What is the Childcare Rebate?

The Child Care Benefit (CCB) and the Child Care Rebate (CCR) is financial assistance by the government to help with the cost of approved childcare.

What is Child Care Benefit?

CCB is available to eligible families to reduce the cost of childcare fees. It is based on a family’s income and paid directly to the service.

Eligibility for CCB

  1. Your child must be attending an approved child care centre
  2. You or your partner must meet residency requirements
  3. Your child must be up-to-date with immunisations
  4. You must be the person responsible for paying the child care fees.

What is Child Care Rebate?

Child Care Rebate (CCR) is not income tested. Even if your family income is too high for you to receive the Child Care Benefit, you may be eligible for Child Care Rebate. You receive $7500 per child, per financial year covering up to 50% of out-of-pocket costs.

The Child Care Rebate is paid fortnightly either directly to your bank account, or to the service provider as a fee reduction. Please specify to Centrelink which option would prefer. Note: you are only able to change your payment preference at the beginning of a financial year.

Depending how you receive your rebate, your assistance may stop when you have received 85% of the annual limit for a child. If this happens, any remaining entitlement will be paid after the end of the financial year.

How to claim CCR?

  1. You will need to apply for CCB first. There is no separate claim form for CCR.
  2. You will automatically be assessed and paid if you are eligible when you apply for CCB (even if you are assessed at zero percent of CCB due to your family’s income).
  3. If you are eligible to receive the Rebate, it will be paid once Centrelink has received child care attendance details from your child care service.

New Child Care Subsidy that replaces
Centrelink’s CCB/CCR

The Australian Government is changing the Child Care Benefit (CCB)/ Child Care Rebate (CCR) scheme and implementing a new child care package called the Child Care Subsidy. It will make child care more flexible, accessible and affordable for families.\

Childcare CCR

Key changes for families

  • Child Care Subsidy commences 2 July 2018.
  • Single, means‑tested payment.
  • Eligibility is determined by a three-step activity test (hours of work, training, study or other recognised activity) provides up to 100 hours of subsidy per fortnight.
  • For families earning more than $185,710, an annual subsidy cap of $10,000 per child will apply.
  • The subsidy is paid directly to service providers and passed on to families as fee reduction
  • Families will receive a fortnightly statement via email of child care usage which includes the payment of the subsidy and out of pocket costs.

What determines a family’s level of child care subsidy?

  1. Combined family Income
  2. Activity Level of both parents
  3. Type of Child Care Service

Combined Family Income

  • Families earning $65,710 or less will receive a subsidy of 85% of the actual fee charged (up to 85% of an hourly rate cap).
  • The subsidy will gradually decrease if a family’s incomes above $65,710.
  • For families with incomes of $350,000 or more, the subsidy is zero%.
Click here to view the Child Care Subsidy Estimator


Hourly Fee Cap for Long Day Care

Service TypeMaximum hourly fee cap
Centre Based Child Care$11.55


Activity Level of both Parents

StepHours of activity (per fortnight)Maximum number of hours of subsidy (per fortnight)
Less than 8 hrs (for families earning up to $65,710)24 hours
18 hours to 16 hours36 hours
2More than 16 hours to 48 hours72 hours
3More than 48 hours100 hours


Activity Test Example – hours of activity

Parent one, works 76 hours per fortnight – Step 3 of the Activity Level

StepHours of activity (per fortnight)Maximum number of hours of subsidy (per fortnight)
3More than 48 hours100 hours

Parent two, works 40 hours per fortnight – Step 2 of the Activity Level

StepHours of activity (per fortnight)Maximum number of hours of subsidy (per fortnight)
2More than 16 hours to 48 hours72 hours

As parent two has the lower activity, the family is eligible for 72 hours per fortnight of subsidised child care.

Support for disadvantaged and
vulnerable families

The package also provides targeted additional fee assistance through a new Child Care Safety Net. The Additional Child Care Subsidy is a top up payment for families who are genuinely disadvantaged.

From July 2018, low income families on $65710 or less a year who do not meet the activity test will be able to access 24hrs of subsidised care per child, per fortnight as part of the Child Care Safety Net.

Parents transitioning to work from income supportA subsidy equal to 95% of the actual fee charged (up to 95% of the hourly rate cap), hours of assistance determined by the activity test

Extra support forAdditional subsidy
Children at risk of serious abuse or neglect; families experiencing temporary financial hardshipA subsidy equal to 100% of the actual fee charged (up to 120 per cent of the hourly rate cap), up to 100hrs of assistance per fortnight

Transitioning to the new system

Under the new system, existing child care payments will be replaced with the Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy.

Centrelink will contact families directly to provide information on current entitlements and how they may change under new arrangements. This may include asking families for additional information, to ensure that they move onto the new payment system smoothly.

For more information on the new child care package, visit https://www.education.gov.au/child-care-subsidy-0