The Child Endowment, introduced in July 1941, was a non-means tested flat payment made by the Commonwealth Government directly to mothers for each child after the first under the age of 16 years. The government also paid it to the Managers of privately run children's homes and foster mothers. From 1942, it extended the payment to state government institutions. In June 1976, the Family Allowance replaced the Child Endowment.
The Child Endowment was introduced in July 1941 following the passage of the Commonwealth Child Endowment Act of that year. Under the Act, mothers, foster mothers, and the managers of privately run institutions received five shillings a week for each child after the first. The child had to be under 16. There was no means test.
An amendment in 1942 extended the endowment to state government institutions, Aboriginal children living for at least 6 months of the year on a mission station, and children maintained by a deceased estate.
The government increased the rate of pay in 1950 and 1964.
The Child Endowment became an important source of income for foster parents and privately run children's homes in Tasmania.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Child endowment bill: details explained: cheered by opposition', Geraldton Guardian and Express (Geraldton, WA), 29 March 1941, p. 1, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article67312848.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 7 May 2013, Last modified: 24 October 2017