Child care payments while travelling outside Australia

There are rules about how long your child care payments can be paid while you or your dependent children travel outside Australia.

Rules for child care payments outside Australia

Child care payments can only be paid for child care provided in Australia. Child care payments include:

If you or your children leave Australia to live in another country, your child care payments will stop when you leave.

If you or your children leave Australia temporarily, you can generally continue to get child care payments for up to 6 weeks, for child care provided in Australia. You need to continue to meet all other eligibility requirements for your child care payments during this period.

After 6 weeks, your child care payments will stop. If you or your children are overseas for longer than 6 weeks, return to Australia and then leave again within 6 weeks, your child care payments will stop when you leave again.

If you’re a member of the Australian Defence Force deployed overseas or the Australian Federal Police engaged in peacekeeping or capacity building activities overseas, you may be eligible for an extension of your child care payments for up to 3 years.

If you or your children return to Australia:

  • within 13 weeks of the date your payments were cancelled, you won’t have to submit a new claim as your payments will be automatically restarted from when you return to Australia, or
  • after 13 weeks from the date your payments were cancelled, you’ll have to submit a new claim

You may be paid outside Australia for a negotiated period of up to 6 weeks if you hold one of the following visas:

  • a Partner Provisional visa subclass 309 or visa subclass 820
  • a Safe Haven Enterprise visa subclass 790, or
  • a Temporary Protection visa subclass 785 issued on or after 16 December 2014

for the following approved reasons:

  • to attend an acute family crisis, for example, to visit a critically ill family member
  • for humanitarian reasons, for example, to adopt a child or attend custody proceedings, or
  • to receive eligible medical treatment not available in Australia

Most temporary protection type visa holders can't be paid child care payments while overseas. Child care payments will stop as soon as you leave Australia.

Your child care service may still charge for child care when your child is absent from care, including when your child is overseas.

Child care payments can be paid for each child for up to 42 absences per financial year from all approved child care services, except occasional care. These absences can be taken for any reason and no evidence is required. In exceptional circumstances, you may be able to access additional approved absences. Contact your child care service for more information.

When to tell us about your travel

You should tell us if you or your children are leaving Australia, and:

Otherwise, you don’t need to tell us that you or your children are leaving Australia. Australia’s immigration department will advise us when you or your children leave and return to Australia.

The easiest way to tell us about your travel plans is to use your Centrelink online account through myGov.

Read more about payments while outside Australia.

Page last updated: 28 September 2016

This information was printed Friday 9 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/child-care-payments-while-travelling-outside-australia 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.