The Child Care Rebate assists parents or guardians who are working, studying or training with their out of pocket child care costs. To receive the Child Care Rebate you must claim Child Care Benefit.
The Child Care Rebate is not income tested.
If you are using Child Care Benefit approved child care for work, training or study-related reasons the Government will provide you with 50 percent of your out-of-pocket child care costs, up to the annual cap. For the 2012-2013 income year, the Child Care Rebate annual cap is $7500 per child per year.
How is the Child Care Rebate paid?
There are four ways to receive your Child Care Rebate:
- Direct to your Child Care Benefit approved child care service paid fortnightly
- Direct to your bank account paid fortnightly
- Quarterly payment to your bank account
- Annual payment to your bank account
The payment option you choose for the Child Care Rebate will be applied for the entire 2012-2013 financial year. A new payment option cannot be applied until the start of the next financial year, unless exceptional circumstances apply.
You have the option to receive your Child Care Rebate paid fortnightly either directly to your child care service provider or directly to your nominated bank account. The frequency of the fortnightly payment depends on how frequently your child care service provider submits your child care attendance records. For some families this will mean a fortnightly payment but for others it will actually be paid weekly.
Where you are receiving the higher than zero rate of Child Care Benefit and you choose the Child Care Rebate fortnightly payment option, the Department of Human Services will withhold 15 per cent of the payment to ensure that you do not accumulate a debt or overpayment within a financial year. The balance of these funds withheld will be reconciled at the end of the financial year (when your tax returns have been lodged and all your child care attendance information has been received). Any outstanding amounts will be paid as a direct payment to your bank account.
Where your Child Care Benefit entitlement is zero you will receive your full 50 per cent Child Care Rebate as a fortnightly payment up to the annual cap. As you do not receive Child Care Benefit during the year, there is no risk of a debt after the end of the financial year reconciliation process.
You must claim Child Care Benefit as reduced fees if you want to receive your Child Care Rebate as a fortnightly payment (and in many cases weekly) even if your Child Care Benefit entitlement is zero due to income.
If you choose to receive your Child Care Rebate as quarterly payments, they will be paid once the Department of Human Services has received child care attendance details from your Child Care Benefit approved child care service/s for the quarter. If you already receive your Child Care Rebate as a quarterly payment then this will continue unless you nominate to receive fortnightly payments.
You must claim Child Care Benefit as reduced fees if you want to receive your Child Care Rebate as a quarterly payment even if your Child Care Benefit is zero due to income.
When can I get my quarterly payments?
|Quarter||Child Care Rebate Quarterly Periods||Child Care Rebate Payment Periods. If you have not received your payment within a week of the end of the relevant payment period below you may need to contact the Department of Human Services on 13 6150|
|One||2 July 2012—30 September 2012||17 October 2012—30 October 2012|
|Two||1 October 2012—30 December 2012||16 January 2013—29 January 2013|
|Three||31 December 2012—31 March 2013||17 April 2013—30 April 2013|
|Four||1 April 2013—30 June 2013||22 July 2013 onwardsIf your tax returns have been lodged for the 2012-2013 financial year with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and attendance information is received from your Child Care Service Provider.|
Your Child Care Rebate will be paid directly to your nominated bank account as a lump sum, once you have claimed Child Care Benefit, you and your partner’s tax return/s have been lodged and your child care attendance has been received. This payment option is only available if you receive your Child Care Benefit for approved child care as a lump sum.
What is Child Care Benefit approved child care?
Child Care Benefit approved child care is care provided by a service provider that participates satisfactorily in the Australian Government's National Quality Framework 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 are approved child care providers. Your child care service can tell you if they are a Child Care Benefit approved provider.To find a Child Care Benefit approved child care service in your area, you can search the www.mychild.gov.au website or ring the Child Care Access Hotline on 1800 670 305 between 8 am and 6 pm nationally Monday to Friday.
It is important to note that you cannot get the Child Care Rebate if you use registered child care. To learn more about registered child care, please see the registered child care fact sheet.
Can I get the Child Care Rebate?
If you answer yes to the following questions you may be able to receive the Child Care Rebate:
- Do you have children?
- Are your children attending Child Care Benefit approved child care?
- Are you an Australian resident or the holder of a qualifying visa?To get Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate you or your partner must: be an Australian resident (a citizen or permanent visa holder who is residing in Australia), or hold a 851 Resolution of Status (Permanent) (Class D),or a temporary visa and similar subclass visas (to find out the temporary visa subclasses that may qualify, please contact the Department of Human Services), or be an overseas student studying in Australia and receiving direct financial assistance from the Australian Government (eg. AusAID scholarships or International Post Graduate Research Scholarships), or in some circumstances, be a non-resident experiencing hardship.
- Are you liable to pay child care fees for your child?
- Do you work, are you training or do you study?
Child Care Benefit
The Child Care Benefit is a different payment to the Child Care Rebate. The Child Care Benefit is based on your income and is different for everyone. Most families using approved child care receive Child Care Benefit as a fee reduction at the time they pay their fees. Some receive it as a lump sum at the end of the year.
What do you need to do?
Do you currently receive Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate?
YES - You need to inform the Department of Human Services if you wish to receive your Child Care Rebate on a fortnightly basis as a fee reduction through your child care service(s) or as a direct payment to your bank account. If you do not nominate a Child Care Rebate payment choice you will retain your current choice, either quarterly or annually as a lump sum payment directly to your bank account.
NO – You need to claim for Child Care Benefit so that you can also receive your Child Care Rebate.
How do you claim?
If you have now identified that you are eligible for Child Care Benefit but have not received it, you can lodge a lump sum claim with the Department of Human Services. You must do this within two years of the end of the financial year for which you are claiming.
If you were not eligible for Child Care Benefit, you will not be able to get the Child Care Rebate.
For more information
If you would like further information on the Child Care Rebate or the Child Care Benefit and to discuss your personal circumstances you can call the Department of Human Services on 13 61 50 or visit your nearest Service Centre.