Availability of child care places
The Australian Government places no general restrictions on the number of services or places that can be approved for the purposes of Child Care Subsidy. However, Minister's Rules may specify such restrictions as a condition of provider and/or service approval.
A restriction on child care places is currently applied to In Home Care, with 3000 places allocated nationally.
Providers must comply with any restrictions on the number of services or places that are approved by the state or territory authority.
The Australian Government collects information about child care vacancies and makes it available to families on the Child Care Finder website. For more information about expected vacancies, see Notifications providers must give about their service(s).
Priority of access - prioritising vacancies
There are no mandatory requirements for filling vacancies, and providers can set their own policies for prioritising who receives a place.
However, as vacancies in a service arise, providers are asked to consider prioritising children who are:
- at risk of serious abuse or neglect
- a child of a sole parent who satisfies, or parents who both satisfy, the activity test through paid employment.
This reflects the Australian Government's intention to help families who are most in need, and support the safety and wellbeing of children at risk in accordance with the Framework for Protecting Australia's Children 2009 -2020.