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  • Early childhood education teachers

    The following instructions will help you complete an application for HECS-HELP benefit if you're an early childhood education teacher.

    This benefit is not a cash payment and has a maximum annual benefit amount which will reduce either:

    • the amount of your compulsory HELP repayment or overseas levy, as shown on your notice of assessment or notice of overseas levy, resulting in a reduction to your accumulated HELP debt
    • your accumulated HELP debt directly, if you do not have to make a compulsory HELP repayment or pay an overseas levy due to  
      • your HELP repayment income not being above the threshold for compulsory repayment or overseas levy
      • low family income, where a compulsory HELP repayment is not required because you are entitled to a reduction of the Medicare levy or do not have to pay the levy
      • your successful application to defer your compulsory HELP repayment or overseas levy for the income year.

    You may be eligible for an additional benefit as an education graduate. If you are applying for the benefit for more than one income year, complete a separate application for each year.

    Note: You can advise us at Question 17 if you do not need to lodge a tax return for the income year.

    See also:

    Section B: Course details

    6. Your course name

    Provide the name of your course of study as shown on your academic transcript or testamur – for example, Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education).

    An early childhood teaching course is a course of study that leads to a qualification recognised by a state or territory government in Australia as meeting the requirements to teach early childhood education.

    7. The date you completed your course

    The date of completion is the date you satisfied the academic requirements for your course. This date can be found on your academic transcript or testamur, which you can obtain from the higher education provider where you completed your course of study.

    8. The place where you completed your course

    Provide the name of the higher education provider where you completed your course of study – for example, Curtin University. Your academic transcript or testamur was issued by this higher education provider to confirm you completed your course.

    Section C: Occupation details

    If you have more than one workplace location, facility or payer, provide details (covering questions 11–15) on a separate sheet of paper and include them with the form. Include your full name and TFN on each sheet of paper.

    9. Income year you are applying for

    This refers to the income year (1 July–30 June) for which you are eligible and applying for the benefit. The only income year that can be applied for this year is the 2016-17 income year.

    An early childhood education teacher may also be eligible to apply for an additional benefit as an education graduate.

    10. Your occupation

    Describe your occupation – for example, preschool teacher or childcare director.

    11. Where you were employed as a graduate of an early childhood education teaching course

    You must be employed for a minimum of 15 hours per week and must not be working exclusively with children who have started formal schooling. Formal schooling means schooling in any year from the year before Year 1.

    Place X in the relevant box to indicate the facility where you are employed. Refer to the table below for examples of eligible and ineligible facilities in your state or territory.

    Eligible and ineligible facilities

    The table below provides examples of eligible and ineligible facilities for each state and territory in Australia, and may help you to decide whether you meet the requirements for teaching in an eligible facility.

    Table 1: Eligible and ineligible facilities.

    State or Territory

    Examples of eligible facilities

    Examples of ineligible facilities

    NSW

    Children's service – including child care centre, preschool, long day care, centre-based and mobile services

    Kindergarten

    QLD

    Childcare centre, kindergarten/preschool

    Preparatory

    VIC

    Childcare centre, kindergarten/preschool

    (kindergarten is the most common term, but preschool is also used)

    Preparatory

    WA

    Childcare centre, kindergarten

    Pre-primary

    SA

    Childcare centre, kindergarten/preschool

    Reception, Junior primary

    TAS

    Childcare centre, kindergarten

    Preparatory

    NT

    Childcare centre, preschool

    Transition

    ACT

    Childcare centre, preschool

    Kindergarten

    The list of examples for eligible and ineligible facilities is subject to change and should be used only as a guide. To check if you teach in an eligible or ineligible facility, phone 1300 650 225.

    12. Were you teaching or providing pedagogical support?

    Place X in the relevant box to indicate whether you provided any of the following:

    • education or child care services to children who have yet to commence formal schooling
    • pedagogical support to staff who taught those children.

    'Pedagogical support' includes providing learning strategies and advice for teachers to use on an ongoing basis when teaching children.

    13. Your workplace postcode

    You must provide the postcode of the suburb in Australia you travel to in order to perform your job. You must indicate the relevant workplace postcode.

    If your workplace postcode is not listed in the HECS-HELP Benefit Guidelines, you are not eligible for this benefit.

