Assistance with child care fees
Payments & services
Explore payments based on your situation.
We offer a range of payments and services to help families with the costs of child care.
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Did you know that 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, study or rehabilitation as part of an Employment Pathway Plan.
Our online estimator lets you work out:
- the amount of Approved Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate you might get
- the number of hours you can claim
- your child care out-of-pocket expenses.
The first step is to make a 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 don't need to claim Child Care Rebate - we will automatically assess your eligibility for the rebate once you’ve 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.
You may prefer to get these payments made directly to your child care provider as reduced child care fees, to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs. Or, you can choose to get it as an annual lump sum payment. You can also choose to get your Child Care Rebate direct to you, as a fortnightly payment or at the end of each quarter.
If you claim Child Care Benefit for approved care as a lump sum payment at the end of the financial year, any Child Care Rebate will also be paid as a lump sum. If you want to get your Child Care Rebate throughout the year, you need to claim Child Care Benefit as a fee reduction.
JET Child Care Fee Assistance payments are paid directly to the child care provider on your behalf.
When you enrol your child for child care, you’ll 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 log into Centrelink Online Services or use the Express Plus Families app to check it.
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 when you lodge a claim for registered care with receipts within 12 months of the care being provided.
The MyChild website is a useful resource for children's health and wellbeing, parenting and family support services. There's 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’ll be able to find fee information and vacancies.