Know how much you’ll pay each day!
Myth: “We won’t qualify for any child care entitlements. Our income is too high.”
Fact: The Child Care Rebate is NOT income tested. That’s right! Most families are actually eligible for fee relief. You may be missing out on up to $7500 per child per year!
FACT 1: It’s true! It’s NOT income tested!
What this means to you… The Child Care Rebate (CCR) offers most families a massive reduction in their fees of 50%, up to $7,500 per child per year. And, did we mention, it’s NOT income tested! See if you meet the following requirements to qualify:
- Your children attend approved care
- You are an Australian citizen, resident or holder of a qualifying Visa.
- You are responsible for payment of child care fees.
- You are either working, training, or studying.
- Your children meet Government immunisation requirements.
If you meet the above criteria but haven’t applied for the Child Care Rebate, you need to do so immediately in order to have your fees slashed by half.
FACT 2: 50% is the MINIMUM reduction you may receive in your fees.
Yes, there’s more! You may also qualify for the Child Care Benefit (CCB) as well as the Child Care Rebate (CCR), giving you the opportunity to have your fees reduced by more than 50%. Yes, 50% is the MINIMUM reduction for qualifying families. The CCB is an upfront percentage reduction on the fees payable to your child care provider. This actual percentage can vary and is determined by the Department of Human Services based on your family income. Once your CCB and CCR is assessed, you can estimate your total out of pocket expense by using our online calculator. Have a go! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is! Note: Unlike the Child Care Rebate, the Child Care Benefit IS means tested. But don’t worry, even if you DON’T qualify for CCB, if you meet the requirements in FACT 1, you WILL qualify for CCR. Furthermore, if you DO qualify for CCB, you will automatically qualify for CCR!
FACT 3: Just pay ‘the gap’ - 50% Child Care Rebate
When you apply for the 50% Child Care Rebate with the Department of Human Services, you can also select your preferred payment option. The simplest option is Option 1 – Paid to service. This means you only need to pay ‘the gap’ when you receive your invoice. There’s no need to pay the full amount first and wait to receive the rebate later. Other payment options are:
- Option 2: Paid to your bank account fortnightly. Pay the full fee to your child care provider upfront, and then you will be reimbursed fortnightly, directly into your bank account.
- Option 3: Paid to your bank account each quarter. Pay the full fee to your child care provider upfront, and then the rebate will be paid each quarter (every 3 months) directly into your bank account.
- Option 4: Paid to your bank account each year. Pay the full fee to your child care provider upfront, and then the rebate will be paid directly into your bank account as a lump sum at tax time.
You can change your payment method online between April and June for the next financial year. Visit the Department of Human Services website or contact them directly on 13 61 50.
FACT 4: There’s a 15% buffer for those eligible for Child Care Benefit (CCB)
Remember, if you qualify for CCB, you automatically qualify for CCR as well. Unlike the CCR, which is a standard 50% reduction in fees for everyone, the CCB is variable. CCB is dependent on your family income. Your CCB may change with any change in your family income. Because of this variability, it’s important to ensure that at tax time you’re not left needing to pay back some of the CCB you’ve been paid throughout the year. In order to reduce the risk of this, the Department may withhold 15% of the payment that you, or the child care service, are paid. This creates a buffer. It’s important to note that this buffer is only necessary if you have chosen payment options 1 or 2 – the fortnightly payment options. So, if you have selected for your payments to be paid fortnightly (option 1 or 2), 15% of this will be withheld each time to reduce any chances of you generating a debt at tax time. This protects you in case your income changes and affects your Child Care Benefit entitlement. But don’t worry, your payment will be adjusted at tax time and the entire balance will be paid to you in full. It all works out in the end!
How do I apply?
Contact the Department of Human Services on 13 61 50 to apply today. Your application will include both the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR). You may qualify for both, or just CCR only. The department will let you know. They’ll provide you with a Customer Reference Number (CRN) for the parent and each child attending the child care service. Simply provide us with all of your relevant CRNs and Date of Birth details when enrolling and setting up your account on the Parent Portal. If you’re already enrolled simply log in via the Parent Portal to update your details.
Show me an example - I’m entitled to only the 50% Child Care Rebate
This one’s simple. If the full fee is $25 then your out of pocket expense is $12.50. Really, it’s that simple.
Show me an example - I’m entitled to both the Child Care Rebate AND the Child Care Benefit
To estimate this, you need to know three things: the full fee, your Child Care Benefit percentage, and the number of hours per session. In our example, we’ll assume:
- Full fee for After School Care – $25
- CCB percentage – 100%
- After School Care Session – 3 hours
These numbers above are entered into a special Government formula. In our example, your out of pocket expense would be $7.10 per session after deducting CCB and CCR.
You can calculate this yourself by using our online calculator. Please remember that all figures are estimates.
If you have selected to receive your Child Care payment fortnightly (option 1 or option 2), 15% of the CCB and CCR entitlement is withheld as a buffer to reduce any chances of reconciliation debt at tax time. But don’t worry, your CCB and CCR will be adjusted at tax time and the entire balance paid to you.