Child Care Benefit

How much you can get

How much Child Care Benefit you get depends on the type of child care you used.

Approved care

The amount you can get for approved child care provided before 2 July 2018 depends on your circumstances.

You can submit a lump sum claim for Child Care Benefit for care you used before 2 July 2018. You have until 30 June 2019 to submit your claim.

Approved child care can include any of the following:

  • long day care
  • family day care
  • outside school hours care
  • vacation care
  • in home care
  • occasional care

We won’t pay Child Care Benefit for any hours that your child was at primary school. Read more about the primary school levels for child care fee assistance for each state. Ask your child care service if they were an approved provider for Child Care Benefit.

How much you can get

The rate for a non-school aged child for 2017-18 was either:

  • $4.30 per child per hour
  • $215.00 per child per week

Payment rates for school aged children were 85% of the non-school aged rate.

Depending on your circumstances, you may get a different rate. For example, you needed to meet an income test. We’ll look at your adjusted taxable income to work this out.

If your family earnt less than $45,114 you’ll get the maximum rate.

You won't get any Child Care Benefit for approved care if your 2017-18 family income was above the income limit.

Number of children attending approved child care Income limits before your payment reduces to $0
1 $156,914
2 $162,633
3 or more $183,655 plus $34,724 for each child after the third

Even if you don’t get any benefit due to your income, you may still be eligible for Child Care Rebate.

How many hours you can get

You can get up to 24 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week for approved care.

You can get up to 50 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week if you and your partner met either:

  • the Work, Training, Study test for at least 15 hours per week or 30 hours per fortnight
  • an exception from that requirement

You’ll have met the Work, Training, Study test if you were:

  • doing paid work or were self-employed
  • setting up a business
  • training or studying
  • looking for work
  • doing voluntary work to improve your work skills
  • on annual leave or long service leave
  • on sick or other paid leave

You would have also met the Work, Training, Study test if you were:

  • on paid or unpaid parental leave, for up to a maximum of 12 months
  • on self-employment leave, including sick leave
  • on carer leave or carer sick leave
  • getting Carer Payment
  • getting Carer Allowance
  • caring for a person with disability

You can combine different activities to meet this test.

If you were on leave you need to have been working before starting leave to be eligible. You need to have worked 15 hours or more per week, or 30 hours per fortnight before starting leave.

For example, Alisha worked 8 hours a week. She then went on maternity leave for 12 months. Before Alisha went on leave, she worked less than 15 hours a week. This meant she didn't meet the Work, Training, Study test requirements. Therefore, she is eligible to get up to 24 hours Child Care Benefit when she's on maternity leave.

Registered care

The amount you can get for registered care provided before 2 July 2018 depends on the age of your child.

You can submit a lump sum claim for Child Care Benefit for care you used before 2 July 2018. You have 12 months from the date of the care to submit your claim.

We don’t pay Child Care Rebate for registered care.

Your provider must have applied to be a Registered Carer before 2 July 2018. If they didn’t, we won’t be able to pay you for care they provided before this date. If you’re unsure, please speak to your provider.

Registered care was child care provided by individuals who we approved as Registered Carers. They may have been any of the following individuals:

  • relatives
  • friends
  • neighbours
  • nannies

They could also have been individuals in organisations that weren’t able to offer Child Care Benefit for approved care. These may have included any of the following:

  • preschools
  • kindergartens
  • some outside school hours services, including before and after school care, vacation care and holiday programs
  • some occasional care centres

How much you can get

The rate for a non-school aged child for 2017-18 was either:

  • $0.719 per child per hour
  • $35.95 per child per week

Payment rates for school aged children are 85% of the non-school aged rate. You don't need to meet an income or asset test.

How many hours you can get

If you used registered care, you can get up to 50 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week.

There are no minimum hours required to have met the Work, Training, Study test for registered care. You and your partner only had to either:

  • participate in work-related commitments at some time during the week child was in care, or
  • have had an exemption

Page last updated: 5 October 2018