Child Care Benefit

A payment to help with the cost of day care, outside school hours care, vacation care, pre-school and kindergarten.

Eligibility basics

  • use approved or registered child care
  • are responsible for paying the child care fees
  • immunise your child
There will be changes to child care assistance from 2 July 2018. Read more about the New child care package on the Department of Education and Training website.

Eligibility & payment rates

Eligibility

To be eligible for Child Care Benefit you need to use approved or registered child care.

Read more about eligibility

Approved care

Approved child care services have Australian Government approval to pass on Child Care Benefit as a reduction in child care fees.

Read more about approved care

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.

Read more about details you need to give

Registered care

You can get Child Care Benefit if the carer of your child is registered as a carer with us.

Read more about registered care

Payment rates

Child Care Benefit can be paid to the child care service that cares for your child or directly to you.

Read more about payment rates

Payment options

You can choose how your Child Care Benefit is paid.

Read more about payment options for Child Care Benefit

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.

Read more about the primary school levels for your state

Income test

Depending on the type of care your child is in, you might need to meet an income test.

Read more about the income test

Registered carers

Becoming a registered carer allows eligible families to claim Child Care Benefit for the child care you provide.

Read more about how to become a registered carer

Adjusted taxable income

We will use your adjusted taxable income to assess your eligibility for some payments, supplements, support and benefits.

Read more about adjusted taxable income

Immunisation requirements

To get Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A supplement and Child Care Benefit your child must meet immunisation requirements.

Read more about immunising your children

Residence rules

To get Child Care Benefit you or your partner must be living in Australia.

Read more about residence rules

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.

Read more about grandparent Child Care Benefit

Special Child Care Benefit

To get special Child Care Benefit, you must first claim and be eligible for Child Care Benefit.

Read more about special 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.

Read more about the Work, Training, Study test for Child Care Benefit

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.

Read more about absences

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.

Read more about Child Care Rebate when eligible for Child Care Benefit

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.

Read more about changes to child care payments

Claiming

Once you've read about eligibility the next steps are:

  1. choose the type of child care for which you are claiming
  2. choose your claiming option
  3. provide supporting documents
  4. submit your claim for each child

We will assess your claim and let you know the outcome.

Next

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.

Read more about reporting your change of circumstances

Online estimators

The online estimators let you estimate or compare payments, based on your current or proposed circumstances.

Read more about online estimators

Payment choices to reduce your risk of overpayment

Payment choices help reduce the risk of overpayment of Child Care Benefit for approved care.

Read more about these payment choices

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.

Read more about balancing your family assistance payments

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.

Read more about balancing your child care payments

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.

Read more about payments while travelling 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.

Read more about someone to deal with us on your behalf

My bank account is overdrawn

You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn

Resources

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.

Read more about Child Care compliance

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.

Start using Payment and Service Finder

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.

Page last updated: 18 October 2017