Child Care Benefit
What is Child Care Benefit?
Child Care Benefit (CCB) is a payment from the Australian Government that helps you with the cost of child care. You can choose to receive CCB as an annual lump sum payment or as reduced child care fees throughout the year.
The CCB is income tested and is usually paid directly to Child Care Services to reduce the fees that eligible families pay.
You can apply for the CCB online or in person through Centrelink. To apply online, visit the Department of Human Services website.
Eligibility for the Child Care Benefit
- Your child must be attending approved child care or registered child care
- You or your partner must meet the residency and child’s immunisation requirements
- You must be the person responsible for paying the child care fees
Am I eligible for Child Care Benefit?
To be eligible for CCB you (as a parent or guardian) must meet these requirements:
- you have a child in your care who meets the immunisation requirements (or have an exemption*)
- your child attends CCB approved or registered care
- you have the liability to pay for the cost of your child care.
Under the No Jab No Pay legislation, from 1 January 2016, in order to be eligible for Child Care Benefit for approved and registered care, parents must ensure their children meet the immunisation requirements which now apply for all children up to the age of 19. A child must be fully immunised, or on a catch-up schedule according to the current Australian Immunisation Handbook or have a valid exemption in order to receive these payments.
Conscientious objection is no longer an exemption category, however it is important to note that children with a recognised medical exemption (verified by a General Practitioner) such as medical contraindication, natural immunity or participation in a recognised vaccine study will continue to be exempt from the requirements.
How much Child Care Benefit can I receive?
The amount of CCB you can receive depends on:
- your income
- the type of care you use (approved or registered)
- the amount of care you use
- the reason you are using care
- the number of children you have in care.
You can estimate your CCB and CCR entitlements by using the Child Care Estimator on the Department of Human Services website.
What is the work, training, study test?
The work, training, study test looks at whether you (and your partner, if you have one) used child care for a work-related commitment. A work-related commitment includes paid work, looking for work, study or training or voluntary work to improve your work skills. All eligible families can receive up to 24 hours of CCB for approved care, per child, per week without meeting the work, training, study test. For up to 50 hours per child, per week you need to be working, training or studying for at least 15 hours per week (or 30 hours per fortnight) or have an exemption from this test.
What if my child is absent from Child Care?
CCB, CCR and if applicable Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance can be paid in some situations if you are charged for child care when your child is absent.
You will get CCB and CCR for 42 absence days per child each financial year. These can be for any reason and will not require proof.
You can also get CCB and CCR for additional absence days (above the 42 days) for specific reasons only. There is no limit on these days but you may be required to provide documentation to support the absence.
You can also access your child's absence record on your online statement along with your child care attendance, CCB and CCR amounts paid statements. This is available on the Department of Human Services website.
How do I claim a lump sum payment?
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 2016-2017 you have until 30 June 2018. 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.
Where can I get more information?
To find more information about the CCB, please visit the Department of Human Services website or call 136 150.
- Fact Sheet 2 - What is Child Care Benefit?
- Fact Sheet 7 - What is the work, training, study test?
- Fact Sheet 8 - What are my responsibilities for receiving Child Care Benefit?
- Fact Sheet 9 - Absences from child care - Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate
Information about the Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate is also available in the following languages:
- English Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF 493.2 KB]
- Arabic Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF 686.1 KB]
- Turkish Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF 507.3 KB]
- Dinka Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF 314.9 KB]
- Vietnamese Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF 532 KB]
- Spanish Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF 496.1 KB]
- Somali Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF 489 KB]
- Korean Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF 443.2 KB]
- Mandarin Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF KB]
- Cantonese Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF 573.6 KB]
- Tagalog Child Care Assistance Fact Sheet [PDF 464 KB]
For further fact sheets please check the fact sheet kit.