Child Care Rebate

An additional payment to help with your child care costs if you’re eligible for Child Care Benefit.

Eligibility basics

  • use approved child care
  • claim and are eligible for Child Care Benefit, even if your income means your Child Care Benefit payment is $0
  • meet the rebate Work, Training, Study test or meet an exception
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

You may be eligible for Child Care Rebate if:

  • you use a Child Care Benefit approved child care service
  • you're eligible for Child Care Benefit, even if you earn too much to receive payment, and
  • you and your partner meet the Work, Training, Study test for Child Care Rebate or meet an exception

Child Care Rebate isn't income tested.

Payment rates

Child Care Rebate helps with the cost of child care fees. It covers up to 50% of your out of pocket child care expenses up to an annual limit of $7,613 per child.

Out of pocket child care expenses are your total child care fees less any Child Care Benefit and Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance you’re entitled to.

Once you reach the annual limit for a child you won’t be entitled to any further rebate until the next financial year. Depending how you receive your rebate, your assistance may stop when you’ve received 85% of the annual limit for a child. If this happens, we’ll pay any remaining entitlement after the end of the financial year when we balance your payments.

Read more about payment options for Child Care Rebate.

Log on to your Centrelink online account through myGov and check:

  • the amount of rebate you’ve received for a child so that you’ll know when your assistance for the year is likely to end, and
  • when your child care fees will no longer be reduced by the rebate, if your rebate is paid to the child care service

Payment options

There are 4 ways you can receive Child Care Rebate.

Read more about your payment options

Work, Training, Study test

You and your partner need to have met the work, training, or study requirements during the week in which you used child care, or meet an exception.

Read more about the Work, Training, Study test

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

Absences and Child Care Rebate

Child Care Rebate is paid for up to 42 absences per child per financial year.

Additional absences beyond 42 days for certain reasons may be approved and paid. Talk to your child care service about additional absences.

If your child is absent for any days for which you normally wouldn’t have been paid Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate:

  • you won’t be eligible for any child care payments for those days, and
  • the days won’t be included in your child’s absence count for the year

For example, if your child care service requires you to give 2 weeks’ notice that your child will no longer attend their service, and your child attends the first week of the notice period and not the second week, you may still be charged fees for the second week but won’t be eligible for child care payments.  

A public holiday is counted as an absence if the child normally attends the child care service on that week day, and fees are charged for that day for the child.

You can access your child’s absence record using your Centrelink online account through myGov by selecting View Child Care Details and Payments. You can also do this using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

You can read more about absences from child care on the Department of Education and Training website.

Child Care Benefit approved child care services

To receive Child Care Rebate, you must be using a Child Care Benefit approved child care service.

Child Care Benefit approved child care services have Australian Government approval to pass on Child Care Benefit to families as a reduction in their child care fees. Approved care can include:

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

To find out whether your child care service is approved for Child Care Benefit, ask your child care service or check the mychild website.

Read more about Child Care Benefit.

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

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

To be assessed for Child Care Rebate, you need to claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care.

Read more about claiming Child Care Rebate.

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 a payment.

Read more about change of circumstances

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

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.

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: 13 September 2017