The Australian Government provides financial assistance to eligible families to help cover the cost of child care.
The main types of financial assistance families may be eligible for are:

If you are eligible* to receive Child Care Benefit (CCB) (even at a zero rate), using approved child care and meeting the work, training, study test, you may be eligible to receive Child Care Rebate (CCR). More information on eligibility can be found on the MyChild website.
*On 12 April 2015, the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP and the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, jointly announced that the Australian Government is reinforcing the importance of immunisation and protecting public health by strengthening the immunisation requirements for children. On 1 January 2016, conscientious objection will be removed as an exemption category from meeting the immunisation requirements for Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate (subject to the passage of legislation). This means that unless children are vaccinated, parents will no longer be eligible for Government child care fee assistance. Children can still be exempted on medical grounds.
CCR is NOT income tested and pays up to 50 per cent of your out of pocket expenses up to a limit of $7500 per child per year.
There are four ways to receive your CCR:

  • Paid fortnightly to your child care service as a fee reduction
  • Fortnightly payment to your bank account
  • Quarterly payment to your bank account
  • Annual payment to your bank account (only available if you receive CCB as an annual lump sum payment)

Specific conditions apply regarding the payment of CCR if you receive CCB. More information can be found in the Child Care Fact Sheets.

Can I get Child Care Benefit?

As Child Care Benefit is income tested, it is hard to answer yes or no to this question, without knowing your specific circumstances.
The Department of Human Services has an Online Estimator which can estimate, based on your specific details, the benefit you could receive. This tool also provides information on eligibility criteria for Child Care Benefit (CCB).
For a family with one child the combined family income needs to be less than $152,147 to receive CCB. If your combined income is more than this you may still be eligible for Child Care Rebate (as the rebate is not income tested). To receive the Child Care Rebate you must apply and be assessed as eligible for CCB (even if your entitlement for CCB is zero due to your income).
More information can be found on the What are my child care options? page on the MyChild website or contact the Department of Human Services.

The maximum number of hours you can claim for the Child Care Benefit (CCB) depends on your circumstances. The Department of Human Services has an Online Estimator which can estimate, based on your specific details, the benefit you could receive.
For 2015-2016, the maximum standard hourly rate of Child Care Benefit for one non-school aged child in approved child care up to 50 hours per week is $4.17, or $208.50 per week if your income is $43,727 or less. Payment rates for school-aged children are 85 per cent of the non-school-aged rate.
You can claim up to 24 hours of care per child per week, unless you and your partner meet the work, training, study test for CCB. If you meet the work, training, study test of 15 hours a week or 30 hours a fortnight, or are exempt from it, you can get up to 50 hours of care per child per week.
More information can be found in the Child Care Fact Sheets.

You can apply for the Child Care Benefit (CCB) in person or online through the Department of Human Services. To apply online, visit the Department of Human Services website. They will process your application and assess your eligibility for CCB.
You may notice that sometimes to ‘apply’ is also called ‘make a claim’. There is no need for you to apply for the Child Care Rebate (CCR) as there is no separate application or claim form for CCR. The Department of Human Services will automatically assess your eligibility for the rebate once you have applied for CCB. If your income is too high for CCB, you may still be able to receive CCR. The Child Care Benefit is based on family income, whereas the Child Care Rebate is not income tested.
You and your child will receive a Customer Reference Number (CRN) as soon as a record is created by the Department of Human Services. These numbers are important and will need to be given to your child care provider to ensure that CCB is applied to your child care service account.

If you have now identified that you are eligible for Child Care Benefit but have not received it, you can claim by lodging a Claim for Approved Child Care payments as an annual lump sum payment form with the Department of Human Services for the appropriate financial year:





Families now have one year instead of two years to lodge lump sum claims for Child Care Benefit. This means to lodge a claim for 2013-2014 you have until 30 June 2015. Extensions to the one year period may be provided in special 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.

The amount of Child Care Benefit (CCB) or Child Care Rebate (CCR) you receive will depend on your circumstances.
The Department of Human Services website provides Online Estimators which allows you to estimate payments, based on your current or proposed circumstances. You can use the Rate Estimator to get an estimate of how much financial assistance you could receive from the Australian Government for the cost of child care. It provides an estimated dollar value of CCB and CCR entitlements, as well as out-of-pocket child care costs.

To use the Child Care Estimator, you will need to know:

  • the type of CCB approved child care being used, including session (e.g. daily or hourly rate)
  • your child care fees
  • your estimated annual income


Information about child care fees can be obtained from a CCB approved child care service, or by using the child care search facility on this website. You can make a guess about what you think these costs may be, although this will affect the accuracy of the final estimate of your entitlements and out-of-pocket costs.

Yes, you may be eligible for CCB and CCR for primary school aged children, when using a CCB approved service.


