Becoming an approved child care service

If you operate a child care service and want to access Australian Government child care payments, known as Child Care Benefit (CCB), for families, there is an approval process that needs to be completed.

It is important that you understand the legal obligations of being an approved child care service. We recommend you read the following documents before seeking approval:

Service Types that can be approved

The following types of child care services can be considered for approval:

  • Long Day Care Service (LDC)
  • Family Day Care Service (FDC)
  • Outside School Hours Care Service (OSHC).

Online forms

For your service to be considered for CCB approval, please submit an online application form (preferred) and attach a completed signature form to your application.

Refer to the Additional Technical Information document for recommended internet browser and document reader software.

Please do not submit the online form more than once as it may create multiple applications and delay the process.

Application confirmation

If you use the online form you will receive confirmation that your submission has been received on-screen and by email. You should print or keep a record of your application receipt, especially your Application ID as you can use this when making enquiries about the progress of your application.

Error validating the form

If you receive an error when you try to submit your form, such as: 'There was an error validating the form', then your application has not been received. The most likely cause for this error is that you are using an old version of the form. Please make sure you use the version that is available from the links above and try again.

Important Change to Backdating for New Approvals

Applications received on or after 1 July 2017, may be backdated up to a maximum of three months from the date on which the application was received, provided the applicant meets all eligibility criteria.

Applications received on or before 30 June 2017 may be backdated up to a maximum of six months from the date on which the application was received, provided the applicant meets all eligibility criteria.

Paper-based form

If you are unable to apply using the online form (preferred) you may submit a paper-based application form specific to your type of service:

Paper forms can be emailed to CCBApplicationDocuments@education.gov.au or submitted to the Department in hard copy.

Supporting documents

As part of your application, you are required to provide supporting documents. Your application cannot be fully assessed until all the required documents have been received. If there are documents missing when you submit your application, it is likely to cause a delay in the approval process.

The online form allows you to attach electronic documents up to 2 MB in size, and a total upload of 20 MB. If your documents exceed these limits you will need to email the remaining documents to: CCBApplicationDocuments@education.gov.au – for ease of processing, please include each document as a separate attachment and clearly indicate in your email which application they relate to.

Awaiting the outcome

While you are waiting for your application outcome, you may advise families that you are seeking approval to operate for the purposes of CCB.

However, you should be aware that you are not guaranteed approval of your application. You should also be aware that families who use your service during this time are not eligible for CCB and/or Child Care Rebate (CCR) for care provided by your service until your application for approval is successful.

Please note that the Department can only provide details about the assessment process to the applicant or their authorised personnel. Please ensure you have nominated an appropriate contact person(s) for your application before you submit it. This will enable the Department to provide you with prompt and timely assistance if required.

Notifiable Events

It is a requirement that all CCB approved services notify the Department of changes (as determined by Family Assistance Law) to their service. These are referred to as Notifiable Events. You will find Notifiable Events forms on the Notifiable Events page , along with information on how to return these to the Department.

The National Quality Framework

The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care applies to most long day care, family day care, preschool and kindergarten, and outside school hours care services. The Framework is a national approach to the regulation and quality assessment of early childhood education and care services.

For more information, go to the National Quality Framework page or the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority website.

Contact your State and Territory Regulatory Authority to apply for provider and service approval under the Education and Care Services National Law (the National Law).

Further assistance

For further assistance, contact your local state or territory office on 1300 363 079 or email CCBApplicationDocuments@education.gov.au