Information on child care and early learning
Child care and early learning provides the foundation for children to develop in a safe environment while also having the opportunity to socialise with other children. In addition to benefiting the child's early years' development, child care and early learning also helps working families to return to work.
On this page you will find links to information to assist you make an informed choice on child care and early learning services as well as details of financial assistance to help reduce the out-of-pocket costs of child care.
New Child Care Package from 2 July 2018
From 2 July 2018, there will be a New Child Care Package. The Package includes a new Child Care Subsidy, which replaces the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.
Child Care and Early Learning
There is so much information about child care and early learning available that you might not know where to start looking for answers. In this section, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions on child care.
- What are my child care options?
- What is approved child care?
- What is registered child care?
- If there are waiting lists, will my child have priority for a child care place?
- Where can I find fact sheets about child care?
If you are still unsure where to get started, check our Where to Get Started page.
Child Care fee assistance
The Australian Government provides assistance to eligible families to reduce the out-of-pocket costs of child care. There are different types of financial assistance to help with the cost of placing children in child care. The main payments families may be eligible for are:
- Child Care Benefit
- Child Care Rebate
- Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance
- Grandparent Child Care Benefit
- Special Child Care Benefit.
Estimating your child care costs
The Child Care Estimator 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 use the estimator, you will need to know:
- the type of Child Care Benefit approved child care being used, including session (e.g. daily or hourly rate)
- the cost of your child care fees
- your estimated annual income.
Information about child care fees can be obtained from a quote provided by a Child Care Benefit 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.
You can access the Child Care Estimator at the Department of Human Services website.
Other Child Care information