When your child attends a day care centre with positive values and a healthy environment, you can have peace of mind.

When your child is receiving an education based on an early learning framework given by exceptional educators, you can have confidence.

And even if the right centre may cost a little more — it’s worth it.

But what if you could get help with paying child care costs?

What if you could get assistance to keep your family within budget?

Well, there’s good news!

Two programs in Australia offer assistance for child care costs.

The Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate are governmental programs that help with affordability of child care in Australia.

They offer supplemental fee assistance that can make all the difference for your family.

They can make your dream child care centre a reality.

These programs may seem confusing or overwhelming at first.

That’s why we want to break it down and make it as easy as possible.

Here’s our ultimate guide to the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.

Overview of the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate

The Australian Government offers two programs that may lower your out-of-pocket costs for approved child care.

One program is the called the Child Care Benefit which is based on family income. The other is the Childcare Rebate which is not means tested.

The importance of applying for the Child Care Benefit

(even if you don’t receive any benefits from it)

In order to apply for the Childcare Rebate, you must also apply for the Child Care Benefit. Even if you don’t qualify for any Child Care Benefit funds, you need to submit an application to be eligible for the Childcare Rebate. 

The Child Care Benefit

The Child Care Benefit (CCB) is an Australian governmental program that helps pay for the cost of child care. It is paid out either annually in a lump sum or periodically throughout the year.

This benefit is income tested and generally paid directly to your child care centre to reduce fees for families.

How much fee assistance is available through the Child Care Benefit?

The level of assistance you receive from the CCB program is based on:

  • Your household income
  • The type of child care centre you use (all Petit Early Learning Journey centres are approved)
  • The number of days and hours the centre is used
  • The reason you are using child care
  • The number of children attending child care

Estimating your Child Care Benefit

To get an idea of what you might receive from the CCB, visit Centrelink’s Child Care Estimator on the Department of Human Services website.

An estimate will help in planning your family’s budget.

Basic Eligibility for Child Care Benefit (CCB)

  • Use an approved child care centre (all Petit centres are approved)
  • Pay the fees for your child’s care
  • Ensure your child meets immunisation requirements or has an exemption
  • Meet the income test to receive more than a zero rate of Child Care Benefit

Child Care Benefit application process

To see if you qualify for the CCB, complete the following:

  • Review additional information on Centrelink’s website
  • Apply through your local Family Assistance Office (FAO) or online
  • List Petit Early Learning Journey as eligible for Child Care Benefits (CCB) (and Child Care Rebate if you wish)
  • Provide documentation to support your application
  • Wait for your claim application to process
  • Choose your payment delivery option
  • Call the Family Assistance Office at 13 61 50 or contact Centrelink with any questions

Further information about the Child Care Benefit

To learn more about the Child Care benefit, visit this section of Department of Human Services website.

The Childcare Rebate

The Childcare Rebate allows you to claim up to 50% of your child care fees.

The program is not means tested. Rather, you can receive the benefit if you are utilising child care for work, training, or educational reasons.

Keep in mind that even if you don’t qualify or receive zero payment from the Child Care Benefit (CCB) program, you do need to apply for CCB in order to be eligible for the Child Care Rebate.

If you receive approval from either the CCB or Child Care Rebate program, you’ll pay less out-of-pocket for child care fees.

Basic eligibility for Childcare Rebate:

  • Use an approved child care centre (all Petit centres are approved)
  • Meet eligibility for CCB, even if your earnings are too high to receive payment
  • You and your partner meet the Work, Training, Study test for Child Care Rebate or meet an exception

How to calculate your Childcare Rebate

Determining how much you may receive in child care benefits can seem complex at first but we’re here to help.

The amount each family receives through the child care rebate varies based on a number of factors.

  • Rebates are capped at $7,500 per child, per financial year. The childcare rebate offers 50% of your approved child care expenses up to the yearly limit.
  • Your claim must only include direct child care fees. Even though the government website asks you to list expenses, only child care fees are covered. For instance, the cost of your commute to the centre or your child’s new backpack can’t be claimed.
  • To prevent ‘double dipping,’ every family is not able to claim the full rebate amount. For example, if a family receives either the child care benefit (CCB) or the childcare rebate, the amount will be deducted from the claim for the other program. If one receives $200 from the CCB, $200 would be deducted from your claim under Childcare rebate.

Rebate amounts

Potential rebate amount if you have one child:

Potential rebate amount if you have two children:

Payment and timing of your Child Care Rebate

Your rebate may be received in two ways:

  • Direct payment to your approved child care centre (weekly or fortnightly)
  • Direct payment to your bank account (fortnightly, quarterly, or annually)

Direct payment to your approved child care centre is a great way to reduce your fees.

Child Care Rebate estimator

Because each family situation differs, it’s best to calculate your potential child care benefits for planning purposes. To calculate an estimate of the Child Care Rebate for your family, visit Centrelink’s Child Care Estimator. The website walks you through the calculation, giving you a good prediction of what it would look like for your family.

Childcare Rebate application process

To see if you qualify for fee assistance, complete the following:

  • Review additional information on Centrelink’s website
  • Apply through your local Family Assistance Office (FAO) or online
  • List Petit Early Learning Journey as eligible for Child Care Benefits (CCB) and the Childcare Rebate
  • Provide documentation to support your application
  • Wait for your claim application to process
  • Choose your payment delivery option
  • Call the Family Assistance Office at 13 61 50 or contact Centrelink with any questions

Further information about the Childcare Rebate

To learn more about the Childcare Rebate, visit this section of Department of Human Services website.

Your family and the right child care centre

While affordability varies from family to family, it doesn’t have to prevent your child from attending a premium or holistic child care centre.

Through the help of these governmental programs, you can receive financial assistance for your child’s care and education. With financial peace of mind, you can send your child to the very best centre for their growth and development.

With designated Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Childcare Rebate status in place at every Petit Early Learning Journey location, our goal is to welcome each and every child into a vibrant and healthy learning environment.

To learn more about our Petit centres, book a tour today. We’ll make sure all of your questions get answered.

Acknowledgements

CCB Registered Carers | My Super Nanny. (2016). Retrieved December 03, 2016, from https://www.mysupernanny.com.au/child-care-rebate/ 

Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. (2016, July 01). Retrieved December 03, 2016, from https://www.mychild.gov.au/childcare-information/rebate

Child Care Rebate (CCR) – CareforKids.com.au. (2016). Retrieved December 03, 2016, from https://www.careforkids.com.au/child-care-articles/article/56/child-care-rebate-ccr

Online estimators. (2016, March 17). Retrieved December 03, 2016, from https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/online-estimators