So your bub is starting childcare soon and you think you may be eligible for the Child Care Rebate and/or the Child Care Benefit? What you’ll need to do next is simply provide your childcare centre with your Customer Reference Number and your child’s Customer Reference Number. Find out below what a Customer Reference Number is and how to go about finding or applying for yours.


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What is a Customer Reference Number?

A Customer Reference Number (CRN) is a unique set of nine digits and an alphabetic character, generated by Centrelink and assigned to people that receive Centrelink services. Your Customer Reference Number helps to identify you when using various Centrelink services, including claiming for your Family Assistance, the Child Care Rebate, and/or the Child Care Benefit.


Why do you need it?

Your CRN acts as the primary key for your record. You’ll need to quote your CRN whenever you’re dealing with Centrelink, and you’ll need it when you access your online Centrelink account. In order to receive your Child Care Rebate and/or Child Care Benefit, you will also need to provide both your CRN and your child’s CRN to your childcare centre upon enrolment.


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How do you apply for your Customer Reference Number?

You may already have a CRN without realising. If you have used any Centrelink service in the past, it’s likely that you’ll already have one. You’ll be assigned a CRN as soon as a record is generated with Centrelink. You can find it on your Concession Card and on any of the letters sent to you from Centrelink. If you don’t have a CRNyet, you’ll need to visit your nearest service centre in order to obtain yours. Be sure to bring your identity documents with you when you go.


How do you apply for your child’s Customer Reference Number?

You will receive your child’s CRN as soon as you lodge a claim the Child Care Benefit. Once your claim is assessed, Centrelink will send you a letter correspondence to confirm your eligibility and your child’s CRN. Please note that you’ll need to do this before your child starts at childcare. You can lodge a claim for the Child Care Benefit via your Centrelink online account through myGov. After your child’s CRN is generated, you can view it by logging into your Centrelink online account and going to “My family”.


If you need more information regarding your Customer Reference Number, you can contact the Centrelink Families Line on 136 150.