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An occasion when a child is not physically present for a session of care that has been agreed under a Complying Written Arrangement.

Up to 42 absence days in a financial year will be eligible for subsidised care without the need to provide reasons for the absence.

Activity test

An assessment of the combined hours of work, training, study, recognised voluntary work or other recognised activity undertaken by a family. The activity test is used to determine the number of hours of subsidised care to which a family will be entitled.

Additional absence days

An absence day that occurs after a child has been subsidised for 42 absence days in a financial year.

Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy can only be paid for additional absences where they are taken for a reason defined in the Family Assistance Law.


A payment that provides targeted additional fee assistance to families and children facing barriers in accessing affordable child care.

Adjusted taxable income

Adjusted taxable income is used to assess eligibility for some benefits and payments, including Child Care Subsidy. Adjusted taxable income may include taxable income, foreign income, investment losses, reportable fringe benefits and superannuation contributions. For the purpose of Child Care Subsidy, in the case of a family it is the adjusted taxable income of both individuals. See

Approved provider

A provider of early learning and child care that has been approved to administer Child Care Subsidy on behalf of the Australian Government.

The provider and individual agree an arrangement for care of a child

An agreement between a child care provider and an individual or organisation, to provide child care in return for child care fees.

Australian Business Register

The register of businesses and organisations who have an Australian business number (ABN). See

Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)

The national body established under the National Law to support states and territories to deliver best-practice regulation of early learning and child care and ensure national consistency in improving quality outcomes for children. See

Budget Based Funded Programme (BBF)

A program that supported child care services in locations where the market would not otherwise be viable. The program closed on 30 June 2018 and eligible services are now supported through other programs.

Centre Based Day Care

Child care that is provided in licensed or registered centres. It can include any pattern or arrangement of care provided in this setting.


The agency that delivers payments and services to individuals and families on behalf of the Australian Government. See

Centrelink online account

The account that an individual uses to access Centrelink online services. An individual can create and access a Centrelink online account through

Change of family circumstances

An event that changes an individual's eligibility for Child Care Subsidy or Additional Child Care Subsidy, or the amount of subsidy that they are entitled to be paid.


The unique child who receives early learning and care.

Child at risk

A child at risk of serious neglect or abuse and who meets the relevant criteria.

Child Care Safety Net

A scheme that provides targeted assistance to vulnerable and at-risk children and their families, as well as supporting child care services in disadvantaged communities to address barriers in accessing child care.

The Safety Net has three components:

  • Additional Child Care Subsidy
  • Community Child Care Fund
  • Inclusion Support Program.

Child Care Subsidy System

The technical platform through which providers and families interact with government in relation to child care subsidies.


A family's application for financial assistance for child care from the Australian Government. The claim includes information about a family's circumstances, income and activity levels, that allow eligibility and entitlements for Child Care Subsidy to be assessed.


A person (the individual), who is applying for or receiving Child Care Subsidy.

Community Child Care Fund

A fund designed to help eligible child care services address barriers to early learning and child care participation, particularly in disadvantaged communities, including Indigenous communities.

Complying Written  Arrangement

An arrangement (an agreement between a child care provider and an individual, to provide child care in return for fees) that includes required information.

Customer Reference Number (CRN)

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


If an individual or approved child care provider has been paid more than they were entitled to receive, the amount in excess of their entitlement is a debt to the Australian Government under the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999 and Data Matching Program (Assistance and Tax) Act 1990.

Department of Human Services (DHS)

The Australian Government department responsible for the development of service delivery policy and access to social, health and other payments and services. See


A person who provides care for someone else's child or children at a child care service, in their own home or, in the case of In Home Care, in the child's own home.

The purpose of enrolment

An enrolment occurs when the provider has entered into an arrangement with an individual or organisation to provide care to a child, and the provider submits an 'enrolment notice' in the Child Care Subsidy system. It is a requirement under Family Assistance Law for all children who attend child care (or have an arrangement for care) to have an enrolment notice regardless of their Child Care Subsidy eligibility status.

Enrolment notice

The notice given by a provider through the Child Care Subsidy System that they have entered into an arrangement with an individual or organisation to provide care to a child.

Exceptional circumstances

Circumstances that affect a child or family that justify variations to Child Care Subsidy eligibility requirements, such as residency or immunisation, or other conditions of Child Care Subsidy. These are determined by the Australian Government on a case-by-case basis, in response to an application.

Family Assistance Law

The legal basis for the Australian Government to provide child care fee assistance, and for the approval of child care providers to administer child care fee assistance on behalf of families. The primary legislation is: A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 and A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999.

Family Day Care

A type of child care that is usually provided in the home of an educator.

Fee reduction amount

The Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy payments a provider receives on the behalf of an individual. Fee reduction amounts will be adjusted for withholding of five per cent where it applies (generally for Child Care Subsidy).

Financial hardship

Occurs when there is an unforeseeable event that substantially reduces a family's ability to pay for child care fees.

Providers, managers and educators must be fit and proper persons

A person who is considered suitable to be involved in the administration of child care subsidies on behalf of the Australian Government and families, having regard to matters including their history of compliance with the law and responsible financial management.


Natural, adoptive or step grandparent (or great-grandparent) of the grandchild. Includes the grandparent's (or great-grandparent's) current or former partner.


Any detriment to a child's wellbeing.

Hourly rate caps

The maximum amount the Australian Government will subsidise for each hour of care. Hourly rate caps are different for different care types. They provide a guide to providers and families about what a 'high fee' might be.

In Home Care

A flexible form of early childhood education and care where an educator provides care in the child's home. It is restricted to families who are unable to access other forms of early childhood education.

