What assistance does the Australian Government give me for the cost of my child care?
The Australian Government understands that high quality child care is important for many Australian families. High quality child care plays an important role in improving children’s educational and developmental outcomes. Child care also enables parents to participate in the workforce and the broader community. To help you with the cost of your child care, the Australian Government provides the following assistance.
Child Care Benefit
Child Care Benefit reduces the cost of your total child care fees. It is available to you if you are a parent, foster parent or grandparent with a child in your care who is attending child care approved by, or registered with, the Government. It is means tested and therefore not every family will qualify, but for those who do the discount can be as high as approximately $39.00 per day.
There are certain eligibility requirements you must meet to get Child Care Benefit:
- you have a child in your care who meets the immunisation requirements (or have an exemption)
- you or your partner (if you have one) meet residency requirements (or have an exemption)
- your child attends approved or registered care and you have the liability to pay for the cost of your child care
- you meet the income test
PLEASE NOTE: If you are using approved care, you will get up to 24 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week without having to meet the work, training, study test.
Child Care Tax Rebate
The Child Care Rebate is additional assistance if you use approved child care, and you are working, studying or training at some time during the week or have an exemption. The Child Care Rebate covers 50 per cent of your out-of-pocket costs up to the annual cap. That is, it is 50% of the fee paid after deducting the CCB subsidy referred to above, and the CCR is now payable to qualifying families at the end of each quarter or as a fee reduction directly to your child care provider. From 1 July 2011 the Child Care Rebate annual cap is $7,500 per child per year.
From July 2011 you have the option to receive your Child Care Rebate paid fortnightly, either directly to your bank account, or through your child care service provider as a fee reduction. You still have the option of having your Child Care Rebate paid quarterly or annually as a lump sum directly to your bank account.
You can get Child Care Rebate if:
- you have used approved child care during the year;
- you have been eligible for Child Care Benefit (entitled at a rate of zero or more)*;
- you have passed the Child Care Benefit work, training, study test (for the purposes of the rebate).
*Note: There is no income test for the Child Care Rebate. If you are eligible for Child Care Benefit, but your Child Care Benefit entitlement is zero due to income, you may be still eligible for the Child Care Rebate.
Jobs, Education and Training (JET) Child Care fee assistance
JET Child Care fee assistance provides extra help if you are a parent on an income support payment and looking for work, studying or starting a job. It will cover most of your child care costs. Eligibility for JET Child Care fee assistance increased from 12 months of study, regardless of the course duration, to up to 24 months.
Child Care Services Support Program
The Child Care Services Support Program provides funding to support child care and related services:
Quality—Promote quality care for all children in Australian child care services.
Professional Support—provides child care workers with access to advice, training and resources to assist them build their skills and capacity to provide quality care
Community Support—for programs designed to support access to child care for families in identified areas of need.
Inclusion Support—helps child care services to build their capacity to include children with additional needs.
For further information go to:
The Family Assistance office phone number is 136 150.