Family eligibility and entitlement

Families must meet eligibility criteria to get Child Care Subsidy (CCS). The amount of CCS a family can get depends on their circumstances.

On this page:

Who can get CCS?

Families must meet eligibility criteria to get CCS. 

Parents must:

  • care for their child at least two nights per fortnight or have 14% share of care
  • be liable for child care fees at an approved child care service
  • meet residency requirements.

Their child must:

  • meet immunisation requirements
  • not be attending secondary school (unless an exemption applies)
  • be 13 or under (except in certain circumstances).

From 11 July 2022, children who haven’t attended a session of care in 26 consecutive weeks will no longer be eligible for CCS.

Read more about who can get CCS on the Services Australia website.

How much CCS can a family get?

The amount of CCS a family can get depends on their circumstances.

Family income

Services Australia works out a family’s CCS percentage based on their family income estimate.

The CCS percentage is the amount they’ll subsidise. It will apply to the hourly fee or the relevant hourly rate cap, whichever is lower.

The following table outlines the CCS family income thresholds for 2022–23. These amounts may be adjusted through indexation in subsequent years.

 Family income 

CCS percentage

Up to $72,466  

85 %

More than $72,466 to below $177,466  

Decreasing to 50%
Subsidy gradually decreases by 1% for each $3000 of family income.

$177,466 to below $256,756

50%

$256,756 to below $346,756

Decreasing to 20%
Subsidy gradually decreases by 1% for each $3000 of family income.

$346,756 to below $356,756 

20%

$356,756 or more 

0%

Learn more about how a family’s income affects their CCS on the Services Australia website.

Number of children in care

Families with more than one child aged 5 or under in care will get a higher subsidy for their second child and younger children. 

They’ll get an extra 30% on top of their income tested rate for eligible children, up to a maximum of 95%. 

Learn more about the higher CCS for families with more than one child in care.

Activity level

The hours of subsidised care a family can get each fortnight depends on their activity level. The higher the level of activity, the more hours of subsidised care families can get.

Services Australia looks at both parents’ activity level. They use the parent with the lower activity level to determine a family’s hours of subsidised care.

There are 4 activity levels:

Hours of activity each fortnight

Hours of subsidised care, per child, each fortnight

Less than 8 hours

0 hours if you earn above $72,466

24 hours if you earn $72,466 or below

8 hours to 16 hours

36 hours

More than 16 hours to 48 hours

72 hours

More than 48 hours

100 hours

Families need to do a recognised activity to get CCS. 

Exemptions apply for parents who cannot meet activity test requirements.

Learn more about how a family’s activity level affects their CCS on the Services Australia website.

Care type

The amount of CCS a family can get depends on the type of care they use.

A family’s CCS percentage will apply to the lowest of either:

  • the hourly rate cap
  • the hourly fee you charge at your service.

There’s a different hourly rate cap depending on the care type. There are 4 approved care types.

The following table outlines the hourly rate caps for 2022–23. These amounts may be adjusted through indexation in subsequent years.

Service type

Hourly rate cap (children below school age)

Hourly rate cap (school-age children)

Centre Based Day Care

$12.74

$11.15

Outside School Hours Care

$12.74

$11.15

Family Day Care

$11.80

$11.80

In Home Care (per family)

$34.64

$34.64

The Australian Government does not set child care fees or require services to charge on an hourly basis. The hourly rate caps are a guide for services and families about what a ‘high fee’ might be.

Learn more about how the type of care a family uses affects their CCS on the Services Australia website.

More information

Families can get more information about CCS on the Services Australia website.

Families can get an estimate of what they may be entitled to at StartingBlocks.gov.au