Absence day

Child Care Benefit is paid for up to 42 absence days for each child per financial year across all approved long day care, family day care, in home care and outside school hours care services.

Additional absence days

Once the initial 42 absence days have been exhausted Child Care Benefit will also be payable for absences taken for specified reasons and where supporting documentation is provided (where required).

Annual adjusted taxable income

The Family Assistance Office adds the following amounts in its assessment of family income for Child Care Benefit purposes-taxable income; adjusted fringe benefits total; tax free pensions, payments or allowances such as a Disability Support Pension under the Social Security Act 1991 or an Invalidity Service Pension under part III of the Veterans' Entitlement Act 1986; net rental property losses; and non-taxable foreign income-and subtracts Child Support (maintenance) payments families make from the total amount.

Approved places

The number of places available to an approved service under the Family Assistance law for the purposes of Child Care Benefit.

Approved provider

The entity approved to participate in Child Care Benefit under provisions set out in A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 and A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999, which sponsors the service and signs the funding agreement.

Baby places

Approved or licensed places provided specifically for children aged from birth to 24 months (inclusive).

Bicultural support

Bicultural support is time-limited specialist support to assist a child care and early learning service to successfully include an Indigenous child or a child from a culturally and linguistically diverse background into care.


A person who provides care for someone else's child or children in their own home or, in the case of in home care, in the child's own home.

Child at risk

A child at risk of serious abuse or neglect.

Child Care Access Hotline

A free telephone service (1800 670 305) funded by the Australian Government that provides families with information to help them choose a child care and early learning service that meets their needs. The hotline provides callers with information on types of care, the location of child care and early learning services, possible vacancies, fee information where provided by child care and early learning services, how to choose a quality child care and early learning service and how the Australian Government helps with the cost of child care.

Child Care Benefit

A payment made by the Australian Government to families to assist with the cost of child care.

Child Care Benefit fee reduction

The amount by which a family's child care fees are reduced in line with their Child Care Benefit entitlement.

Child Care Benefit percentage

One of the factors used to calculate the amount of fee reduction to which a family is entitled. The Child Care Benefit percentage represents the portion of the standard hourly rate a family is entitled to receive for each hour of care used.

Child Care Estimator

An online tool to help families budget for their child care costs, providing an estimated dollar amount of Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and out of pocket child care cost.

Child Care Rebate

A payment made by the Australian Government to assist eligible working families with the cost of child care.

Children with ongoing high support needs

Can include children in the following categories: children with diagnosed disabilities; children undergoing continuing assessment for disabilities or developmental delay; and/or refugee children who have been subjected to torture or trauma.

Community-based organisation

See 'not-for-profit organisation'.

Customer Reference Number (CRN)

An individual reference number allocated by the Family Assistance Office for each child and one for each parent or guardian who is claiming Child Care Benefit.


If an individual or approved child care service has been paid more than they were entitled to receive, the amount in excess of their entitlement is a debt to the Australian Government under the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 and Data Matching Program (Assistance and Tax) Act 1990.

Department of Human Services

The Australian Government Department of Human Services processes payments for families, including Baby Bonus, Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate, Family Tax Benefit A and B, Paid Parental Leave, Large Family Supplement, Multiple Birth Allowance and Double Orphan Pension. Service Centres located in Medicare Offices and Centrelink Service Centres across the country offer a range of payments to support families with their work and family responsibilities.

Eligible hours

The number of hours of care in a week for which a family is eligible to receive Child Care Benefit for a child.

Equivalent full-time place

Care provided by a family day care or in home care service for 35 hours per week.

Exceptional circumstances

Short-term family crises that result in the need for more CCB eligible hours than would otherwise have been approved.

Flexible care

Child care that is responsive to the needs of individual families and communities. This may include care for mothers with children under 24 months who require graduated hours to return to work; care in non-standard hours and on weekends, including care for the children of shift workers and workers working non-standard hours; short-term arrangements, including care for a child due to a parent's medical condition, job interview, exam period or seasonal workforce participation; and emergency care for sick children due to work/study commitments of parents.

For-profit organisation

An organisation that is run for the benefit of its owners or shareholders-includes companies, sole traders, owner-operators, partnerships, and trusts.

