Assistance with child care fees

We offer a range of payments and services to help families with the costs of child care.

Help with child care costs

We offer a range of financial assistance to help with the cost of child care.

  • Child Care Rebate can assist with your out-of-pocket expenses for Child Care Benefit approved child care if you are working, studying or training. To get Child Care Rebate, you must make a claim for Child Care Benefit for approved care
  • Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance can help you with the cost of child care if you are eligible for Child Care Benefit for approved care and 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

Start the online
estimator

Make a claim for child care assistance

The first step is to claim Child Care Benefit  for approved care or registered care based on the type of care that you are using. Depending on your circumstances,you may be able to 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 for approved care. Even if your income is too high for Child Care Benefit, you may still be able to get Child Care Rebate. Child Care Rebate is not paid for registered care.

If you are unsure what type of child care you use, information on this page may help or you can check with your child care service.

Choose the best payment method for your family

We offer a range of payment options for Child Care Benefit for approved care and Child Care Rebate so you can choose what best suits your family.

JET Child Care Fee Assistance is paid directly to your child care service on your behalf.

Child Care Benefit for registered care is paid to you as a lump sum when you lodge your claim and it is assessed.

Details you need to give your approved child care service

When you enrol your child in a Child Care Benefit approved child care service, you will need to provide information to identify your family. This lets the child care service create a formal enrolment with us and lets them get the child care assistance payments on your behalf where you have claimed Child Care Benefit as reduced fees. 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
  • child's Customer Reference Number and date of birth

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.

Your Customer Reference Number will be on any of the letters we send you. You can access your Centrelink online account or use the Express Plus Families app to check your child’s Customer Reference Number.

Differences between approved and registered child care

Approved care

Child Care Benefit approved child care services are approved by the Australian Government’s Department of Education to accept payments on your behalf. These services can include:

  • long day care
  • family day care
  • outside school hours care
  • vacation care
  • occasional care, and
  • in home care

Child Care Rebate can be paid for approved care even if your income is too high to receive payment of Child Care Benefit.

The mychild.gov.au website provides information to help you choose a child care service that meets your needs.

Registered care

Registered child care is care provided by individuals who are approved by us to allow you to claim Child Care Benefit for registered care. Registered carers can include:

  • grandparents
  • relatives
  • friends
  • neighbours
  • nannies
  • individuals in some child care services such as:
    • private preschools
    • kindergartens
    • some outside school hours services, including before and after school care, vacation care and holiday programs

Individuals are not eligible to be registered carers if they provide care within a child care service which offers Child Care Benefit approved care.

Before you claim Child Care Benefit for registered care, the person providing the care needs to be registered with us. Child Care Rebate is not paid for registered care.

If you are a provider of child care, read more about child care service providers.

How your child's child care service becomes approved

Child care services are approved by the Department of Education to provide Child Care Benefit approved child care.

How your child's carer becomes registered

Individuals who provide child care can apply by lodging an application with us. Read more about registered carers.

More information

The mychild.gov.au 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 service is approved for Child Care Benefit for approved care. You can also search for child care services in your local area—in many cases, you will be able to find fee information and vacancies. The Department of Education’s website can help you if you are a child care service provider.

This information was printed from humanservices.gov.au It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.