What is registered child care?
Registered child care is child care provided by grandparents or other relatives, friends or nannies who are registered with the Department of Human Services as registered care providers.
Registered child care may also be provided by individuals in:
- outside school hours care services
- some occasional care centres.
Carers or teachers in these services must be registered with the Department of Human Services. All registered care providers must comply with any relevant state or territory child care laws.
How does a carer become a registered care provider for Child Care Benefit purposes?
To become a registered child care provider you need to:
- apply to the Department of Human Services
- meet the minimum age requirement of 18 or have a qualification of one of the following kinds:
- child care, or
- home-based help,
- issued by a provider registered in a state or territory as being accredited to issue the qualification; or
- have a tax file number
- meet and maintain any relevant state or territory licensing requirements and restrictions as a registered child carer.
Are organisations that have registered carers the same as Child Care Benefit approved child care?
No. Preschools or kindergartens which have registered child carers working for them, are not considered Child Care Benefit approved child care services by the Australian Government because they choose not to, or do not, meet the minimum operating hours, or participate in the Australian Government's National Quality Framework.
Can I get Child Care Benefit if I use registered care?
Families who satisfy eligibility requirements for Child Care Benefit may receive payments if they use registered child care.
To be eligible for Child Care Benefit for registered child care you need to meet these requirements:
You or your partner (if you have one) meet residency requirements (or have an exemption).
Children under the age of 7 must meet the Australian Government's immunisation requirements or have an exemption*.
- Responsibility for child care payments You or your partner (if you have one) must have paid your child care costs.
- Work, training, study test
You (and your partner, if you have one) must pass the work, training, study test, or have an exemption. For registered child care, you only have to participate in work related commitments at some time during a week or have an exemption. No minimum number of hours is required.
The work, training, study test looks at whether you and your partner need child care for a work-related commitment. A work-related commitment is one or more of the following activities:
- paid work
- setting up a business
- looking for work, study or training
- voluntary work to improve your work skills.
If you meet these requirements, you may be eligible for the registered care rate of a maximum of 50 hours of Child Care Benefit per child, per week. Your income does not affect the amount of Child Care Benefit you receive for registered care.
*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. Under the No Jab No Pay legislation, from 1 January 2016, parents must ensure their children meet the immunisation requirements which now apply for all children up to the age of 19, in order to be eligible for Child Care Benefit, including for Registered Care. The changes means that a child must be fully immunised, or on a catch-up schedule 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 do I receive Child Care Benefit payments for registered care?
To receive the Child Care Benefit, take your child care receipts (given to you by your registered carer) to the Department of Human Services and complete the Claim for Child Care Benefit for Registered Care form (FA018), which is available on the Department of Human Services website forms page.
The Australian Government will pay your Child Care Benefit into your bank account after you submit a claim. You must submit your claim within 12 months of receiving child care. Your carer cannot receive Child Care Benefit on your behalf.
Can I get the Child Care Rebate if I use registered care?
No. You must use Child Care Benefit approved child care and not registered child care to meet the Child Care Rebate eligibility requirements.
Where can I get more information?
To find out more about registered child care, please check the fact sheets below or see the Information for families using child care fact sheet kit.
- Fact sheet 5 - What is registered child care?
- Fact Sheet 20 – No Jab, No Pay – Changes to Immunisation