Gap fees

The amount remaining after a family's Child Care Benefit fee reduction has been deducted from the fee charged.


A person who is the natural, adoptive or step-grandparent, or great-grandparent of the grandchild. Also includes the grandparent's or great-grandparent's current or former partner.

Grandparent Child Care Benefit

A payment made by the Australian Government to grandparents to assist with the cost of child care.


Occurs when there is an unforeseeable event that substantially reduces a family's capacity to pay for child care because of a short-term crisis such as a loss of employment.

Immunisation requirements

To meet the immunisation requirements, children aged under seven must be immunised according to the standard vaccination schedule, be on a catch-up vaccination schedule, or have an approved exemption from the requirements.

Inclusion Support Agency

Inclusion Support Agencies provide assistance and support to child care and early learning services to include all children, including those with additional needs, in the child care environment.

Inclusion Support Facilitator

Inclusion Support Facilitators are contracted by Inclusion Support Agencies to provide practical advice and a range of support designed to strengthen a child care and early learning service's ability to create a quality care environment inclusive of all children.

Inclusion Support Subsidy

The Inclusion Support Subsidy is a contribution paid to child care and early learning services to increase the staff-to-child ratio over and above the licensing requirements, so they can include children with ongoing high support needs alongside typically developing peers. Children with demonstrated ongoing high support needs include children with a diagnosed disability, children who are undergoing continuing assessment of a disability and/or children from a refugee or humanitarian intervention background who demonstrate behaviours symptomatic with having experienced or having been subject to torture or trauma in their country of origin or during their refugee experience. To be eligible for support under the Inclusion Support Subsidy a child care and early learning service must be an Australian Government service.

Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance

Provides extra help with the cost of approved child care for eligible parents undertaking activities such as job search, work, study, training or rehabilitation as part of an Employment Pathway Plan (formerly activity agreement) with Centrelink, to help them to enter or re-enter the workforce.

Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance parental contribution

Fee incurred per child for each hour of Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance claimed.

Licensed places

The number of children a child care service can care for at any one time under the licence issued to the service by a state or territory government.

Licensing requirements

State or territory requirements that must be met for a service to operate. These include physical requirements, maximum number of children in attendance, staff qualifications, and carer to child ratios. Not all states and territories license family day care or outside school hours care.

Lump sum payment

A payment made for approved child care to a family after the end of the financial year in which care was used. Payment can be made when child care usage and income information has been supplied to the Family Assistance Office.

Mainstream service

Child Care Benefit approved services including long day care, outside school hours care, in home care, family day care, and Child Care Benefit approved occasional care centres.

Multiple-child percentage

A higher rate of Child Care Benefit paid for families with two or more children in approved child care.

Non-approved services

Child care services that are not approved to receive Child Care Benefit on behalf of families.

Non-mainstream services

Non-approved child care services that provide early learning and care where a mainstream service is inappropriate or not available. Non-mainstream services are defined as 'other services-non-approved services' and do not administer Child Care Benefit. These services may be subject to licensing requirements according to state and territory legislation. Non-mainstream service models may include:

  • flexible/innovative child care services
  • multifunctional Aboriginal Children's Services
  • mobile child care services
  • Indigenous playgroups
  • Outside School Hours Care and enrichment programmes
  • Crèches
Non-school child

A child who is not yet attending school.

Non-standard hours

Hours of care in a child care and early learning service outside standard hours.

Not-for-profit organisation

An organisation incorporated under relevant state or territory legislation, where all income received from providing child care and early learning services, including all funding from the Australian Government, is spent on providing child care and early learning. Eligible organisations include local government, religious and charitable organisations, and incorporated community-based organisations.

Occupied places

The calculation of child care usage at a service based on actual hours of care charged to families per reporting period.

Part-time percentage

Applies to non-school children in care at approved long day care centres. It results in higher rates of Child Care Benefit for those with fewer than 38 eligible hours charged for care across all approved long day care services, with the rates increasing as the number of hours decrease.

Primary carer

The sole or major provider of ongoing daily care for the child, with substantial autonomy for day-to-day decisions about the child's care, welfare and development.

