Are you missing out?


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Have you ever found money in the street unexpectedly? I find little coins all the time. I wrote a post about it once. They reminded me of my Nanna, and each time I find one it brings a smile to my face.

Sometimes I’d find more than a coin though, there were a few times that I found notes. One day at the door of my car I found a $50 note, and then I looked further and found another a few metres away. Luck! It’s like finding money you didn’t know you’d hidden from yourself in a winter coat, or in an old money box. I love that feeling of discovering money for nothing, it’s like a little bonus.

So there is also a little bonus for some Australian families who are using approved child care that they may not know about. It isn’t money lying in the street or hidden in coats in homes… it’s money that many families who are using child care could be entitled to through the Child Care Rebate.

To be honest, I could have easily been one of those people who didn’t realise there was child care financial assistance provided by the government.

A few years ago now Hubby had to head off to school to do a course in policing. He stayed on campus which was 3 hours from where we lived. It was around 4 months of me doing the single parenting gig, while working full-time. I thought I’d be fine. And then I crumbled. I realised that I wasn’t being the mum that I needed to be to Lacey, and I wasn’t doing my work as best I could either… and I most definitely wasn’t looking after me. So, I made the decision to put Lacey into care. Oh, that decision was wrapped in guilt and indecisiveness. It was one of the hardest parenting decisions I’ve made.

Thankfully I knew a child care centre from when I was a nanny, so I knew the people who would be looking after her. It doesn’t mean I didn’t cry a few times. It was tough-going, but it was also one of the best decisions I made. Lacey loved it. I was a better mama, and I got some sanity back.

One of the things that weighed heavily on me when making the decision to put Lacey into care for a few days was the cost. It was something I hadn’t budgeted for, and was going to really put a strain on us. It was only when I was talking to a friend that I discovered the Child Care Rebate. I honestly had never heard of it. The Child Care Rebate isn’t income-tested and is available to most families who use approved child care for their kids. So, when I put Lacey into care, we claimed the Child Care Rebate which was paid directly to our child care centre to pay our child care fees {or you can organise to have the rebate paid quarterly or or annually if that works best for your family}. It took the pressure off.

It appears that many families around Australia don’t know about the rebate, or haven’t claimed it. That’s money waiting to be found… waiting to be claimed and put back into the fees that they’re paying for their kids’ care. And that’s money waiting to take the pressure off families. Is your family one of those families?

A few more details: It covers up to 50% of your child care costs, up to $7500 per year {per child} and it isn’t means tested. See if you’re eligible. You can find out more details here.

photo credit: chachlate via photopin cc

  • Lex

    Our daughter only goes one day a week but at $90 per day that’s about $500 we’re getting back every quarter. It’s a big help and we really appreciate it. Thanks Aussie government :)

  • http://www.theveggiemama.com Veggie Mama

    We love day care here! And we’ve done the rebate thing right from the start. They pay direct to the day care and we pay the difference… which is so affordable.
    Meanwhile, I never pick up coins that I find, I remember reading that someone’s grandma told them to leave them for little kids to find – they get way more enjoyment out of it than I do! <3

  • Taran

    I was excited when i heard about it, but apparently because hubby works and I dont (besides being a SAHM) it means we are not eligible. I put out Miss 3 in one day a week at a cost of $70 a week, with bub number two due any day. It would be nice if they considered those who chose to raise kids instead of return to the workforce.

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      I think we’re all raising our kids, whether we work or not. That’s a shame that you don’t get a rebate. :(

  • Fourbytwo

    You can also claim the rebate for kindergarten fees too.

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      I’ve just put in for a rebate for Lacey’s preschool fees. I didn’t know we’d get any back from that.

      • Karen

        How do you go about claiming the kinder fees? I use both daycare, and before and after school care as well as 4 year old kinder and all providers have my CRN details so wonder if its already applied……..

        • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

          I am no expert, but I just went to Medicare and they gave me a form – I thought they’d have all my details already, but the woman there said I need to put a new form in with every claim. So I’m just waiting now to see if I did the right thing and if we get our rebate.

          My preschool told me what we were entitled to, and then I just went into Medicare to check {with the receipt} and asked them too.

    • Belinda

      What do you mean you can claim on kindergarten fees? I haven’t heard of this before….

  • MumOfFiveGirls

    maybe if the info was easier to understand more people would know what they are entitled to…..I like to think myself pretty well educated and reading the family assistance website etc… baffles me at times!

    • http://www.fatmumslim.com.au/ Chantelle : Fat Mum Slim

      I’m no good at reading online, on anything financial {tax, rebates, etc} but I just spoke to the director at my preschool and then I went into Medicare/Family Assistance. I got an idea from the website so I kinda knew what I was entitled too, but wanted to figure it out in person.

      • MumOfFiveGirls

        yes it is definltey a good idea to have a little look online to try to get a bit of an understanding and then go in and see someone who can explain things better!