Families can learn more about what benefits they may be entitled to support their child care needs through the Department of Human Services.
The Commonwealth Government provides Child Care Benefit to offset the cost of childcare for families using approved or registered care. Eligible families can receive some form of child care benefit. Approved care and registered care attract different rates of Child Care Benefit.
"Registered care" is care for work related purposes that is provided by grandparents, relatives, friends or nannies who are registered as carers with the Family Assistance Office. Registered care may also be provided by individuals in kindergartens, some outside school hours care services and some occasional care services. Carers or teachers in these services must be registered with the Family Assistance Office.
"Approved child care" is care provided by a service provider that participates satisfactorily in the Australian Government funded quality assurance system and has been approved to receive Child Care Benefit payments on behalf of eligible families. Most long day care, family day care, before and after school care, vacation care, some occasional care and some in home care services are approved child care providers.
The Child Care Access Hotline, 1800 670 305 provides information about approved child care services and vacancies in local areas.
The Commonwealth Family Assistance Office makes the payment and can supply you with the relevant information. You should also contact the Commonwealth Family Assistance Office if you wish to become a registered or approved carer.
To contact the Family Assistance Office call: 13 61 50 or see Family Assistance
Child Care Rebate is paid in addition to Child Care Benefit and covers 50 per cent of out-of-pocket child-care expenses, up to a maximum amount per child per year. If you claim and are eligible for Child Care Benefit-approved child care and you and your partner meet the Child Care Rebate “work, training, study test” (or are exempt from it), you may be eligible for Child Care Rebate.
Child Care Rebate is different to Child Care Benefit. To receive Child Care Rebate you must first claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care and be eligible for that payment (even at the zero rate.) Child Care Benefit is based on your income and is different for everyone.
You can use the child-care Online Estimator to find out about the child-care costs that you may be entitled to receive, based on your circumstances.
The rebate covers 50 per cent of your out-of-pocket expenses (up to a maximum amount per child per year), when you claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care. Out-of-pocket expenses are the total of your child-care fees less the amount of any Child Care Benefit or of any Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance you receive. There are eligibility requirements for receiving the rebate.
To be eligible for Child Care Rebate, you need to be assessed as being eligible for Child Care Benefit for approved child care, even if you are assessed at a zero rate.
You do not need to lodge a claim for Child Care Rebate. You will automatically be assessed when you claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care. The rebate is then paid to you if you are eligible for Child Care Benefit for approved child care and you meet the Child Care Rebate “work, training, study test” (or are exempt from it).