Priority of access

Priority of Access Guidelines apply when an approved child care service (except occasional care) fills vacant places. Priority groups include a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect, and a child of a single parent who satisfies, or of parents who both satisfy, the work, training and study test.

Professional support

Support, advice, resources and training provided to child care staff and carers to assist them to provide high quality care to children.

Professional Support Coordinator

Professional Support Coordinators oversee and manage the delivery of professional support to child care and early learning services and Inclusion Support Agencies.

Quality assurance non-compliance

When a service fails to comply with the Child Care Benefit (Breach of Conditions for Continued Approval) Amendment Determination 2000, 2001 and 2003 or fails to make satisfactory progress through the quality assurance process.


The process the Family Assistance Office uses to ensure families receiving fee reductions get their correct Child Care Benefit entitlement. Reconciliation occurs after the end of the financial year in which reduced fees were received. The Family Assistance Office compares the amount of fee reduction a family was entitled to, using their actual income, with the fee reductions received (based on their estimated income), and recovers or pays any adjustment when necessary.

Registered care

Care that may be provided by relatives, friends, neighbours, individual home-based carers, nannies or babysitters, individuals in some private preschools and kindergartens, some occasional care services, and some outside school hours care services. Families who are working, training or studying and use registered care are entitled to Child Care Benefit for up to 50 hours per child per week, but are not entitled to the Child Care Rebate.

Registered carer

Registered with the Family Assistance Office, a registered carer is an individual who provides care, or proposes to provide care, for a child or children. The person can apply for approval as a registered carer to offer Child Care Benefit if the individual is 18 years or over, has a qualification which may determine eligibility for approval as a registered carer, and has a tax file number.


Non-metropolitan areas that are defined in the Australian Standard Geographic Classification as 'Inner regional', 'Outer regional', 'Remote' or 'Very remote'.

School child

A child who attends primary or secondary school, and/or who is on a break from school (for example, school holidays) and will be returning to primary or secondary school after that break.

Schooling percentage

A percentage used to calculate the level of Child Care Benefit. The percentage applied is 85 per cent for school children and 100 per cent for non-school children.

Session of care

A period of care for which a fee is charged, if the child attends any of the period. Rules apply to the length of sessions.

Shared care

When a child is considered a dependent child of two families, such as when separated parents share the care of a child.

Sole provider

Not-for-profit or for-profit organisation providing the only form of child care of its care type in an area.

Special Child Care Benefit

Extra assistance available to families for a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect, and/or a family in hardship.

Stand alone service

A child care and early learning service providing only one service type located independently from all other entities, and which does not attract or share any support or resources of another child care and early learning service or service type.

Standard hourly rate

The hourly rate used to calculate a family's entitlement to Child Care Benefit.

Standard hours

Occur only in Family Day Care and In Home Care services. Standard hours are 10 hours each weekday within the range 7 am to 6.30 pm, chosen by the service as their standard operating hours.

Twenty-four hour care (24-hour care)

When a child does not return to the care of their parent or guardian for a 24-hour period, and is cared for by an approved service.

Twenty-four hour care period (24-hour care period)

Any period of 24 consecutive hours or more, but less than 48 consecutive hours, of approved care. A 24-hour period may commence at any time during the day or night.

Viable service

A child care service capable of operating without any Australian Government funding support other than Child Care Benefit.

Work test (for between 24 hours and 50 hours of Child Care Benefit)

The work test determines eligibility for between 24 hours and 50 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week. To satisfy the work test, a sole parent or both parents must have work, or work-related commitments-like study, training or looking for work-for at least 15 hours in a week, or a total of at least 30 hours in a fortnight, or be exempt from the work test.

Work test (for the Child Care Rebate only)

To satisfy the work test for the purposes of the Child Care Rebate, a sole parent or both parents must have work, or work-related commitments-like study, training or looking for work-at some time during a week or be exempt from the work test. No minimum number of hours is required.

Work-related child care

Care required for children when both parents, or a sole parent, are in the workforce (full-time or part-time), actively seeking work, or studying or training for employment.

Work-related commitments

Commitments to paid work including self-employment; attending a course for education or training to improve work skills and/or employment prospects; actively looking for work; or actively setting up a business that has not yet started to operate.

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