A payment to help with the cost of day care, outside school hours care, vacation care, pre-school and kindergarten.
- use approved or registered child care
- are responsible for paying the child care fees
- immunise your child
Eligibility & payment rates
To be eligible for Child Care Benefit you need to use approved or registered child care.
Approved child care services have Australian Government approval to pass on Child Care Benefit as a reduction in child care fees.
Details you need to give your approved child care service
When you enrol your child in a Child Care Benefit approved child care service, you'll need to provide them with information to identify your family.
You can get Child Care Benefit if the carer of your child is registered as a carer with us.
Child Care Benefit can be paid to the child care service that cares for your child or directly to you.
You can choose how your Child Care Benefit is paid.
Primary school levels
Child Care Benefit isn't paid for care provided for schooling once your child starts the recognised primary school level of schooling for each state.
Depending on the type of care your child is in, you might need to meet an income test.
Becoming a registered carer allows eligible families to claim Child Care Benefit for the child care you provide.
Adjusted taxable income
We will use your adjusted taxable income to assess your eligibility for some payments, supplements, support and benefits.
To get Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A supplement and Child Care Benefit your child must meet immunisation requirements.
To get Child Care Benefit you or your partner must be living in Australia.
Grandparent Child Care Benefit
If you're a grandparent with primary care of your grandchild you may be able to get help with approved child care.
Special Child Care Benefit
To get special Child Care Benefit, you must first claim and be eligible for Child Care Benefit.
Work, Training, Study test
The number of hours for which you can receive Child Care Benefit depends on whether you and your partner meet the Work, Training, Study test.
Absences and Child Care Benefit
Your Child Care Benefit may still be paid if you're charged for child care when your child is absent.
Child Care Rebate when eligible for Child Care Benefit
When you submit a claim for Child Care Benefit for approved care, we'll automatically assess you for Child Care Rebate.
Changes to child care payments
Child care payments will change from 2 July 2018. We will let you know when you need to do something.
Once you've read about eligibility the next steps are:
- choose the type of child care for which you are claiming
- choose your claiming option
- provide supporting documents
- submit your claim for each child
We will assess your claim and let you know the outcome.
Managing your payment
Try self service
Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.
Read more about using self service.
Change of circumstances
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you're receiving Child Care Benefit.
The online estimators let you estimate or compare payments, based on your current or proposed circumstances.
Payment choices to reduce your risk of overpayment
Payment choices help reduce the risk of overpayment of Child Care Benefit for approved care.
Balancing your family assistance payments
We compare your income estimate with your actual income at the end of each financial year. This is to make sure we pay you the correct amount of Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit.
Balancing your child care payments
At the start of each financial year, we ask you to estimate your family income so that we can work out how much Child Care Benefit for approved care to pay you.
While travelling outside Australia
There are rules about how long your child care payments can be paid while you or your dependent children travel outside Australia.
Someone to deal with us on your behalf
If you want someone else to deal with us, you can authorise them to enquire, act or get payments for you.
My bank account is overdrawn
You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.
Estimate your child care
The estimator lets you work out how much Child Care Benefit you may get based on your circumstances.
You can work out a dollar amount for Child Care Benefit for approved care, Child Care Rebate entitlements and out of pocket child care costs. The estimator can help you make informed decisions about child care.
Use the Rate Estimator
Child Care compliance
To be eligible for Government fee assistance, all approved child care services must comply with the law.
Australia's online child care portal
The mychild website is Australia's online child care portal.
Read more about different types of child care and how to get assistance on the Australian Government's mychild website.
National Quality Framework
This is a national system for the regulation and quality assessment of child care and early learning services.
Read more about the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care on the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority website.
Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority
A regulatory authority in each state and territory regulates and assesses children’s education and care services.
Read more about State and Territory Regulatory Authorities on the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority website.
Payment and Service Finder
Find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for. You can also work out what a change in circumstance might mean for the payments and services you currently receive from us.
Manage your money
We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.
Read about how to manage your money.