Assistance to help you with the cost of child care from 2 July 2018.
The new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will start on 2 July 2018. You can still claim and receive current child care fee assistance for child care accessed before 2 July 2018.
What you need to do
If you currently receive assistance with child care fees
If you already get child care fee assistance for approved care, or start receiving child care fee assistance for approved care between now and March, we’ll write to you in April 2018 to let you know what you need to do.
You’ll need to provide extra information for us to assess you for CCS. Find out more about what you need to do to get CCS if you currently get a child care payment.
If you want to claim assistance with child care fees
If you don’t need assistance with child care fees until after 2 July 2018, you’ll be able to claim CCS from April 2018.
If you need assistance with child care fees from April 2018, you can claim for Child Care Benefit (CCB). We’ll ask you some additional questions in your CCB claim so we can assess you for CCS. If you’re eligible for both payments, you’ll receive CCB until 1 July 2018 and CCS from 2 July 2018.
If you need assistance with child care fees between now and April 2018, you can claim the current child care assistance we offer.
Who can get it
CCS helps with the cost of approved child care. We’ll pay it directly to your child care provider to reduce the fees you have to pay.
You may be eligible for CCS if you or your partner:
- care for your child at least 2 nights per fortnight, or have 14% care
- are liable for fees for care provided at an approved child care service, and
- meet the residency requirements
Your child must also:
- meet immunisation requirements, and
- be 13 or under and not attending secondary school
How much you can get
The amount we’ll subsidise your child care fees depends on your circumstances.
To work out how much CCS you’re eligible for we’ll look at:
- your family’s income
- the hourly rate cap of the type of approved child care you use, and
- the hours of activity you and your partner do
How your income affects CCS
The CCS percentage you’re entitled to depends on your family’s income.
We'll work out how much CCS you’re entitled to using your family income estimate.
|If your family earns:||your CCS percentage will be:|
|$0 to $65,710||
More than $65,710 to below $170,710
Between 85% and 50%
|$170,710 to below $250,000||
|$250,000 to below $340,000||Between 50% and 20%
The percentage goes down by 1% for every $3,000 of income your family earns
|$340,000 to below $350,000||20%|
|$350,000 or more||0%|
You can still claim for CCS even if your family income estimate is more than $350,000. We balance your payments after the end of the financial year. When we do this, we compare your family income estimate with your actual family income. If your actual family income is less than $350,000, we’ll pay you the CCS you were entitled to.
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 and under $350,000 we’ll subsidise your child care costs up to an annual cap of $10,000 per child each financial year.
We’ll withhold 10% of your CCS to help reduce the likelihood of an overpayment. At the end of each financial year we’ll balance your payments. We do this by comparing your income estimate with your actual income. This is to make sure you have received the correct amount of subsidy.
If you overestimated your annual family income and didn’t receive enough CCS, we’ll pay any outstanding amount directly to you. This will include withholdings.
If you underestimated your annual family income you may have a debt which you’ll need to pay back. We’ll use your CCS withholdings to reduce the debt.
How the type of child care you use affects CCS
The amount of CCS you can get depends on the type of approved child care you use.
Your CCS percentage will apply to the lowest of either the:
- hourly fee you’re charged by your child care service, or
- hourly rate cap
There’s a different hourly rate cap depending on the type of approved child care you use.
|If you use:||the hourly rate cap is:|
|Centre Based Day Care – long day care and occasional care||$11.55|
|Family Day Care||$10.70|
|Outside School Hours Care – before, after and vacation care||$10.10|
The hourly fee is the amount your child care service charges you for each hour of care. If your service charges a daily session rate you’ll need to divide this by the number of hours in the session.
You may need to check with your child care service to find out the number of hours in a session. The number of hours in a session may not be the number of hours your child actually attends.
Example of working out your hourly fee when your service charges a daily fee
To work out the hourly fee you need to divide the daily fee by the number of hours in the session. For example, Riley attends a Centre Based Day Care. They charge $100 per day. If they base the daily fee on a 10 hour session it means they charge an hourly fee of $10.
How your activity level affects CCS
The number of hours of subsidised child care you can get per fortnight depends on the number of hours of recognised activities you do.
If you have a partner we’ll look at both of your activity levels. We’ll work out how many hours of subsidised child care you’re entitled to each fortnight using the lower of the 2 activity levels.
|If you do recognised activities each fortnight for:||we’ll subsidise your child care each fortnight 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 and you do not meet the activity test, you may be able to access 24 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight.
Recognised activities can include:
- paid work including being self employed, on paid or unpaid leave, including paid or unpaid parental leave, study and training
- doing an approved course of education or study
- doing training to improve work skills or employment prospects
- unpaid work in a family business
- actively looking for work
- unpaid work experience or unpaid internship
- actively setting up a business
- other activities on a case by case basis
We’ll only recognise some of these activities for a certain amount of time. We’ll only count:
- periods of unpaid leave for up to 6 months – this does not apply to unpaid parental leave
- 16 hours per fortnight if volunteering or actively looking for work is your only activity
- setting up a business for 6 months out of every 12 months
If you’re receiving Carer Allowance you will be able to get 72 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight.
You will be able to access 36 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight if you have mutual obligation requirements, and you receive:
If you do more than one type of recognised activity, you can combine the hours you spend doing each activity. This may increase the hours of subsidised care you’re entitled to.
Example of combining hours when you do more than one recognised activity
Oliver is a single father working 40 hours a fortnight. He spends another 10 hours a fortnight doing unpaid work in his family’s business. Oliver can combine the hours he spends each fortnight doing these 2 different recognised activities. This means he does 50 hours of recognised activity per fortnight. Oliver is entitled to 100 hours of subsidised child care for each child per fortnight.
You may be exempt from the activity test and receive 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if you:
- are temporarily outside Australia up to a maximum of 6 weeks
- have a disability or impairment that impacts your ability to work
- are receiving Carer Payment
- provide constant care for a child or adult with a severe disability or medical condition
- or your partner are the principal carer of a grandchild or great grandchild
- are in prison or psychiatric confinement
If you do not meet the activity test and your child attends a Preschool Program at a Centre Based Day Care service you may be able to access 36 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight.
If you have a partner, we’ll still use the lower of the 2 activity levels to work out how many hours of subsidised care you’re entitled to.
Example of working out the activity level of a family where 1 person is exempt and their partner is not
Julia receives Carer Payment. This means she can get 100 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight. Julia’s husband, Thomas, has no exemption and works for 15 hours a fortnight which means he can get 36 hours of subsidised child care.
We use the person with the lower hours of activity to work out how much CCS the family can get per fortnight. This means Julia and Thomas can get 36 hours of subsidised care each fortnight.
Casual or irregular hours of work
If you do paid work where the hours change each fortnight, you need to provide us with an estimate of your hours. Your estimate should be the highest number of hours you expect to work in a fortnight over the next 3 months.
Example of providing an estimate when you work irregular hours
Suzie is a single parent working at a supermarket. Her work hours vary from 15 to 45 hours per fortnight. Suzie should declare the highest number of hours she expects to work within a fortnight over a 3 month period. In Suzie’s case this would be 45 hours per fortnight. This would entitle her to 72 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight.
You can also include reasonable time taken to travel between your child care service and the location of your recognised activity. For example, your place of work, training, study or other activity.
What extra support is available
Some families can get Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) in addition to CCS to provide extra support with their child care fees.
There are 3 different types of ACCS that you can apply for. The amount we’ll subsidise your fees depends on the type of ACCS you’re eligible for. Read more about Additional Child Care Subsidy.