We know fees will play an important part in choosing childcare – it will vary from service to service as will the way in which you can pay.

For example, Long Day Care Centres usually require payment for full days, while you might pay by the hour for other forms of care such as Family Day Care.

To support families with the cost of raising a family, the Government provides eligible families with financial assistance.

Here are the fundamentals of what you need to know about the Government subsidy available.

Government subsidy

If you choose a childcare service that is Government approved, you may be eligible for Child Care Benefit and/or Child Care Rebate.

Child Care Benefit (CCB)

CCB is income tested and is usually paid directly to your Childcare Centre to reduce the fees.

Eligibility will depend on:

  • Your child must be attending approved childcare or registered childcare
  • You or your partner must meet the residency and child’s immunisation requirements

Child Care Rebate (CCR)

CCR is not income tested and covers 50% of out-of-pocket childcare expenses for approved childcare. There’s an annual limit, currently $7,500 per child, in addition to any other child care assistance.

Eligibility will depend on:

  • Your child must be attending approved childcare or registered childcare
  • You must claim and be eligible for CCB for approved childcare, (even if you earn too much to receive payment)
  • You and your partner must meet the Work, Training, Study test for CCR, or meet an exception

Applying for CCB and CCR with Centrelink

  • You will need to register for CCB/CCR with Centrelink
  • To claim CCB/CCR you need to apply for ‘Family Assistance’ with Centrelink. Submit a ‘Families Claim’ either online of in person at a local Centrelink Office. You will need documentation to support your claim e.g. your child’s birth certificate. For online applications please visit humanservices.gov.au/childcare
  • You apply for CCB and CCR in the same claim. Even if you are not eligible for CCB, you must be assessed for it in order to claim CCR
  • If you are eligible to receive CCB/CCR, you need to provide your child’s CRN* (Provided by Centrelink) to your childcare service. Your childcare service will usually arrange for the rebate to be paid directly to them, reducing the fees you pay.

There may be other subsidies available to you from the Government depending on your personal circumstances, so please go to mychild.gov.au for more information.

Please note there will be changes to child care assistance from July 2018. Please visit www.education.gov.au/jobsforfamilies for more information.
* CRN = customer reference number