Understanding How Your Rebates Work For Your Family
So you’ve registered for Childcare Benefit and found out you’re eligible to receive Childcare Rebates (CCR) & Childcare Benefit (CCB) for childcare services utilised from Centrelink.
The Childcare funding and rebate process is often a difficult concept for both experienced and new parents to come to terms with.
When a parent places their child in some form of childcare, whether it be In-Home Childcare, Long Day Care or Family Day Care, the rebate process can differ from one service provider to the other.
Here at Placement Solutions we try to simplify the Childcare rebate process for you by providing clear and informative information on how to receive your rebates and the choices you have available to do so. For example; if the parent chooses to have the rebates paid to them directly, the service provider will bill the parent the total service fee. Should the family wish the service provider to receive the rebates, then they will only be billed the out of pocket cost.
As mentioned above, there are two types of rebates to help financially support parents when placing their children in childcare. They are Childcare Benefit (CCB) & Childcare Rebate (CCR).
Childcare Benefit is an income tested payment from the government that can assist with the cost of childcare. Whereas Childcare Rebate (CCR), can cover UP TO 50% of out-of-pocket costs but is capped at $7,500 per child per year. As the end of the financial year passes, parents should be mindful that rebates may decrease or cease as they reach the cap. Families may not be aware that Centrelink hold back close to 15% of these rebates prior to the end of the financial year.
Centrelink rebates are only payable if the children meet all the criteria set out by Centrelink. For example; making sure the children are immunised and registered as being so with Centrelink. Also, making sure that parents submit tax returns into the government by due deadlines. Centrelink have made it quite clear to service providers that should parents not adhere to these deadlines, then, rebates may not be paid.
When it comes to choices of service providers, parents have a few options. Parents may choose for their children to go into In-Home Childcare or Long Day Care or even Family Day Care. However, what some parents aren’t aware of is that both facilities may claim CCR (childcare rebate) or CCB (childcare benefit) for services used by the Family. This has an impact on what rebates are claimable by each service provider. For example; if a child is using In-Home Childcare and advises the service provider of the days/hours to claim and the same for Long Day Care, if those days coincide with both services, then both services may be claiming the same hours and days for rebates.
This has an adverse effect when Centrelink completes the annual reconciliation of your account, which may result in a debt recoverable either by Centrelink or the Childcare Service provider as both Service providers cannot bill Centrelink for the same days for the same service provided.
For transparency purposes it is extremely important that Parents communicate with the service provider advising if their children are in alternative forms of Childcare - i.e. using more than one service provider. Keeping both service providers informed will alleviate any complications and angst between Parents and Service Providers.