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2. Calculation of entitlements and payments

The Department of Human Services calculates entitlements for Child Care Subsidy by using information provided by:

  • the provider (such as in session reports)
  • the individual who is claiming Child Care Subsidy for their child (their activity, income and other circumstances).

Information from other sources may also be used when relevant.

There are thresholds and caps for Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy.

To receive Child Care Subsidy payments on behalf of families for a given week, the provider must have current provider and service approvals, and have submitted an enrolment and a session report for the eligible children.

Payments are made directly into the provider's nominated bank account, and providers will receive a payment advice with details of decisions about (determinations of) entitlements, calculations and payments.

Withholding of payments

Five per cent of Child Care Subsidy is usually withheld by the Department of Human Services, to reduce the likelihood that individuals will incur a debt. This means that the full subsidy amount, minus five per cent, is paid to providers on behalf of families following submission of session reports. Providers will be able to see the amount withheld on the payment advice they receive each fortnight. The amount withheld will be part of the gap fee that needs to be paid by parents.

There is no withholding of Additional Child Care Subsidy payments.

After the end of each financial year, when the individual (and their partner) settles their tax affairs (usually by submitting their tax return) the total entitlements and payments for each child will be reconciled against the individual’s (and any partner’s) actual income and activity for the year. If a parent received more than they were entitled to, the withholding amount will be used to offset the overpayment, so they do not have a debt (or have a smaller debt) to repay. Where parents received the correct amount of Child Care Subsidy, or received less subsidy than they were entitled to, amounts withheld during the year will be paid directly to them as a lump sum. This process of reviewing and recalculating entitlements for the full year is called Reconciliation.

How will the provider know what payments are received for each child?

When a session report has been processed and a determination of entitlement made, the provider will receive a notification of the payment. This payment advice will be sent at the same time as the payment is dispatched, and will indicate:

  • calculation and determination of entitlement
  • offsets (amounts taken as payment towards a debt owed) and withholding amounts
  • total payments to be made to the provider
  • any payments being made direct to the individual.

Providers can also view the entitlements that have been calculated for each child through their third-party software or the Provider Entry Point at any time.

When will payments be made?

Providers can submit session reports at any time, using their third-party software or the Provider Entry Point. Receipt of each report will be acknowledged.

Payment will be processed at 9am each Monday morning for sessions of care that occurred in the previous week and which have been reported before 9pm on the Sunday evening. More than one report may be made during the week – reported sessions will be accrued for processing on Monday morning.

A session of care should only be reported once. For example, a report could be submitted on Wednesday evening for sessions of care that occurred on Monday through to Wednesday and a subsequent report submitted on Friday for sessions of care that occurred on Thursday and Friday.

Session reports submitted after 9pm on the Sunday will be processed and paid as they are submitted (but after the Monday morning weekly processing has been completed).

Table 12: When session reports need to be submitted to receive payment

Session report received:

Payment processed:

Before 9pm on Sunday, for care provided in the previous week

The following Monday morning

After 9pm on Sunday, for care provided in the previous week

Upon receipt

If a session report is varied (up until 28 days after the start of the week to which the report relates), payment adjustments will be processed and paid when the variation is submitted.

A summary of how payments are made in relation to the timing of the session reports, as described above.
Figure 4: How payments are made in relation to the timing of the session reports

Once a session report has been processed, the determination of entitlement will be available through the provider's third-party software or the Provider Entry Point and the payment advice will be issued.

Payments will be made to the provider’s nominated bank account.