Inclusion Agencies

Agencies contracted by the Australian Government to help Child Care Providers make their services more inclusive for children with particular needs, such as disability.

Inclusion Development Fund

Funding available to assist eligible child care services to address a barrier to inclusion that cannot be addressed through the support of an Inclusion Agency.

Inclusion Support Program

A program that assists early learning and child care services to include children with additional needs by providing tailored inclusion advice and support from contracted Inclusion Agencies, as well as funding to address more challenging inclusion barriers.

Who is 'the individual' responsible for the child's care

The person who is liable to pay the child care service fees. The individual is often the child's parent (or the parent's partner) but may be another adult with legal responsibility for the child.

'Initial 42 days' absence

One of up to 42 days' absence for which Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy is payable for a child in a financial year, with no reason required to be given.

Lower income threshold

The family income threshold above which the Child Care Subsidy percentage first starts to decrease.

Minister's Rules

A legislative instrument that provides certain details about how the Family Assistance Law is implemented.  See


The website that provides a secure way for individuals and families to access government services, including their Centrelink online account, with one login and one password. See

National Law and Regulations

Refers to the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 and the Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011, which set a national standard for children's education and care across Australia. In effect, the same law is applied in each state and territory, but with some variation for the needs of each state or territory. References to the National Law includes the Education and Care Services National Law (WA) Act 2012 See

National Quality Framework

A jointly governed uniform national approach to the regulation and quality assessment of education and care services including: a national legislative framework that consists of the National Law and National Regulations; a National Quality Standard; and an assessment and rating system. See


A failure to be provided with the basic needs that are essential for the child's physical and emotional wellbeing.

Nominated Child For In Home Care only - one child in each session of care, against which an In Home Care service reports a session of care.

Non-standard hours

Hours of care in a child care service outside standard hours. Applicable only to Family Day Care and In Home Care services.


Changes in the circumstances of an approved provider, which the provider is required to notify the Australian Government under the Family Assistance Law (see Notifications providers must give about their service(s))

Outside School Hours Care

Outside School Hours Care provides care before and after school hours and during school vacations for children who normally attend school.

Parenting/consent order

An order made by the Family Court when parents cannot decide matters concerning their children.

Payment advice

Notification issued to providers by the Department of Human Services, setting out the details of entitlements calculated and payments made for children enrolled in their service/s. Payment advice is issued through the provider's third-party software or the Provider Entry Point.


A person or business entity that is responsible for operating a child care service (or services).

Provider Digital Access

A system to authenticate an individual's digital identity, so that they may interact with various government digital and online systems without requiring identity verification for every interaction.

Provider Entry Point (PRODA)

Part of the secure Child Care Subsidy System through which providers can apply for provider and service approval, and which subsequently enables them to access information, add or remove a service, make notice of a change in their circumstances, and give enrolment notices and session reports in relation to Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy.

Provider ID

A provider's unique identity number in the Child Care Subsidy System.


A process that happens when an individual submits their tax return (or a statement that no tax return is required) after the end of a financial year. The individual's actual income is determined, and Child Care Subsidy payments that should have been made are calculated and compared to the payments they received (based on estimates). After reconciliation, any outstanding subsidy will be paid to the individual or notification will be given of any debts incurred.

Regular care

Occurs when a child is in the individual's care for at least 14%, but less than 35%, of a care period, and would be a Family Tax Benefit child of the individual but for the child being in the individual's care for less than 35% of the care period.

Regulatory authority

The state and territory authority responsible for the administration of the National Quality Framework within that jurisdiction.

Reimbursement fringe benefit

A reimbursement fringe benefit in respect of a session of care is the amount by which an individual or the individual's partner is reimbursed by a person in respect of the individual's or partner's liability to pay for the session of care, if the reimbursement:

(a) is a fringe benefit within the meaning of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986; or

(b) would be such a fringe benefit but for paragraph (g) of the definition of fringe benefit in subsection 136(1) of that Act.

Rural/remote locations

Non-metropolitan areas that are defined in the Australian Standard Geographic Classification as 'inner regional, 'outer regional, 'remote' or 'very remote'.

School aged child/ren

A child who:

  • attends primary or secondary school, or
  • is on a break from school and will be returning to primary or secondary school after that break (for example, school holidays), or
  • has reached six years of age.

School aged children include children who attend the year before Year 1 of primary school.

Secretary's Rules

A legislative instrument that provides certain details about how the Family Assistance Law is implemented. See


The child care that is delivered by a provider in a particular site or setting. There are different types of child care services. One provider may deliver one or more services, which may include different service types and/or different service sites.

Sessions of care

The period of time that a provider is charging a fee for providing care to an enrolled child.

Shared care

When two or more people (often, but not always, separated parents) are responsible for the care of the child, and are both 'individuals' for the purposes of Child Care Subsidy. A person in shared care would care for the child between 36 and 66 per cent of the time.


A brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, stepbrother or stepsister.

Statements of Entitlement

A fortnightly statement from a provider to a family giving details of sessions of care provided, the child's attendance and resulting fee reduction amounts.

The Secretary

The Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training

Third-party software

Software developed and provided by commercial providers to interact with the Australian Government's Child Care Subsidy System and to support administration and management activities for child care services.


A vacancy is an unfilled and available place in a child care service:

  • for a Centre Based Day Care service or a Family Day Care service - an ongoing full day vacancy
  •  for an Outside School Hours Care service - an ongoing full session vacancy.

Working with children checks

A process to screen a person's criminal records and any reports about professional conduct that may affect their suitability to work with children. This is one of a number of safeguards to provide safe environments for children. The name of the check and the process may be different in different states and territories.