Childcare is one benefit that parents in Australia enjoy, something that is completely new to Filipinos who are just beginning to get used to the idea of living in Australia. After all, childcare in the Philippines consisted of leaving the child with family, hiring a full-time nanny, or one parent staying at home.
In Australia however, one primary focus of the government is to have both parents having the same amount of opportunities that they used to have before they had kids, which explains the huge support that they give to parents in the country.
One of the huge benefits that parents enjoy in this regard is the Child Care Rebate (CCR). Child Care Rebate is a type of financial assistance provided by the government to a family that already enjoys Child Care Benefit.
Simply put, you can’t have Child Care Rebate if you do not claim your Child Care Benefit. Both forms of assistance are in place for parents who study, with or train for something that makes them unable to take care of their children during the day.
Child Care Rebate versus Child Care Benefit
What is the difference between Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate?
Child Care Benefit covers the cost of sending your children to an accredited child care service provider.
Child Care Rebate, on the other hand, covers 50% of the out-of-pocket expenses incurred while sending your kids to child care.
The government pays Child Care Benefit directly to the approved child care services, while the Child Care Rebate is usually paid directly to the parent’s bank account on a fortnightly basis. However, parents also have the option to have the rebate sent to their child care provider, serving as a deduction in the fees that they pay.
There is also an option to receive the payment on a quarterly or annual basis, although more parents prefer the more frequent payments. Opting for quarterly or annual payments also means that you may not apply this to your child care provider’s fees, and can only be sent directly to your bank.
Child Care Benefit is income tested. This means that the amount of benefit that you receive will depend on how much you earn.
Child Care Rebate is not income tested. Regardless of how much you earn, you can claim up to $7500 per child per year.
Claiming of Benefits
Before Child Care Benefit can be claimed, you would have to apply in person or online through the Department of Human Services. Once you have been assessed and deemed eligible to receive the benefit, you will immediately be paid.
As for the rebate, it will automatically be paid the moment Centrelink receives your child’s attendance details from the child care service provider.
Eligibility for Child Care Rebate
So who is eligible to claim the Child Care Rebate?
Can Filipinos who have migrated to Australia enjoy this benefit as well?
The answer is yes.
This list shows the requirements for eligibility for Child Care Rebate:
Australian citizens, permanent residents living in Australia, or people who are validly exempted from the government’s residency requirements
Those who are unable to care for their children due to work, study, or training
Those who are currently using an approved child care service
Those who are responsible for the child care costs
For kids below 7, immunisation requirements must be met as well
A work, training and study test would have to be done to make sure that you satisfy the second requirement. The test looks at whether your commitment is work-related.
This includes paid work, time spent looking for work, or any study, training, or voluntary work that you do to enhance your skills further.
There are also some employers who include child care with the employment package.
In this case, you would have to discuss the matter with your employment and ask them who is tagged as the person responsible for the child care cost.
Special thanks to Cho coreabestmagazine for the main image.