Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate
The Australian Government provides families with two types of financial assistance to help cover the costs of approved child care: the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and the Child Care Rebate (CCR). It’s important to remember that while the Child Care Benefit is based on family income, the Child Care Rebate is not income tested.
Child Care Benefit (CCB)
The Child Care Benefit is income tested and is usually paid directly to approved child care services to reduce the fees that eligible families pay.
Applying for the CCB
You can apply for the CCB online or in person at Centrelink. To apply online, head here.
Eligibility for the CCB
To be eligible for the CCB you need the following:
- 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
What are the immunisation requirements for the CCB?
Under the No Jab No Pay legislation, from 1st January 2016, parents must ensure children meet the immunisation requirements which now apply for all children up to the age of 19 in order to be eligible for the CCB, 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.
Childcare Rebates from 2018
From 2 July 2018, accessing childcare will be more accessible. Providing higher levels of financial support to the families who earn the least aims to make the process of returning to work less financially draining. More importantly, this initiative will give your child an opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of an early childhood education. Family life is busy – in between juggling work and family life, there’s not a lot of time left to catch up on legislative changes, so we’ve outlined the changes for you.
Out with Benefits, in with Subsidies
With any change in legislation comes an inevitable change in acronym, so here’s what you need to know to navigate the Child Care Benefit (CCB), Child Care Rebate (CCR) and the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS). As you can see, the current childcare landscape is a myriad of acronyms and a sliding scale of rebates.
From July 2018, the current Child Care Rebate and the means-tested Child Care Benefit will be completely scrapped to make way for a new income and activity based system called Childcare Subsidy (CCS). The new activity test will give families access to either 36, 72 or 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight and will be calculated based on the hours of combined hours of work, training or study. To be eligible for the new subsidy, both parents must work or study at least eight hours a fortnight.
Families Earning Less than $65,710
With the current $7,500 cap now redundant, the new Child Care Subsidy will cover up to 85 per cent of childcare costs. A family earning $50,000 with two children aged under six in long day care three days a week will be approximately $3,295 better off each year.
Families Earning Over $65,710 to under $170,710
Under the new CCS, the current $7,500 cap is scrapped for families earning above $65,710. With the per hour subsidy tapering down 1 per cent for each extra $3,000, a family earning $80,000 with two children aged under 6 in long day care three days a week will be $3,424 better off each year.
Families Earning Over $170,710 to under $250,000
An annual subsidy cap of $10,000 per child will kick in at $185,710 and the subsidy will taper down to 50 per cent.
Families Earning Over $250,000 to under $340,000
A cap of $10,000 per child will apply and the subsidy will taper down to 20 per cent.
Families Earning Over $340,000 to under $350,000
The subsidy rate for families will be 20 per cent.
Families Earning Over $350,000
Families with a combined income over $350,000 won’t be able to access the subsidy.
Help for Disadvantaged Families
The new package also offers additional support for children at risk of serious abuse or neglect. It also offers contributions for families where grandparents on income support are the principal carers as well as families experiencing temporary financial hardship. An additional $61 million dollars has also been allocated to provide remote Indigenous families with better access to childcare.
The new reforms also include a ‘Child Care Safety Net’ which provides better support to children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with additional needs such as disability.
Making childcare more accessible is good news for everyone. These initiatives give your child more opportunity to join a social culture and to play, learn and grow in a nurturing environment. It also gives you a chance to foster your network of parents and families and get back into the workforce.