Changes to how the child care rebate is paid


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If you receive the child care rebate (CCR) paid quarterly or annually, you soon will have the option of getting it paid more regularly.

From July 4 there are two new payment choices. One is to have the CCR paid straight to your childcare provider which will in turn reduce the amount you have to pay them. This is referred to as "direct to service".

The second alternative, known as direct to customer, is to request the CCR be paid to you each time your childcare provider lodges childcare attendance details.

child care rebates

This will generally be fortnightly, although some centres do this weekly. If you also receive the child care benefit, 15% of your CCR will be withheld to reduce the chance of you having to pay back money if you are overpaid.

If you want to take advantage of one of the new payment options you have to act quickly.

You need to let the Family Assistance Office know of your new preference for CCR payment frequency no later than June 17 this year, or your current payment option will be locked in for 2011-12.

Centrelink says this is because changes during the year could cause problems at reconciliation and possibly create a debt.

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Maria Bekiaris is editorial campaigns manager for Canstar and former deputy editor of Money. She holds a Bachelor's degree in business.