Assistance with child care fees

We offer a range of payments and services to help 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 Benefit can help you with the cost of approved and registered care
  • Child Care Rebate can assist with your out of pocket expenses for Child Care Benefit for approved care if you are working, studying or training - to get Child Care Rebate, you must make a claim for Child Care Benefit for approved child care
  • Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance can help you with the cost of child care if you're eligible for Child Care Benefit for approved child care, want to return to work 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, and
  • your child care out of pocket expenses

Make a claim for child care assistance

The first step is to claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care or registered child care based on the type of child care that you're using. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to claim JET Child Care Fee Assistance.

For approved child care, there are details you need to give your child care service regardless of how you intend to claim.

You don't need to claim Child Care Rebate. We'll automatically assess your eligibility once you've submitted a claim for Child Care Benefit for approved child 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 isn't paid for registered care.

If you're unsure about 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 child care and payment options for Child Care Rebate. 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 child care is paid to you as a lump sum.

Details you need to give your approved child care service

You’ll need to provide your child care service with information to identify your family.

Once they have this information, your child care service can create a formal enrolment with us. After enrolment, we can give them the following payments on your behalf, where you’ve claimed Child Care Benefits as a fee reduction:

  • Child Care Benefit for approved child care, or
  • Child Care Rebate, if you’ve chosen to have your payments made to the child care service

The child care service can then reduce your fees, so you pay less.

Read more about the details you need to give your approved child care service.

Differences between approved and registered care

Approved child care

Child Care Benefit approved child care services are approved by the Department of Education and Training 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 child care even if your income is too high to receive Child Care Benefit.

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

Registered child care

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

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

Individuals aren't eligible to be registered carers if they provide care within a child care service which offers Child Care Benefit for approved child care.

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

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

How a child care service becomes approved

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

How an individual child care provider becomes registered

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

If your circumstances change

If you separate from your partner or have a new partner, you should discuss who will have the ongoing responsibility for the child care fees. If there is a change in the person who will be responsible for paying the fees, the person now responsible should claim the child care payments and advise the child care service of their Customer Reference Number and date of birth.

Other government and community support services

There are a range of other organisations that provide support services and useful information you may find helpful. You can use Service Finder to locate assistance in your local area.

mychild 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 service is approved for Child Care Benefit for approved child care.

You can also search for child care services in your local area. In many cases, you'll be able to find fee information and vacancies. Department of Education and Training can help you if you're a child care service.

The Nanny Pilot Programme offers support for families finding it hard to access mainstream child care. For all enquiries about the programme, visit the Department of Education and Training website.

moneysmart logoMoneySmart has information to help you make the most of your money. Read the Having a baby section on the MoneySmart website.

Page last updated: 5 October 2016