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:
- Child Care Benefit, including
- Grandparent Child Care Benefit, and
- Special Child Care Benefit
- Child Care Rebate
- Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance
- Child Care Subsidy, and
- Additional Child Care Subsidy
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. You need to continue to meet all other eligibility criteria 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:
- are going to live in another country
- will be away for more than 6 weeks
- have not been back in Australia for 6 weeks since your last return, or
- hold a partner provisional visa or temporary protection type visa
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.
Read more about payments while outside Australia.