Child Care Subsidy

How your activity level affects it

The hours of subsidised care you can get per fortnight depends on the hours of recognised activities you do.

Hours of activity

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. To do this we use the lower of your or your partner’s activity level.

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

You’ll be able to access 24 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight if: 

  • you’re eligible for CCS
  • your family earns $66,958 or less a year, and
  • you do not meet the activity test

Recognised activities

Recognised activities can include:

  • paid work including being self employed
  • paid or unpaid leave, including paid or unpaid parental leave
  • 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
  • volunteering
  • 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
  • setting up a business for 6 months out of every 12 months

You will be able to access up to 36 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight if your only activity is:

  • volunteering, or
  • actively looking for work

If you’re receiving Carer Allowance you’ll be able to get 72 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight.

If your child attends a Preschool Program at a Centre Based Day Care service, you may be able to access up to 36 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight for that child.

You can access 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if you have mutual obligation requirements and receive:

Multiple activities

If you do more than one 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

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.

Oliver does 50 hours of recognised activity per fortnight. This means he is entitled to 100 hours of subsidised child care for each child per fortnight.

Exemptions

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 have a partner, we’ll 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 activity level when 1 person is exempt and their partner isn’t

Julia receives Carer Payment. This means she is exempt and can get 100 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight. Julia’s husband, Thomas, doesn’t have an exemption. He works for 15 hours a fortnight. This means he can get 36 hours of subsidised child care.

We use the person with the lower activity level to check their entitlement. This means Julia and Thomas can get 36 hours of subsidised care each fortnight.

Casual or irregular hours of work

If your work hours change each fortnight, you need to give us an estimate of your hours. Estimates should be the highest number of hours you expect to work in a fortnight over the next 3 months.

Example of giving an estimate for irregular work 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 Suzie to 72 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight. 

Travel time

You can include reasonable time taken to travel between your child care and the location of your recognised activity. This could include your place of work, training, study or other activity.

Example of including travel time in your hours of recognised activity

Peter’s work is a 30 minute drive from his child care service. The time it takes him to get to work and back to the child care service is considered reasonable travel time. His child is not in his care during this time, so Peter can add a total of one hour to his recognised activity level.

Page last updated: 12 May 2018