Assistance with child care fees
Payments & services
We offer a range of payments and services to help families with the costs of child care.
Help with child care costs
Centrelink offers a range of financial assistance to help with the cost of child care.
- Child Care Benefit can help you with the cost of approved and registered child care
- Child Care Rebate can assist with your out-of-pocket expenses for approved child care if you are working, studying or training. To get Child Care Rebate, you must first make a claim for Child Care Benefit
- Jobs, Education and Training (JET) Child Care Fee Assistance can help you with the cost of child care if you want to re-enter the workforce after having a child and are doing activities such as job search, work or study.
Work out the assistance you may be able to get
Our online estimator lets you work out:
- the amount of Child Care Benefit for approved child care and Child Care Rebate you might get
- the number of hours you can claim
- your child care out-of-pocket expenses
Make a claim for child care assistance
The first step is to claim for approved Child Care Benefit and, depending on your circumstances, a claim for JET Child Care Fee Assistance. We will process your claim and assess your eligibility.
You do not need to claim Child Care Rebate - we will automatically assess your eligibility for the rebate once you have lodged a claim for Child Care Benefit. If your income is too high for Child Care Benefit, you may still be able to get Child Care Rebate.
Choose the best payment method for your family
JET Child Care Fee Assistance payments are paid directly to your child care provider on your behalf.
Details you need to give your child care provider
When you enrol your child for child care, you will need to provide information to identify your family. This lets the child care provider create a formal enrolment with us and get the child care assistance payments on your behalf. They can then reduce your child care fees, so you pay less.
The details you need to provide are:
- your Customer Reference Number and date of birth, and
- the Customer Reference Number and date of birth for your child or children
You and your child will get a Customer Reference Number as soon as a record is created with us. For example, when you lodge a claim for family assistance or if you contact us before you lodge a claim.
If you have misplaced or are unsure of your Customer Reference Number, you can check any of the letters we have sent you. If you have misplaced your child’s Customer Reference Number, you can access your Centrelink account online or use the Express Plus Families app to check it.
Registered care for Child Care Benefit
Registered child care is care provided by grandparents, relatives, friends or nannies who have approval as a registered carer with the Australian Government. In some cases, it can include care provided by individuals in private preschools, kindergartens and outside school hours services.
Child Care Benefit is paid as a lump sum payment to you when you lodge a claim for registered care within 12 months of the care being provided. When claiming, you will need to provide receipts for the periods of care you have paid for. Child Care Rebate cannot be paid for registered care.
The MyChild website is a useful resource for children's health and wellbeing, parenting and family support services. There is information on what kind of child care is available to suit your needs and you can check if your child care provider is approved for Child Care Benefit. You can also search for child care providers in your local area—in many cases, you will be able to find fee information and vacancies.