Children Education Allowance

The Children Education Allowance is a government welfare program aimed at assisting employees in meeting the educational needs of their children. It is designed to ease the financial burden on parents and guardians while ensuring that children receive a sound education.

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What is Children Education Allowance?

Children Education Allowance (CEA) is a financial benefit provided by the government to its employees to assist them in meeting the educational expenses of their children. It aims to remove the burden of education-related costs and encourage the pursuit of quality education for the children of government employees.

What are the Types of Fees Reimbursable Under CEA?

The Children Education Allowance (CEA) is a valuable benefit provided to government employees to assist them in meeting the educational expenses of their children. Here are the various fees that are reimbursable:

  • Tuition Fee: The regular tuition fees charged by the school or educational institution where the child is enrolled are eligible for reimbursement. This fee covers the cost of classroom instruction and academic learning.

  • Admission Fee: The fee paid at the time of admission to the school is reimbursable. This one-time fee is often charged to secure a seat for the child in the institution.

  • Laboratory Fee: Fees charged for laboratory facilities and practical work related to subjects like science, computer science, or any other hands-on learning activities are eligible for reimbursement.

  • Special Fee: Special fees charged for specific subjects or specialized courses, such as electronics, music, agriculture, etc., are reimbursable under the CEA scheme.

  • Fee for Use of Aids or Appliances: If the child is required to use any aids or appliances as part of the educational curriculum, the fee paid for their usage is eligible for reimbursement.

  • Library Fee: Charges levied for access to the school library and its resources are considered reimbursable under the CEA.

  • Games/Sports Fee: Any fee collected for participating in sports or extracurricular activities at school is eligible for reimbursement.

  • Fee for Extra-Curricular Activities: Fees charged for participation in various extra-curricular activities, such as arts, crafts, debates, etc., are reimbursable.

Besides the above-mentioned fees, the CEA also covers other expenses related to the child's education:

  • Textbooks and Notebooks: Reimbursement is allowed for the purchase of one set of textbooks and notebooks required for the child's academic year.

  • School Uniforms: The cost of two sets of uniforms prescribed by the school, irrespective of colors, winter/summer/PT uniforms, is eligible for reimbursement.

  • Shoes: The expense of one pair of shoes prescribed by the school is also reimbursable.

It's essential to note that the aforementioned fees and expenses are eligible for reimbursement only if they are charged directly by the school from the student. Additionally, government employees need to ensure that they maintain proper documentation, including fee receipts and relevant certificates, to claim the reimbursements successfully.

What is the Eligibility Criteria of The Children?

To be eligible for claiming CEA, certain requirements concerning the age and educational status of the children need to be met. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • No Minimum Age for Nursery Classes: For children admitted to nursery classes, no minimum age is prescribed for reimbursement of CEA. 

  • Minimum Age of 5 Years for Disabled Children: Earlier, physically challenged or specially abled children undergoing non-formal or vocational education were required to be a minimum of 5 years old to be eligible for CEA. However, as of 21st February 2012, this minimum age requirement for disabled children has been removed. Now, there is no minimum age limit for any child, regardless of their disability status, to claim reimbursement under CEA.

  • Maximum Age of 20 Years for Normal Children: The maximum age limit for claiming CEA for a normal child is up to 20 years. This means that government employees can avail of CEA for their child's education up to the age of 20 years.

  • Maximum Age of 22 Years for Physically Challenged Children: In the case of physically challenged or specially abled children, the maximum age limit for claiming CEA is extended up to 22 years. 

What is the Eligibility Criteria of the School or Institution for CEA?

For a school or educational institution to be eligible under the Children Education Allowance (CEA) scheme, it must fulfill certain recognition criteria. The institution should be officially recognized by one of the following authorities:

  • State or Central Government: The school or institution should have recognition from either the Central Government or the State Government.

  • Union Territory (UT) Administration: If the school is situated in a Union Territory, it should have recognition from the UT administration.

  • University: Recognition from a university is also considered valid for eligibility under the CEA scheme.

  • Known Educational Authority: If the region in which the institution is situated is under the jurisdiction of a recognized educational body, the school is required to obtain authorization from that entity.

This recognition requirement applies not only to regular classes but also extends to children studying in two classes prior to Class-I, such as nursery, LKG (Lower Kindergarten), UKG (Upper Kindergarten), etc.

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What are the Children Education Allowance for Government Employees?

The Children Education Allowance (CEA) is a benefit provided to all Central Government employees, including citizens of Nepal and Bhutan, who are employed by the Government of India and have children studying abroad. However, to claim the allowance for children studying overseas, a certificate from the Indian Mission abroad is required. This certificate confirms that the school attended by the child is recognized by the educational authority having jurisdiction over the area where the institution is located.

People also read: Child Education Plan

Children Education Allowance Taxation & Limits

Children Education Allowance (CEA) comes with tax exemptions, primarily falling under Section 80C Income Tax Act. The 7th Pay Commission has significantly boosted tax benefits and allowances. However, not all states have implemented the 7CPC recommendations, resulting in variations in CEA limits across India.

For numerous individuals who receive a fixed salary, the educational expenses of their kids, encompassing tuition charges, accommodation costs, and funds for books, form a separate segment of their compensation packages. It's crucial for workers to have knowledge about the precise regulations and restrictions that are relevant in their state when they make use of these advantages.

What are the Rules Under Children Education Allowance?

