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 first claim Child Care Benefit.
The Child Care Rebate is not income tested.
If you are using approved child care for work, training or study-related reasons the Government will provide you with 50 per cent of your out-of-pocket child care costs, up to the annual cap. For the 2013-2014 income year, the Child Care Rebate annual cap is $7500 per child per year.
You may choose to receive the Child Care Rebate fortnightly, paid either directly to your bank account, or through your child care service provider as a fee reduction. You also have the option of having your Child Care Rebate paid quarterly or annually as a lump sum directly to your bank account.
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.
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 claim by lodging Claim for Approved Child Care payments as an annual lump sum payment (FA011 or FA052) with Centrelink.
Up until 2012-2013, you have 24 months to make a lump sum claim. This means you have until 30 June 2014 to lodge a claim for 2011-2012.
From 2012-2013 onwards, you have 12 months to make a lump sum claim. This means you have until 30 June 2014 to lodge a claim for 2012-2013. Extensions to the 12 month period may be provided in exceptional circumstances.
You must be assessed as eligible for Child Care Benefit (even at the zero rate due to your family’s income) to get the Child Care Rebate.
Want to know more?
More information is available on eligibility requirements and how to claim. If you would like to discuss your personal circumstances you can call the Department of Human Services on 13 61 50 or visit your nearest Centrelink Service Centre.