Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance
Helps with the cost of approved child care for eligible parents undertaking an approved activity.
Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance is commonly known as JET Child Care Fee Assistance.
Eligibility & payment rates
You may be eligible for JET Child Care Fee Assistance if you receive one of the following payments:
- Farm Household Allowance
- Parenting Payment
- Partner Allowance
- Widow Allowance
- Carer Payment
- Widow B Pension
- means tested ABSTUDY
- Newstart Allowance
- Youth Allowance as a job seeker, or
- Special Benefit, where you would qualify for Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance but don't meet the residency requirements
This includes situations where the payment listed above is suspended or you’re still eligible for the payment, but not receiving anything because your fortnightly earnings are over the limit.
To be eligible for JET Child Care Fee Assistance you must also:
- have a Job Plan in place - this is a written agreement that sets out the actions you agree to take to find work
- receive the maximum rate of Child Care Benefit and haven’t chosen a lesser rate, and
- use approved child care such as long day care, family day care and outside school hours care
JET Child Care Fee Assistance will apply to Child Care Benefit approved child care services while you're undertaking approved JET Child Care Fee Assistance activities.
This assistance can help you meet the cost of approved child care by paying some of the gap fee. The gap fee is the difference between the amount you're charged and the amount you get for Child Care Benefit. You'll need to make a contribution of $1 per hour per child to your child care service.
If you're a teenage parent completing your secondary education or equivalent study, you'll pay a contribution of $0.10 per hour per child. This will apply up until the end of the calendar year you turn 20 years of age.
JET Child Care Fee Assistance will be paid up to a maximum amount and may increase each financial year in line with the Consumer Price Index. The maximum amount for 2016-17 is $8.28 per hour per child. The maximum amount for 2015-16 was $8.14 per hour per child.
If you use more assistance hours than you're entitled to, you'll have to pay the cost for these additional hours if it's more than Child Care Benefit. You may also be eligible for Child Care Rebate, which will provide you with 50% of your out of pocket child care costs up to the annual limit.
There's a limit of 42 absences per child per financial year where Child Care Benefit and JET Child Care Fee Assistance can be paid. Additional absences may be available for certain reasons. Talk to your child care service if you need more absences.
You should consider how the limit on absences may affect your situation for periods when you may not require care, such as semester breaks from study.
The number of JET Child Care Fee assistance hours you're approved for is based on an allocation of 12 hours per day, up to your maximum eligible hours per week per child. The actual number of JET Child Care Fee assistance hours you can receive depends on the hours of child care you use and your child care service’s charging practice.
You can view your child care hours using your Centrelink online account through myGov.
In your Centrelink online account, select View Child Care Details and Payments, then select View Child Care Attendance. You can also talk to your child care service about their charges.
Undertaking an approved activity
You can get up to 24 hours assistance per week per child while you're doing your approved activity.
To get more, you and your partner must meet a Work, Training, Study test. To meet the test, you need to be doing at least 15 hours per week, or 30 hours per fortnight, of approved JET Child Care Fee Assistance activities.
The Work, Training, Study test also applies to Child Care Benefit. The number of JET Child Care Fee Assistance hours you get in a week can't be more than the number of Child Care Benefit hours you get in the same week.
Undertaking study or training
If you're undertaking a study or training activity only, JET Child Care Fee Assistance will be paid up to a maximum of 36 hours per week per child.
Undertaking other activities
You may receive more than 36 hours per week if you're undertaking:
- approved activities other than study, or
- a combination of JET approved activities that haven't reached the JET Child Care Fee Assistance funding limits
If you're a teenage parent undertaking secondary education, you may still be eligible for more than 24 hours of JET Child Care Fee Assistance. This will apply up until the end of the calendar year you turn 20 years of age.
You can only get JET Child Care Fee Assistance for a limited time depending on the activity you're undertaking.
|Activity||Period of JET Child Care Fee Assistance|
|Searching for a job||Up to 20 days|
|Undertaking paid or unpaid work||Up to 26 weeks|
Studying or training in:
|Up to 104 weeks for full time study|
|Participating in a labour market program||Up to 26 weeks for the Work for the Dole or Green Army programme
Up to 104 weeks full time for the Skills for Education and Employment program
|Participating in a government funded rehabilitation program||Up to 26 weeks|
|Other activities that help parents engage in sustainable paid work||Up to 26 weeks|
If you already hold a qualification, or have reached your JET Child Care Fee Assistance funding limit at your current study level, course restrictions apply. Further study at the same level is restricted to courses that lead to occupations in high demand as listed on the Department of Employment’s Skills Shortage List Australia. Study may also include the Department of Education and Training’s Adult Migrant English Program or the Department of Employment’s New Enterprise Incentive Scheme. You must provide proof of your enrolment in the course.
Any JET Child Care Fee Assistance you’ve already received for paid or unpaid work counts towards your 26 weeks of assistance.
Once you've read about eligibility the next steps are:
- decide how you'll claim: using a claim form, in person, over the phone or at your local service centre
- complete your forms
- gather your supporting documentation
- ensure your Job Plan is up to date and includes your nominated JET Child Care Fee Assistance activity; you can view your Job Plan by using your Centrelink online account through myGov – if you need to update your Job Plan, you can do this over the phone or at your local service centre
- submit your claim
We'll assess your claim and let you know the outcome.
Managing your payment
When you're receiving a payment, you need to tell us if your circumstances change. For example, if:
- you stop doing your approved activity
- you change address
- your relationship status changes by:
- commencement of a registered or defacto relationship
- commencement of living with someone as a partner
- separation from your partner, or
- death of your partner
- you stop using child care
- you need to extend the period you wish to receive JET Child Care Fee Assistance
- you or your children go overseas
- you leave Australia or the government tells you that you cannot stay in Australia
- you or your partner are no longer the carer of your child, or
- any of your children:
- start going to school
- enroll in a new child care service
- leave a child care service
- change the times they are in child care
- stop living with you, can no longer be considered your dependant or die, or
- leave Australia
If you don't tell us about changes to your circumstances, you may be overpaid. You'll have to pay this money back, or your payments may stop.
We undertake regular data matching activities with government agencies and third parties to find and prevent incorrect payments and fraud. This includes employers and public and private education providers in each state and territory.
When you're approved for JET Child Care Fee Assistance, you can view your assessment using your Centrelink online account through myGov.
In your Centrelink online account:
- select View Child Care Details and Payments
- select View JET Child Care Assistance to see your assessment, or
- select View Child Care Attendance to see your child care fees and payments
Find the total amount of JET Child Care Fee Assistance then divide it by the number of JET Child Care Fee Assistance hours charged. This will give you your hourly JET assistance rate.
Read more about families using child care on the Department of Education and Training’s website.
Select the options that describe your circumstances, then explore a list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.