costs they are applying for.  They don’t need a letter of support.
  • Quotes over $1,000 will require evidence of showing promise or difficulty.

In certain circumstances, grants for part payments can be considered if a caregiver needs a contribution towards a larger cost like orthodontic treatment. To receive a part payment, caregivers need to be able to show how they will meet the rest of the costs.

Quotes and Letters of Support

Applicants must provide details of costs or quotes and supporting letters from an independent person and/or person of standing in the community. Depending on the amount applied for applicants must provide the following:

  • for applications for grants of less than $500, carers will be required to provide details of costs plus one support letter
  • for applications for grants from $500 to $2,000, carers will be required to provide details of costs plus two support letters.

Support letters must:

  • be from an independent person,  for example: teacher, coach or other person of standing in the community who can support the application
  • be signed and dated
  • generally be on letterhead (or provide contact details and professional registration details if applicable)
  • state the name of the child
  • state their relationship to child
  • comment on how the specific assistance applied for through the grant will help the child.
  • Carers applying for sports or arts, where the costs are under $1,000, will only need to provide proof of the costs they are applying for.  They don’t need a letter of support.
  • Quotes over $1,000 will require evidence of showing promise or difficulty.
The caregiver can write an overview of the child, but that is NOT counted as a support letter
Supply any certificates that child may have received.

Provider Quotes

Must be supplied from the provider. Please note: a provider is not a Support letter writer. If you are applying for an activity (e.g. ballet, music, swim lessons etc) make sure you apply for a whole year, not just for one term.

Tips for the Application Process
  • Please ‘paint’ a picture of the child. Clearly explain their needs, difficulties and their background and why a grant from this fund would assist them.Include a photo of the child participating in their extracurricular activities. E.g. Ballet 
  • There are no guarantees that funding will be granted, so do not book the child into anything or purchase anything until you have been notified.
  • Get your ducks in a row, well before the fund opens. Download or get the application form, fill it in, gather Support letters/quotes. As soon as the fund opens take in all the paperwork to Work and Income. You no longer need an appointment.
  • Get Work & Income to stamp the forms and give you a copy for your records.
  • Keep receipts of payments you have made with this fund money. MSD may ask you to provide these.
  • Once you have been granted the maximum of $2,000 in the funding year you cannot apply until the same date the following year.
  • If you are declined you can reapply during the next round.
Decisions about whether to award a grant are based on the needs of the child rather than their family’s financial situation. Some costs that might meet the criteria are:
Showing promise
  • Selection for participation in an art, science, innovation, technology or academic programme or event
  • Attendance at a New Zealand sporting competition
  • Attending the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s mentoring programme
  • 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

  • Extra tutoring (not funded through the Ministry of Education) for a child who’s unable to keep up at school because of long-term absence
  • Orthodontic work (not funded through the Ministry of Health) that would lessen difficulties faced by the child
  • Speech therapy that can’t be funded through the Ministry of Education
  • Courses or activities to develop a child’s self-esteem, physical capability or social skills
  • Courses or activities to improve a child’s ability to learn where they have learning difficulties
  • Private counselling that can’t be funded through another agency
  • Swimming lessons where the child hasn’t learnt to swim through school lessons

Dental/Orthodontic Treatment

  • Supporting letters from the Orthodontist are a must. The supporting letter should outline the treatment that is required, how long the treatment will take and the total cost of the treatment.
  • Any additional supporting documents from the child’s school or someone from within the community that can shed light on any potential emotional harm the dental issues are causing the child are of great benefit.
  • Repeat applications for dental costs will need to confirm all payments made so far and the balance owing. This can be confirmed in writing from the orthodontist or via a bank statement.

Costs Guidelines


Cost type Cost guide



Secondary school level: Up to $1,400
Intermediate school level: Up to $1,200
Primary school level: Up to $750

Note: You can only apply once per child until they move into the next school age group. Documentation from the child’s school confirming their BYOD policy is helpful, as well as the benefits the electronic device will provide i.e. the child being able to do homework, access school programmes at home etc.

It is important for caregivers to identify an electronic device that is compatible and reliable for an extended period.

Should a previously funded device no longer be compatible for what it is needed for, or it has broken or been stolen, this would need to be clearly outlined within the application.  There are no guarantees that previously funded electronic costs will be funded again.

Musical instruments

Up to $900

Music lessons

$150 to $250 per term

Clothing and equipment for sports and arts

$500 to $1,200


  • You can only choose two activities per child, i.e. Learn guitar and netball.
  • Swimming lessons are NOT considered an extra-curricular activity.
  • You can apply for sports gear/boots etc.
  • If the child is chosen for representative sports; airfares, accommodation (within NZ) and fees can be applied for, but a grant does not cover the caregiver’s travel and/or accommodation costs.
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 (not Teacher Aids)

$400 to $880 per term


  • Any application applied for, for the first time requires the usual paperwork.
  • If you are applying for a second + time, a quote must include the improvement the child has made and a recommendation that further progress can be made.
  • Letter(s) from the child’s school are a must. The Panel need to know the exact learning problems faced by the child and what strategies have been implemented by the child’s school. The Panel need to know that the child’s school is on board with addressing any difficulties the child is facing.
  • If applying for repeat extra tuition costs – progress reports from either the school or the service provider (ideally both) are imperative.
  • Repeat applications for tuition costs are greatly strengthen by any supporting letters from the Resource Teacher Learning and Behaviour (RTLB) service.


Maximum amount that can be paid in a financial year is $2,000

Please note that the above costs are guidelines.  If there are special circumstances for the child the Panel might grant costs exceeding these cost guidelines up to a maximum of $2,000.

Excluded Costs


  • Boarding school/school fees/books/exam fees/uniforms are NOT covered.
  • School holiday programmes/ pre-or afterschool care are NOT covered.
  • Court fees for the young person including reparation costs.
  • Purchase of motor vehicles.
  • Home adjustments/renovations.
  • Overseas travel.
  • Petrol mileage to and from activity.
  • Every day clothing/food.
  • Anything not related to child. i.e. caregiver supervision or gear/equipment for same.
  • Costs that are covered by the Establishment Grant or School Year Start-up Payment or by other agencies
  • Health and medical costs (e.g. treatment or medication)
  • Payments related to access visits.



About us 

Grandparents Raising GrandchildrenTM Trust NZ (GRG) is a registered Charitable Trust operating throughout New Zealand providing support services to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren on a full-time basis. Our vision is for a community where grandparents raising grandchildren are empowered to provide a safe, secure and nurturing home for their grandchildren.

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Te tautoko i nga tupuna, mokopuna me te whanau.
Te awhina ia ratou ki te whakatutuki i nga putanga
pai i roto i to raatau oranga.
Supporting grandparents, grandchildren and whanau
to achieve positive outcomes in their lives.  



Contact us

Member Support 
Outside Auckland Freephone
0800 472 637      

Auckland Landline or Mobile Phone Callers
(09) 418 3753 

National Support Office
9:00am - 2:00pm
09 418 3753

PO Box 34-892
Auckland 0746
New Zealand

Email GRG Office

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