Fact Sheet on Child Care Benefit
and Child Care Rebate
What is the Child Care Benefit?
Child Care Benefit reduces the cost of your total childcare fees. It is available to you if you are a parent, foster parent or grandparent with a child in your care that is attending childcare approved for the purposes of Child Care Benefit by, or registered with, the Government. There are certain eligibility requirements you must meet to get Child Care Benefit such as the Work, Training, Study Test.
What is the Work, Training, Study Test?
To determine how many hours of Child Care Benefit (CCB) you can get, the Australian Government has the Work, Training, Study Test—for both CCB approved and registered care. The test also determines eligibility for the Child Care Rebate and priority for vacancies in the priority of access guidelines.
The Work, Training, Study Test looks at whether you, and your partner if you have one, need child care for a work-related commitment.
What is a Work-Related Commitment?
This is one or more of these activities:
- Paid work
- Self Employment
- Setting up a business
- Looking for work
- Training or studying
How do I Meet the Test for CCB Approved Care?
If you are using CCB approved care, you will get up to 24 hours of CCB per child per week without having to meet the Work, Training, Study Test.
However, to claim between 24 and 50 hours of CCB per child per week, you have to show that you and your partner have been involved in work-related commitments for:
- At least 15 hours per week
- 30 hours per fortnight
- Have an exemption
Note: The time you spend in work related activities can be combined with other work-related activities to meet the 15 hours per week requirements. Voluntary work that does not improve work skills cannot be combined with other activities and must be undertaken for at least 15 hours a week or 30 hours a fortnight
Can I average my work related commitments to get up to 50 hours of CCB a week?
Yes. If your work related commitments are at least 30 hours a fortnight, you can receive up to 50 hours of CCB per child for each week in the fortnight. How? Simply average your hours over the fortnight.
What is the Child Care Rebate?
The Child Care Rebate is additional assistance if you use Child Care Benefit approved childcare, and you are working, studying or training at some time during the week or have an exemption. The Child Care Rebate covers 50 per cent of your out-of-pocket costs up to the annual cap. For the 2013-2014-income year, the Child Care Rebate annual cap is $7,500 per child per year.
How do I meet the test for the Child Care Rebate?
You and your partner 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.
How do I meet the test for the Priority of Access guidelines?
For the Priority of Access guidelines you and your partner 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.
Does anything else satisfy the Work, Training, Study Test?
Yes. You will satisfy the Work, Training, Study Test if you are:
- On annual or long service leave
- Sick or other paid leave
- On paid or unpaid parental leave – for up to 12 months parental leave for a single parent or combined parental leave for both parents
- Self employment leave
- Self employment sick leave
- Receiving career payment
- Receiving carer allowance
- Caring for a disabled person
- On carer leave or carer sick leave
Are there any exemptions from the Work, Training, Study Test?
Yes you may be exempt if:
- you or your partner get Carer Allowance or Carer Payment for a child you or your partner are a grandparent with primary care for your grandchild
- you or your partner have a disability (the other partner must still meet the Work, Training, Study Test)
- you or your partner are overseas or in prison (the other partner must still meet the Work, Training, Study Test)
- you are facing exceptional circumstances
You have the option to receive your Child Care Rebate paid fortnightly, either directly to your bank account, or through your child care service provider as a fee reduction. You still have the option of having your Child Care Rebate paid quarterly or annually as a lump sum directly to your bank account.
How can I get more Information?
For further information on your eligibility for CCB and CCR assistance please contact the Department of Human Services:
- access Online Services at the Department of Human Services
- call 13 61 50 between 8 am and 8 pm (local time) Monday to Friday
- visit a Service Centre (located in Medicare Offices and Centrelink Service Centres)
- Teletypewriter (TTY) 1800 810 586 (if you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment). You need a TTY phone to use this service
- 13 12 02 if you need information in a language other than English