Child Care Subsidy

Assistance to help you with the cost of child care from 2 July 2018.

Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will start on 2 July 2018. You can continue to receive and claim current child care assistance for care provided before 2 July 2018.

What you need to know

You don’t need to take any action yet. If you currently receive Child Care Benefit (CCB) for approved care or Child Care Rebate (CCR) we’ll write to you in April 2018 to let you know what you need to do to receive CCS.

We’ll only pay CCS for approved child care. We won’t pay CCS for registered care. If you currently receive CCB for registered care, you need to think about your child care options to continue receiving assistance. Read about approved and registered types of child care. Your child care provider can let you know if they’re a registered or approved care provider.

The 2017-18 financial year is the last year you can claim child care payments as a lump sum. You can still receive CCB and CCR as a lump sum for approved child care you use before 2 July 2018. You’ll need to lodge your claim by 30 June 2019.

To prepare for the changes, register for a Centrelink online account through myGov.

Who can get it

You may be eligible for CCS if:

  • you or your partner are the primary carer or have legal responsibility for your child
  • you or your partner are liable for fees for care provided at an approved child care provider
  • you or your partner meet the residency requirements
  • your child is 13 years of age or under and doesn’t attend secondary school
  • your child meets immunisation requirements

How much you can get

The amount we’ll subsidise your fees will depend on:

We’ll pay CCS directly to your child care provider to reduce the fees you pay.

You can use the Family Child Care Subsidy Estimator on the Department of Education and Training website to estimate how much CCS may be paid.

Income test

We'll work out how much CCS you’re entitled to using your family income estimate. If your family earns $350,000 or more per year you won’t receive any CCS.

If your family earns: Your CCS percentage will be:
$0 to $65,710 85%
More than $65,710 to under $170,710

Reducing to 50%

It goes down by 1% for every $3000 of income your family earns
$170,710 to under $250,000 50%
$250,000 to under $340,000

Reducing to 20%

It goes down by 1% for every $3000 of income your family earns
$340,000 to under $350,000 20%
$350,000 or more 0%

The amount you’re entitled to will be a percentage of either the hourly fee you’re charged or the hourly rate cap, whichever is lower.

If your family earns $185,710 or less, you won’t have an annual cap on your CCS.

If your family earns more than $185,710 we’ll subsidise your child care costs up to an annual cap of $10,000 per child each financial year.

Type of child care

There is an hourly rate cap for each hour of child care provided. It’s different depending on the type of approved child care you use.

If you use: the hourly rate cap is:
Centre Based Long Day Care $11.55
Family Day Care $10.70
Outside School Hours Care $10.10

Activity test

The number of hours of child care we’ll subsidise for each child in care each fortnight depends on the hours of recognised activities you do each fortnight. If you have a partner, you both need to meet the activity test. We’ll work out how much CCS you can receive using the lower of the two activity levels.

There will be exemptions for people who genuinely cannot meet the activity test.

If you do recognised activities for: we’ll subsidise your child care for:
Less than 8 hours 0 hours
8 to 16 hours 36 hours
More than 16 to 48 hours 72 hours
More than 48 hours 100 hours

If your family earns $65,710 or less a year, you can access 24 hours of subsidised care a fortnight without meeting the activity test.

Recognised activities can include:

  • paid work including leave, study and training
  • unpaid work in a family business
  • looking for work
  • volunteering
  • self employment, and
  • other activities on a case by case basis

What is Additional Child Care Subsidy

You may be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) if you’re a:

  • family that needs practical help to support your children's safety and wellbeing
  • grandparent who receives an income support payment and the principal carer of your grandchild
  • family experiencing temporary financial hardship
  • parent transitioning to work from certain income support payments

The amount we’ll subsidise your fees depends on the type of ACCS you’re eligible for.

If you receive ACCS as a: we’ll subsidise:
family that needs practical help to support your children's safety and wellbeing the full fee you’re charged, up to 120% of the hourly rate cap
grandparent who receives an income support payment and the principal carer of your grandchild the full fee you’re charged, up to 120% of the hourly rate cap
family experiencing temporary financial hardship the full fee you’re charged, up to 120% of the hourly rate cap
parent transitioning to work from certain income support payments 95% of the fee you’re charged, up to 95% of the hourly rate cap

You can read more about Additional Child Care Subsidy on the Department of Education and Training website.

Page last updated: 23 November 2017