About Child Care Subsidy data

This page provides information to help you understand and interpret data about the Child Care Subsidy (CCS). It includes data sources, definitions and technical notes.

On this page:

About the key findings


Data sources

The quarterly report data is sourced from Department of Education administrative data extracted from the Services Australia Enterprise Data Warehouse.

Due to changes in the administrative system, data may be revised to ensure the most accurate figures are available.

Changes to the child care system

The early childhood education and care system changed significantly with the introduction of the Child Care Package in July 2018. This has resulted in a break in series for some metrics. Please note the following points when analysing the data.

Care types

Prior to July 2018, approved care types included Long Day Care, Family Day Care, In Home Care, Occasional Care, Before School Care, After School Care and Vacation Care. There are now only four approved care types.

This has resulted in a reduced number of approved services. For example, prior to July 2018 a provider delivering vacation care, before school care and after school care was counted as three services. It is now considered a single Outside School Hours Care service.

Thus, it is typically not possible to compare the number of services before and after July 2018.

Broad comparisons may be made using pseudo care types in some instances. For example, combining Long Day Care and Occasional Care may provide a pseudo comparison group for Centre Based Day Care services.

In Home Care

In Home Care subsidies are provided per family, rather than per child. Prior to July 2018, they were child-based. For this reason, In Home Care is excluded from child-based metrics.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families

Many services that were Budget Based Funded (BBF) services prior to July 2018 are now included in mainstream early childhood education and care. As a result, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families has increased compared to the previous system.

Changes have also been made to the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families are defined.

Previous data only counted children and families associated with an Indigenous customer. Children and families are now also counted when either the customer or the customer’s partner is Indigenous.

Indigenous participation data

The March quarter 2020 report includes revised Indigenous participation data for the period July 2018 to March 2020. This is because inconsistencies were identified. As a result, the December quarter 2019 report does not include Indigenous data.

Users of Indigenous participation data should only refer to the revised Indigenous data tables for the periods September quarter 2018 to December quarter 2019.

These inconsistencies have since been addressed.

Counting rules

The quarterly reports use the following counting rules:

  • All percentage changes are calculated using unrounded figures.
  • All analysis broken down by state correspond to the state of the service, rather than the state where the family lives.
  • An instance of child care usage is defined as at least one charged session of care at a service during the quarter, irrespective of duration or frequency. For example, a single hour at an In Home Care service or 40 hours per week at a Centre Based Day Care, are both counted as an instance of child care usage.
  • Children and families are recorded for each of the care types that they use during the quarter. Children and families using more than one care type during the quarter are counted only once within each care type and only once within the 'Total' category for the relevant time period. As children and families may use more than one care type in any particular timeframe the sum of the component parts may not equal the 'Total' category.
  • The number of approved services reflect the number of services operating the four types of approved care. A service is counted as 'active' only if it had at least one charged session of care for a child at some time during the quarter, thus aligning the counting rules for children, families and services.


Care must be taken when interpreting data from 2020 onwards due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Australian Government provided various support packages to the sector throughout the pandemic. Support packages included payments delivered through the Community Child Care Fund. The quarterly reports only include data on the Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy.

COVID-19 impacted the states and territories, and care types, unevenly. Locations subject to frequent lockdowns saw more significant drops in child care usage. For example, Victoria saw the most notable decline in Outside School Hours care usage in the September and December quarters 2020.


Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS)

A payment that provides extra help with fees to families facing barriers to child care. ACCS will usually cover all of a child’s fees.

Approved care

Care provided at a service approved by the Australian Government to receive Child Care Subsidy on behalf of families. There are four types of approved care.

Centre Based Day Care

Care that is typically provided in centres approved by regulators to provide quality early childhood education and care.

Child Care Subsidy (CCS)

The main way the Australian Government helps families with child care fees. CCS is generally paid to providers who pass it on to families as a fee reduction.

Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS)

The online system we use to administer the Child Care Subsidy. It holds records like enrolments and session reports. This information is used to calculate payments for families.

Customer Reference Number (CRN)

An individual reference number allocated by Services Australia for each child and each parent or guardian who is claiming Child Care Subsidy.

Family Day Care

Care that is usually provided in the home of an educator.

In Home Care

A flexible form of care where an educator provides care in the child’s home. It is restricted to families who can’t access other forms of early childhood education.

Outside School Hours Care

Care that is provided before and after school hours and during school vacations for children who normally attend school.


Regions of Australia are classified according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). This classification divides each state and territory into several regions on the basis of their relative access to services.


An early childhood education and care service, approved by the Australian Government to receive Child Care Subsidy on behalf of families, providing one of the four types of approved care.