Our children’s formative years are some of the most crucial moments in their development. As parents, we all want to give them the best environment to foster good values and character formation. That is why even if an early learning centre is a bit expensive, we know that it is worth it.
Fortunately, the Australian Government provides financial assistance to cover your childcare costs called the Child Care Rebate.
What is Child Care Rebate?
Child Care Rebate, along with Child Care Benefit, is one of the two financial assistance programs provided by the Australian Government. It can cover up to 50% of your childcare costs up to an annual limit of $7,613 per child.
While the Child Care Benefit is based on your income, the Child Care Rebate is not income-tested. Even if your income is too high for you to receive financial assistance from Child Care Benefit, you may still be eligible to get the rebate.
Who is eligible for Child Care Rebate?
To claim the Child Care Rebate, you must:
- Have a Child Care Rebate approved child care service. These services have prior approval from the Australian government to pass the rebate to families. These child care services include:
- long day care
- family day care
- outside school hours care
- vacation care
- in home care, and
- occasional care
The Berry Patch is a child care service approved for Child Care Rebate.
- be eligible for Child Care Benefit, even if your income is too high for financial assistance. Child Care Benefit requires that along with using an approved child care service, you must also be the one responsible for paying the child care fees. You must also immunise your child.
- meet the Work, Training, Study test for Child Care Rebate along with your partner (if applicable). These activities include:
- paid work
- setting up a business
- studying or training
- voluntary work
- searching for work
There are no minimum hours required for you to be eligible for the Child Care Rebate, with the exception of voluntary work. If your voluntary work is not done to improve your work skills, you are required to at least 15 hours per week or 30 hours per two weeks.
How and when will Child Care Rebate be paid?
As we’ve previously mentioned, the Child Care Rebate covers up to 50% of your out-of-pocket child care expenses with a limit of $7,613 per child annually. These expenses are your total child care cost after deducting Child Care Benefit and Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance. Once you reach the limit, you will not have any further rebate until the next financial year.
The government pays your Child Care rebate in four ways. You may choose which payment method you prefer to be applied to the entire year.
- Direct payment fortnightly. The government will pay your rebate directly every two weeks. If you choose this option, the government will hold 15% of your entitlement if you have Child Care Benefit that is greater than zero.
- Direct payment quarterly. The first quarter starts on the first Monday of July with each quarter consisting of 13 weeks. The government will pay for the rebate in October, January, and April. For the last quarter, the payment will be made only if you have a remaining balance.
- Direct payment annually. The government will pay for the rebate as a lump sum to your nominated bank account after assessing your claim.
- Paid to your child care service. The government will pay your child care service provider directly after they send your child’s attendance information.
To know more about Child Care Rebate, send us your inquiry using our contact page.