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Child Care Subsidy

Child Care Subsidy is the main payment to assist families with the costs of child care. It is, with some exceptions, paid directly to providers to be passed on to families as a fee reduction.

Families make a co-contribution to their child care fees and pay the provider the difference between the fee charged and the subsidy amount.

There are three main aspects of Child Care Subsidy:

  • an individual’s eligibility for Child Care Subsidy
  • types of child care and sessions of care covered by Child Care Subsidy
  • amount of Child Care Subsidy payments (entitlement).

Each of these is described in more detail in the following sections.

While a provider or service is not directly involved in the calculation of a family’s entitlements (this is a matter between the family and Centrelink), it is important that providers understand the rules relating to Child Care Subsidy so they can discuss with families the amount of fee reduction families will receive and the balance of the fee charged that families will need to pay to the provider.

Providers should encourage families to provide true and complete information to Centrelink for the purposes of claiming Child Care Subsidy, as well as notify Centrelink of changes in circumstances. This is a legal requirement of families, and the provision of incorrect information may result in families incurring debts that need to be recovered later.

Information for families

Centrelink Payment and Service Finder—to estimate what the Child Care Subsidy might be and assess eligibility for other support payments.—for information about child care services, including early learning and child care services, fees and vacancies.—to create and then access a Centrelink online account, make Child Care Subsidy claims and view the status of claims.