What Is a Child’s Primary Caregiver?

A child’s primary caregiver is the adult who assumes the most responsibility in caring for the health and well-being of the child. While one or both parents are the most common primary caregivers, this term is often associated with other adults who take on this role.

Primary caregivers may include grandparents, other relatives or a legal guardian. Being a primary caregiver carries some legal implications, as a person taking on this role with a child may seek legal or practical rights to offer care and support. When a child is admitted to a medical facility, for instance, the primary caregiver may have to complete a declaration or application to acquire rights typically reserved for parents.