Child Care Subsidy

If your family income estimate is close to $186,958

If your family earns more than $186,958 we’ll cap your subsidy.

If your family earns between $186,958 and $351,248, we cap the total amount of subsidy you can get. We cap your subsidy at $10,190 each child, per financial year.

If your family’s income is close to this amount, it’s important you regularly review your family income estimate. If you don’t update your estimate and your income changes we may pay you too much. If this happens you may have to pay the money back.

When you estimate less than $186,958 but earn more

If your family income estimate is less than $186,958 but you end up earning more than this, we may overpay you. If this happens, you’ll need to pay back any amount over $10,190 you got throughout the financial year.

The more care your child uses, the closer you’ll be to the annual cap. You can check how much subsidy you’ve gotten to date in your online account. You can use this to work out if you are going to, or have already reached the annual cap.

To check your subsidy amount using your Centrelink online account through myGov, follow these steps.

  1. Select Child Care Subsidy from the menu, then Child Care Subsidy Summary.
  2. Next to your child’s name, select View details.
  3. You’ll then be able to see how much subsidy we’ve paid for that child.

If you have more than one child in care, we could overpay you for multiple children. This could mean a bigger overpayment.

Read more about how your family income affects Child Care Subsidy.

Example where a family’s estimate is under $186,958 but actual income is over this amount

Jan and Richard have a child in centre based care 4 days a week. They estimated their family income to be $180,000 at the start of the year and haven’t updated it again. Based on the information we have, they can get $12,000 in subsidy. We pay $11,400 to their child care provider and withhold $600.

After balancing their payments, their actual income was $190,000. This means we should have capped their subsidy at $10,190.

The difference between the uncapped amount of $12,000 and the capped amount of $10,190, is $1,810. We use the $600 we withheld to reduce the amount owing. This means Jan and Richard will have to pay back $1,210.

When you estimate more than $186,958 but earn less

If you end up earning less than your family income estimate, we may not have paid you enough subsidy. If this happens, we’ll pay any outstanding amount directly to you when we balance your subsidy.

Read more about how your income affects Child Care Subsidy.

What you need to do

You need to let us know whenever there’s a change to your family’s income. You may also want to update your withholding.

Update your family’s income estimate

Even a small change in your income can affect your payment. As soon as you know there may be a change, update your estimate as soon as possible. We’ll adjust your payments so we don’t overpay you.

Remember, if you overestimate your family income, you’ll get any outstanding payments when we balance your payments.

You can update your estimate at any time using your Centrelink online account through myGov. You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. It only takes a few minutes to do and you can do it yourself online.

Adjust the amount withheld

You can increase your withholding percentage. We automatically withhold 5% of your subsidy payments to help reduce the chance of you owing money. You can increase your withholding online, up to two times a year.

You can update your withholding using your Centrelink online account through myGov. You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. It only takes a few minutes to do and you can do it yourself online.

Page last updated: 6 February 2019