To receive CCB and CCR you must ensure that you apply for CCB through the Department of Human Services. Even if your entitlement for CCB is zero due to your income*, you may still be eligible to receive CCR. CCR pays 50 per cent of your out-of-pocket expenses for child care up to the annual cap of $7,500 per child per year. See What are my child care options? for further information regarding Outside School Hours Care. See fee assistance for further information on income eligibility. *Note: If you are eligible for CCB at zero rate or more you will be automatically assessed for CCR by the Department of Human Services.

Depending on how your child’s preschool is regulated, you may be eligible for Child Care Benefit (CCB).
Preschools are often also referred to as kindergartens and are located at school sites, private preschool services, Long Day Care services or local community venues.
Some Child Care Benefit approved Long Day Care services offer a preschool programme in addition to Long Day Care.
If your service offers this then you may be able to claim CCB. Please check with your preschool provider about eligibility for financial assistance.

If your child attends after school care (or Outside School Hours Care) you may be able to receive Child Care Benefit (CCB).
In both cases above, for preschools and for after school care, you may be able to get the Child Care Rebate (CCR) if you have:

  • used CCB approved child care
  • been eligible for CCB (entitled at a rate of zero or more)
  • passed the work, training, study test at some time during a week or have an exemption. No minimum number of hours is required.

There are several types of CCB approved child care and some families use more than one. CCB approved child care covers child care services approved by the Government because they meet certain quality standards and operating requirements. These services include:



  • Long Day Care
  • Family Day Care
  • Outside School Hours Care (including before and after school and during school holidays)
  • Occasional Care
  • In Home Care


To find out if your child care service is CCB approved, use the child care search facility on this website or call the Child Care Access Hotline on 1800 670 305.

The Child Care Estimator is a tool that gives families and carers an estimate of how much financial assistance they could receive from the Australian Government for the cost of child care. It provides an estimated dollar value of Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate entitlements, as well as out-of-pocket child care costs.

To estimate your costs please, visit the Child Care Estimator.

If you are on an eligible income support payment, you may be able to receive the Jobs, Education and Training (JET) Child Care Fee Assistance.
JET Child Care Fee Assistance provides extra help with approved child care costs for parents on income support while looking for work, studying or starting a job.
This payment can help meet the cost of child care by paying some of the “gap fee” – that is, the difference between the full amount you are charged and the amount you receive for Child Care Benefit (CCB) – while you participate in work, study or training activities.
You may wish to have a look at the information on JET Child Care Fee Assistance on this website. To find more detailed information about JET Child Care Fee Assistance, please visit the Department of Human Services website or call 136 150.

Grandparents who have the primary responsibility for raising and caring for a grandchild may be entitled to additional assistance with the costs of Child Care Benefit approved child care.
The work, training study test is waived for eligible grandparents who have the primary care of their grandchildren. This enables grandparent carers to access up to 50 hours of Child Care Benefit for each child in approved care each week.

To be eligible for the waiver, a grandparent must be:



  • the natural, adoptive, or step grandparent of the child. Great-grandparents who are looking after grandchildren are eligible in the same way as grandparents; or
  • the current or former partner of a grandparent if they are the primary carer of the grandchild; and
  • the primary provider of ongoing daily care for the grandchild; and
  • have substantial autonomy for the day-to-day decisions about the child's care, welfare and development; and
  • meet existing eligibility requirements for Child Care Benefit approved care.

To assist grandparents with the costs of child care, Grandparent Child Care Benefit (GCCB) is available to eligible grandparents caring for their grandchild and who are in receipt of an Income Support Payment. GCCB covers the full cost of child care for up to 50 hours for each child in Child Care Benefit approved care each week. In certain circumstances you may be able to get GCCB for more than 50 hours per week.



Who is eligible for GCCB?
To be eligible for GCCB, a grandparent must:



  • meets the existing Child Care Benefit eligibility requirements
  • receives an income support payment from Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • be the primary provider of the ongoing daily care for their grandchild and has the responsibility for the day-to-day decisions about their grandchild's care, welfare and development.


GCCB is only available to grandparents who claim Child Care Benefit (CCB) as reduced fees, and cannot be claimed as a lump sum payment. To apply for the waiver of the work, training and study test and/or GCCB, grandparents need to contact the Department of Human Services. Grandparents who are providing child care for their grandchildren, but are not the primary carers, are not eligible for GCCB or the waiver of the work, training and study test. As a grandparent you may wish to consider becoming a Registered Carer if you charge a fee for the child care provided.
For information about becoming a Registered Carer please visit the Department of Human Services website or call 136 150.

Is there any extra assistance for my child with additional needs?
If your child has disability or is from a culturally and linguistically diverse, humanitarian intervention, refugee or Indigenous background, your child care service may be eligible for extra assistance through the Inclusion and Professional Support Programme.