Exemptions

You may be exempt from the Child Care Subsidy activity levels. If you are, you can access 100 hours of subsidised care per child per fortnight.

You may be exempt if you meet 1 of the following. You:

  • are temporarily outside Australia for up to a maximum of 6 weeks
  • have disability or impairment that impacts your ability to work
  • get Carer Payment
  • provide constant care for a child or adult with a disability or medical condition
  • are in prison or psychiatric confinement.

If you have a partner, we’ll look at both of your activity levels. We’ll use the lower of your or your partner’s activity level to work out your hours of subsidised care. This applies even if 1 of you has an exemption.

When you’re a Grandparent

You’ll be exempt if you or your partner are the principal carer of a grandchild or great grandchild. The exemption will only apply to that child. This means you can get 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight for your grandchild or great-grandchild.

You won’t be exempt for any other children you have in your care. The hours of subsidised care you can access for them will depend on your activity level.

When your child attends early education

If your child attends an early education program, such as preschool, you may be exempt. If you’re exempt you’ll have access to 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight. You’ll be exempt if all of the following apply:

  • you’re entitled to less than 36 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight
  • you have a child in an early educational program, such as preschool or kindergarten
  • it’s the year before your child starts primary school
  • it’s a centre-based day care service – this is long day care and occasional care.

When you experience exceptional circumstances

You may be exempt if you’re facing circumstances that impact your ability to either:

  • do recognised activities
  • care for your child.

For example, you may be exempt if you’re affected by family and domestic violence or experiencing serious illness.

We assess all exceptional circumstances on a case by case basis. Please call the Families line to discuss your circumstances.

How to work out the activity level when only 1 person in a couple is exempt

We’ll look at both of your and your partner’s activity levels. We’ll use the lower activity level to work out your hours of subsidised care.

Example of calculating activity level

Julia gets Carer Payment. This means she’s exempt from the activity test. Julia’s husband, Thomas, doesn’t have an exemption. He works for 15 hours a fortnight. This means he can access 36 hours of subsidised child care.

We use the person with the lower activity level to work out the hours of subsidised care they can get. This means Julia and Thomas can access 36 hours of subsidised child care per child per fortnight.

Page last updated: 27 August 2019

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