Child Care Rebate

Child Care Rebate – what you need to know

The Child Care Rebate assists parents or guardians who are working, studying or training with their out of pocket child care costs. To receive the Child Care Rebate you must claim Child Care Benefit. The Child Care Rebate is not income tested.

If you are using approved child care for work, training or study-related reasons the Government will provide you with 50 percent of your out-of-pocket child care costs, up to the annual cap. From 1 July 2010, the Child Care Rebate annual cap will be $7,500 per child per year, subject to the passage of legislation.

The Child Care Rebate will be paid quarterly once the Family Assistance Office has received your child care usage/attendance details from your approved child care service/s. Quarterly payments will be paid to you automatically if you receive your Child Care Benefit as reduced fees, at the zero rate, or more than the zero rate.

The Child Care Rebate is based on your Child Care Benefit entitlement. If you choose to claim Child Care Benefit as a lump sum payment, you will not receive your Child Care Rebate entitlement until the end of that year, once your Child Care Benefit entitlement has been determined.

You can choose to receive your Child Care Rebate annually at any time by contacting the Family Assistance Office on 13 61 50.

What is approved child care?

Approved child care is care provided by a service provider that participates satisfactorily in the Australian Government funded quality assurance system and has been approved to receive Child Care Benefit payments on behalf of eligible families. Most long daycare, family daycare, before and after school care, vacation care, some occasional care and some in-home care are approved child care providers. Your child care service can tell you if they are an approved provider.

FYI Thursday Island Child Care Centre is an ‘approved child care centre’. It is important to note that you cannot get the Child Care Rebate if you use registered child care. To learn more about registered child care, please see the registered child care fact sheet:


If you answer yes to the following questions you may be able to receive the Child Care Rebate:

  • Do you have children?
  • Are your children attending approved child care?
  • Are you an Australian resident or the holder of a qualifying visa?
  • To get Child Care Benefit you or your partner must:
    • be an Australian resident (a citizen or permanent visa holder who is residing in Australia), or
    • hold an 851 Resolution of Status (Permanent) (Class D), or
    • a temporary visa and similar subclass visas (to find out the temporary visa subclasses that may qualify, please contact the Family Assistance Office), or
    • be an overseas student studying in Australia and receiving direct financial assistance from the Australian Government (eg. AusAID scholarships or International Post Graduate Research Scholarships), or
    • in some circumstances, be a non-resident experiencing hardship.
  • Are you liable to pay child care fees for your child?
  • Do you work, are you training or do you study?


The Child Care Benefit is a different payment to the Child Care Rebate. The Child Care Benefit is based on your income and is different for everyone. Most families using approved child care receive Child Care Benefit as a fee reduction at the time they pay their fees. Some receive it as a lump sum at the end of the year.

What do you need to do?

Do you currently receive Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate?

  • YES - You do not need to do anything, quarterly payments of the Child Care Rebate will be paid into your nominated bank account by the Family Assistance Office.
  • NO – You need to claim for Child Care Benefit so that you can also receive your Child Care Rebate.

How do you claim?

If you have now identified that you are eligible for Child Care Benefit but have not received it, you can lodge a lump sum claim with the Family Assistance Office. You must do this within two years of the end of the financial year for which you are claiming. 

If you were not eligible for Child Care Benefit, you will not be able to get the Child Care Rebate.

For more information

If you would like further information on the Child Care Rebate or the Child Care Benefit and to discuss your personal circumstances you can call the Family Assistance Office on 13 61 50