How to Get a CRN for my child - Centrelink Reference Number

April 23, 2021


When entering your child into early education childcare, it can be a very exciting and overwhelming experience. No doubt you will have a list of items to buy, centres/schools to look at and a mountain of paperwork to manage, which will most likely include paperwork from Centrelink about services and/or payments that may be available to you, such as the childcare subsidy.

Claiming for the Childcare Subsidy with Centrelink

To enrol your child into care, you will need to consider a few things like ensuring your child’s immunizations are up to date, as well as obtaining a CRN for yourself and/or your child if you are intending on receiving assistance with the costs of childcare with the help of Centrelink. Centrelink provides a number of services and/or payments, including assisting eligible families by way of the childcare subsidy, which reduces the rates you pay for childcare services at approved childcare services. To apply for this subsidy, you and your child will both require a Centrelink Reference Number, known as a CRN.

What is a CRN and why do I need to get one for my child?

Many parents who are entering their children into early education childcare for the first time are often left wondering how to get a CRN for their child. Obtaining a CRN for child is a very simple process and is done by Centrelink using MyGov Online at home or at a Centrelink service centre. A CRN is a code that Centrelink uses to personally identify your individual record.

MyGov Online is the easiest way to apply for a CRN if you don’t already have one

To be issued with a CRN you first need to create a MyGov account through, look for the “I Need A CRN” tab and click to find out how to get a CRN for a child and/or yourself as a parent/guardian. It is a simple process and prompts are provided to help you through it. To create a MyGov account and get a child CRN, you will be required to submit two separate forms of identification, along with a Medicare card and sensitive questions, to ensure all identification is correct.

Your child will be issued with their own personal CRN’s

Centrelink gives an individual CRN to each client, meaning your individual CRN cannot be used by anyone other than yourself and your child/children will be issued with their own personal CRNs. If you have previously claimed payments and/or services for your child, such as Paid Parental Leave etc., they will already have been issued their own personal CRN by Centrelink. If you have never claimed with Centrelink before,your child’s CRN will be issued at the time you claim for the childcare subsidy. It is that simple to get a CRN for a child!

Finding out if you are eligible for the childcare subsidy

According to, you may be eligible to claim the childcare subsidy if you have at least 14% care of your child, if your child’s immunizations are all up to date, if the childcare service you have enrolled your child in is an approved childcare service and is not attending secondary school, as well as meeting the residency requirements.

To find out if you may be eligible to receive the childcare subsidy provided by Centrelink, log into and follow the prompts, or alternatively contact your closest service centre.

Making a claim for additional childcare subsidy support

Centrelink also offers three forms of additional childcare subsidy support for eligible families to assist with childcare costs. The three forms of additional support are eligible for grandparents, carers transitioning to work and those experiencing short-term difficulties with finances. Claims for additional support regarding the childcare subsidy can be made online at the MyGov website,, or by visiting your closest service centre.

How long does a claim take to be approved?

Centrelink advises it takes anywhere from four to six weeks for childcare subsidy claims to be approved, and it is recommended you arrange your child’s childcare in advance to ensure the claim is approved before your child begins care, so you receive the reduced rates as soon as your child begins. A childcare subsidy can be backdated up to 28 days.

You are able to track the process of your claim online via MyGov and Centrelink, or by either phoning Centrelink or visiting your closest service centre.

Making your child’s transition into childcare enjoyable and easy

Beginning early education is a new, fun and exciting adventure for children and parents alike. By managing all aspects of enrolment for your child in childcare from claiming the childcare subsidy, getting your child a CRN, finding an approved childcare provider and ensuring your child has had all the required immunizations in advance, you can enjoy the journey without hassle or stress and be confident in knowing you have given your child an organized and steady start in entering early education and childcare.

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Toddle is the most comprehensive child care finder in Australia, on a mission to make parents’ lives easier.