5 tips you need to know about Child Care Benefit & Child Care Rebate
The Australian Government provides families with two types of financial assistance to help cover the costs of approved child care – the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and the Child Care Rebate (CCR). It is important to remember that while CCB is based on family income, CCR is not income tested.
1. What is Child Care Benefit?
Child Care Benefit (CCB) is income tested and is paid directly to approved child care services like Kids Club to reduce the fees that eligible families pay.
Eligibility for CCB
1. Your child must be attending an approved child care Centre
2. You or your partner must meet the residency and child’s immunisation requirements*
3. You must be the person responsible for paying the child care fees.
2.What is Child Care Rebate?
Child Care Rebate (CCR) helps families cover the out-of-pocket costs of child care and it is not income tested. Even if your family income is too high for you to receive the Child Care Benefit, you may be eligible for the Child Care Rebate (to claim CCR both parents must be working, training or studying). It covers up to 50 per cent of out-of-pocket costs, up to $7,500 per child, per financial year.
You may choose to receive the CCR (paid fortnightly), either directly to your bank account, or directly to your child care service provider as a fee reduction. You will need to specify to Centrelink which option would prefer. Please note, you are only able to change your payment preference at the beginning of a financial year.
Depending how you receive your rebate, your assistance may stop when you have received 85% of the annual limit for a child. If this happens, any remaining entitlement will be paid after the end of the financial year.
Your YTD CCR will be displayed on the statement you receive from your childcare Centre to allow you to keep track of the amount used. NB: if your child has attended more than 1 Centre in the current financial year you will need to add the 2 amounts together. It does not carry over from Centre to Centre.
3. How to claim the CCR?
1. You will need to apply for CCB first. There is no separate claim form for CCR.
2. You will automatically be assessed and paid if you are eligible when you apply for CCB (even if you are assessed at zero percent of CCB due to your family’s income).
3. If you are eligible to receive the Rebate, it will be paid once Centrelink has received child care attendance details from your child care service.
Centrelink Family Assistance Office
Ph: 13 6150
4. What are the immunisation requirements for Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate?
Under the No Jab No Pay legislation, from 1 January 2016, parents must ensure their children meet the immunisation requirements which now apply for all children up to the age of 19, in order to be eligible for Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. The changes means that a child must be fully immunised, on a catch-up schedule or have a valid exemption (letter from a GP) in order to receive these payments.
NSW Health has a new policy for all children enrolled in childcare. All parents need to now provide their centre with their child’s birth certificate and an Immunisation History Statement. If you have not already provided these documents it is important that you do so as soon as possible. It is important to remember that even if a medical practitioner has signed a medical exemption form due to a medical contraindication or a natural immunity, child care providers may have a company policy in place to prohibit un-immunised children from attending the service.
For your reference please see image and program below.
5. Where can I obtain my child’s Immunisation statement?
You can obtain your child’s current Immunisation History Statement at any time by contacting Medicare:
• By telephone on 1800 653 809
• By email on firstname.lastname@example.org
• Online at https://www1.medicareaustralia.gov.au/ssl/acircirgcert
• In person at your local Medicare office, Centrelink office or child support service centre.
PLEASE NOTE: New regulations state that we can now only accept the Immunisation History Statement from Medicare and NOT a photocopy of your blue book. It is also important to provide the centre with the updated Immunisation History statement every time your child is immunised.
Where to find Human Services close to you? Go to: http://findus.humanservices.gov.au/
If you need more information, contact us! 1 300 KIDS CLUB