Children Education Allowance (CEA) is governed by specific rules and provisions to provide financial assistance to government employees for the education expenses of their children. Here are the key rules and regulations associated with CEA:

  1. Education and Hostel Charges Exemeption

    CEA covers two major areas of expenses for the focussed employee:

    • Education Allowance: Under this allowance, the government employee can claim Rs. 100/child each month for up to two children. However, if CEA is applied for a third child, it will not be eligible for reimbursement.

    • Hostel Charges Allowance: The current allowance for hostel charges is Rs. 300/child, limited to two children of a family.

  2. Section 10(14) of the Income Tax Act, 1961

    The details of the costs incurred under Children Education Allowance are covered under Section 10(14) of the Income Tax Act. This section defines the eligible exemptions and the criteria for claiming tax benefits related to education expenses.

  3. Section 80C and Tuition Fee Exemptions

    Section 80C of the Income Tax Act outlines the expenses eligible for tax deductions. As of 2020, individuals can claim tax breaks on all sums paid as tuition fees to schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions. However, the exemption will be allowed only if these educational institutions are recognized by competent Central or State bodies.

  4. Exclusions from Exemptions

    The following expenses are not eligible for exemptions:

    • Development Fees: Payments made as development fees are not eligible for tax benefits under CEA.

    • Transportation Costs: Any amount paid solely for transportation purposes is not eligible for tax exemption.

    • Non-Educational Expenses: Any payment not directly associated with educational purposes, such as fees for non-educational activities or charges unrelated to academic pursuits, does not qualify for tax benefits.

  5. CEA Applicability

    As of 2020, CEA is applicable up to Standard 12 (Class 12). However, there have been proposals from salaried individuals and education policy experts to extend this exemption to Graduate and Post-Graduate courses as well. As of now, there has been no official word from the Income Tax Department or the Central Government on implementing these proposed extensions.

  6. Limitations on Children Education Allowance

    It is important to adhere to the limitations set forth by the government regarding CEA. The exemption is allowed only for the costs directly related to education and hostel charges for up to two children. Any amount claimed for more than two children or expenses not meeting the specified criteria will not be eligible for reimbursement or tax benefits.

    Government employees intending to claim CEA should keep proper documentation of the expenses incurred, including fee receipts and certificates from recognized educational institutions.

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What is the Eligibility Criteria to Apply for Exemptions Under Section 80C?

To fully avail of the income tax benefits related to children education allowance, salaried individuals must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Scope of Eligibility: The tax deductions are applicable to biological parents. If the parents are not available, legal guardians or sponsors can also claim exemptions.

  • Maximum Benefits Allowed: Each parent or guardian can claim a maximum deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakh per year. This limit includes deductions under Sections 80C, 80CCC, and 80CCD. The total claim for tax relief cannot exceed Rs. 1.5 lakh per annum, even if both parents are eligible to claim.

  • Qualifying Level of Education: The deductions are available for children studying up to class 12. It is applicable even if the educational institution is affiliated with foreign higher-education facilities or universities.

  • Full-Time Courses: Only full-time educational courses are eligible for these exemptions. Part-time courses do not qualify for tax benefits under the existing rules.

  • Single Parent and Adoption: The deduction can be claimed by a single parent as well. Additionally, if a couple decides to adopt a child, they are also eligible to apply for these tax benefits.

By understanding and fulfilling these eligibility criteria, individuals can make the most of the tax exemptions available under Section 80C for children education allowance.

People also read: Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

What is the Procedure to Claim Tax Exemptions for Child Education Allowances?

Claiming tax exemptions for Children Education Allowance (CEA) can be made simpler by following these steps:

  • Education Allowance Tax Benefits: Obtain a certificate duly attested by the head of the educational institution where the child is enrolled. This certificate should confirm the child's status as a bonafide student of that institution.

  • Hostel Charge Allowance: Obtain a duly-attested certificate from the institution head, explicitly mentioning the total costs incurred for boarding and food at the hostel. This certificate serves as proof that the enrolled child is using hostel accommodation.

**Ensure that all the necessary details, including the certificates and expenses related to CEA, are reflected in Form 12BB before seeking reimbursement from the employer.

Child Education Allowances & the 7CPC 

The 7th Central Pay Commission (7CPC) was a government-appointed body responsible for reviewing and recommending changes to the pay structure and allowances for central government employees in India. The 7CPC's recommendations had a significant impact on various allowances, including those related to Children Education Allowance (CEA). 

Below mentioned tables show the increase in monthly CEA:

Component Allowance Each Month Before 7CPC Allowance Each Month After 7CPC
For Education Rs. 1,500 Rs. 2,250
For Hostels Rs. 4,500 Rs. 6,750


The Children Education Allowance (CEA) is a crucial government benefit that recognizes the importance of education in shaping the future of our nation. It serves as a financial support system for government employees, enabling them to provide quality education to their children without undue financial burden.

People also read: Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Calculator


  • How much CEA can a government employee receive?

    The amount of CEA that a government employee receives depends on the number of children they have and the level of education they are studying at. The current rates of CEA are as follows:
    • Up to Rs. 2,250 per month for each child studying in a primary or secondary school.

    • Up to Rs. 3,000 per month for each child studying in a higher education institution.

  • What are the benefits of CEA?

    The CEA is a valuable benefit that can help government employees meet the educational expenses of their children. The allowance is tax-free and can be used to reimburse a variety of educational expenses. The CEA is a great way to help government employees cover the costs of educating their children.

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