Child Care Rebate
Covers 50% of out of pocket child care expenses for approved child care, up to an annual limit per child, in addition to any other child care assistance.
- you use a Child Care Benefit approved child care service
- you are eligible for Child Care Benefit for approved care, even if you earn too much to receive payment, and
- you and your partner meet the Work, Training, Study test for Child Care Rebate, or are exempt from it
Eligibility & payment rates
To be eligible for Child Care Rebate you must meet certain criteria.
You may be eligible if:
- you use a Child Care Benefit approved child care service
- you are eligible for Child Care Benefit, even if you earn too much to receive payment, and
- you and your partner meet the Work, Training, Study test for Child Care Rebate or are exempt from it
Child Care Rebate is not income tested.
Child Care Rebate helps with the cost of child care fees. It covers up to 50% of your out of pocket child care expenses up to an annual limit of $7,500 per child.
Out of pocket child care expenses are your total child care fees less any Child Care Benefit and Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance you are entitled to.
Once you reach the annual limit for a child you will not be entitled to any further rebate until the next financial year. Depending how you receive your rebate, your assistance may stop when you have received 85% of the annual limit for a child. If this happens, any remaining entitlement will be paid after the end of the financial year when we balance your payments.
Read more about payment options for Child Care Rebate.
- the amount of rebate you have received for a child so that you will know when your assistance for the year is likely to end, and
- when your child care fees will no longer be reduced by the rebate, if your rebate is paid to the child care service
There are 4 ways to receive your Child Care Rebate.
You and your partner need to have met the work, training, or study requirements during the week in which you used child care, or be exempt.
To receive Child Care Rebate, you must claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care. To be eligible for Child Care Benefit, your child must meet immunisation requirements.
We will use your child’s Medicare details to check with the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register that your child is up to date with their immunisations.
You need to provide your child’s Medicare details when you claim Child Care Benefit, as immunisation requirements must be met at the time you submit your claim.
Read more about immunising your children
Child Care Rebate is paid for up to 42 absences per child each financial year.
Additional absences beyond 42 days for certain reasons may be approved and paid. Talk to your child care service about additional absences.
A public holiday is counted as an absence if the child normally attends the child care service on that week day, and fees are charged for that day for the child.
You can access your child’s absence record using your Centrelink online account through myGov by selecting View Child Care Details and Payments. You can also do this using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
You can read more about absences from child care on the mychild website.
To receive Child Care Rebate, you must be using a Child Care Benefit approved child care service.
Child Care Benefit approved child care services have Australian Government approval to pass on Child Care Benefit to families as a reduction in their child care fees. Approved child care can include:
- long day care
- family day care
- outside school hours care
- vacation care
- in home care, and
- occasional care
To find out whether your child care service is approved for Child Care Benefit, ask your child care service or check the mychild website.
Read more about Child Care Benefit.
Managing your payment
Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving a payment. If you or your partner’s work, training or study commitments stop or start you need to advise us, as this may affect your eligibility for Child Care Rebate. Your eligibility or rate of entitlement for Child Care Benefit may be affected if any of the following circumstances change. This may then affect your eligibility for Child Care Rebate.
Change of circumstances include:
- your personal circumstances change
- you change your address
- your income changes
- you do not have to lodge a tax return
- your care arrangements change
- you leave Australia
If you do not tell us about the changes within 14 days, your payment may be affected. You may be overpaid and you may have to pay the money back.
If you deliberately do not tell us about changes, you could be charged with fraud, and a recovery fee may be imposed.
Overpayments of Child Care Rebate may be recovered from your Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate top ups, and from any Family Tax Benefit end of year supplements. Overpayments may also be recovered from tax refunds.
After the end of the financial year, your Child Care Rebate may be adjusted when your actual Child Care Benefit entitlements are known.
At the start of each financial year, we ask you to estimate your family income so we can work out how much Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit to pay you.
Once your Child Care Benefit entitlement is balanced, any Child Care Rebate entitlement is also balanced.
There are rules about how long your child care payments can be paid when you or your children travel outside Australia.
If you want someone else to handle your Centrelink, Child Support or Medicare business, you can authorise them to deal with us on your behalf.
There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.
Read more about different types of child care and how to get assistance on the Australian Government's mychild website.
Select the options that describe your circumstances then explore a suggested list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Select your state and topics of interest to find links to government and community organisation support.