    See also:

    14. Your payer’s registered business or trading name

    Provide your payer’s (employer's) registered business or trading name as shown on your pay as you go (PAYG) payment summary – for example, 'XYZ child care centre'. If you have more than one payer, list each payer on a separate sheet of paper and include it with the form.

    15. Your payer’s contact details

    Provide your payer’s (employer's) name and contact details, including their daytime phone number. This could be your human resources manager, your payroll officer, or the area that organises your pay. If you have more than one payer, list the contact details for each payer on a separate sheet of paper and include it with the form.

    16. Number of weeks employed in your occupation after completing your course

    Did you work the full 52 weeks of the income year (1 July–30 June)?

    If you were employed in Australia for at least 15 hours per week for the full income year, including any period of paid or unpaid leave, record '52' in the box provided.

    Did you work for only part of the income year (1 July–30 June)?

    If you were employed in Australia for part of the income year, count the number of weeks you worked, from the date you started to the date you finished. Include any period of paid or unpaid leave.

    Formula for calculating your benefit for part-year employment:

    Maximum HECS-HELP benefit amount for the income year

    divided by

    52

    x

    Number of weeks in the income year that you were employed

    Examples: Calculating your benefit for part-year employment 

    1. Tara started work as a full-time childcare worker on 2 March 2017 and worked until 26 June 2017. Tara counted the number of weeks from her start date until the end of the income year, and calculated that she can claim 17 weeks.

    Tara's benefit for the 2016–17 income year is $1,947.17 divided by 52 x 17 = $636.57.

    2. Jenny started work as a full-time preschool teacher on 15 September 2016 and finished in the same income year on 15 May 2017. Jenny counted the weeks between her start and finish dates, and calculated she can claim 35 weeks.

    Jenny's benefit for the 2016–17 income year is $1,947.17 divided by 52 x 35 = $1,310.60.

    End of example

    You can only apply for the period in the income year (1 July–30 June) after the date you completed your course. For example, if you completed your course on 30 October 2016, you can only claim the weeks you worked after 30 October 2016, until the end of that income year (30 June 2017).

    See also:

    17. Will you be lodging a tax return for the income year for which you are applying?

    Answer Yes or No to this question.

    If you are not required to lodge a tax return for the income year for which you are applying for the benefit, select No. Go to section E.

    Section D: Additional benefit as an education graduate

    You may also be eligible to claim (at the same time) an additional benefit as an education graduate if you satisfy the following requirements:

    • you have completed an education course of study after 30 June 2009
    • you have a compulsory repayment or overseas levy included on your income tax notice of assessment or notice of overseas levy for the income year in which you are applying.

    18. Do you want to apply for the additional benefit as an education graduate?

    Answer Yes or No to this question.

    If you answer Yes and you satisfy the requirements above, we will work out your additional benefit by using the same information you supplied at questions 6–9 and 16.

    If your education graduate details are different to what you have already supplied, record the additional details (covering questions 6–9 and 16) on a separate sheet of paper and include it with this form. Make sure you include your full name and TFN on each sheet of paper.

    Example: Multiple benefits

    Michelle completed a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) at the end of 2015. She worked as an early childhood education teacher in an eligible remote area for 20 weeks in the 2016–17 income year.

    Her accumulated HELP debt is $28,000. Her repayment income for 2016–17 is $56,000, and her compulsory HELP repayment is $2,240.

    She is eligible for the HECS-HELP benefit in the 2016–17 income year as both an early childhood education teacher and an education graduate.

    She applies for both benefits for the same employment period with the same employer.

    Early childhood education teacher:

    $1,947.17

    divided by

    52

    x

    20

    =

    $748.91

    Education graduate:

    $1,825.46

    divided by

    52

    x

    20

    =

    $702.10

    Michelle’s compulsory HELP repayment is reduced by $1,451.01 ($748.91 as an early childhood education teacher and $702.10 as an education graduate).

    Note: If you are applying for multiple benefits, the maximum number of weeks you can claim in an income year is 52 weeks for each type of benefit.

    End of example

    Section E: Declaration

    Once you have completed this application, read and sign the declaration. By signing the declaration you are stating you have provided accurate and complete information.

    Penalties may be imposed for giving false or misleading information.

    Last modified: 29 Jun 2018QC 27233