InfoCapsule 5: Primary caregiver  

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Disclaimer: RESP promoters

The information contained on this page is technical in nature and is intended for Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and Canada Education Savings Program promoters. For general information, visit the RESP page.

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List of acronyms

Business number
Canada child benefit
Canada Education Savings Grant
Canada Education Savings Program
Canada Learning Bond
Canada Revenue Agency
Employment and Social Development Canada
Primary caregiver
Social Insurance Number


A primary caregiver (PCG) is the person primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of a child. A PCG can be an individual or a public entity.

Individual primary caregiver

The person eligible to receive the Canada child benefit (CCB) payment for the child as defined under the Income Tax Act.

Shared custody

Since July 1, 2011, 1 child can be in the care of 2 individual PCGs in the same month of a given year. Only 1 of the 2 PCGs’ information can be sent per transaction to the Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) system.

Note: To request the additional amount of Canada Education Savings Grant (Additional CESG) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), the individual PCG or their cohabiting spouse or common law partner must provide their Social Insurance Number (SIN).

The PCG information or their cohabitating spouse or common law partner is not needed to apply for the CLB for an adult between 18 and 20 years of age.

Public primary caregiver

A department, agency or institution that receives the allowance payable under the Children’s Special Allowances Act.

Note: To request the Additional CESG and the CLB, the public PCG must provide their Business Number (BN).

General information

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) communicates with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to verify the child’s eligibility, using the PCG’s information.

Additional CESG and CLB amounts can only be paid if all beneficiaries of the RESP are siblings.

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