The Child Care Subsidy that commenced on 2 July 2018:
- replaced the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR) with a single, means-tested subsidy
- is generally paid directly to child care providers to be passed on to families
- is simpler than the previous multi-payment system
- is better targeted and provides more assistance to low and middle income families.
Child Care Subsidy Eligibility
Some basic requirements must be satisfied for an individual to be eligible to receive Child Care Subsidy for a child. These include:
- the age of the child (must be aged 13 or under and not attending secondary school, except in certain circumstances where an individual may be eligible for a child who does not meet this criteria, such as children with a disability or medical condition in certain circumstances)
- the child meeting immunisation requirements
- the individual, or their partner, meeting the residency requirements listed in the legislation.
In addition, to be eligible for Child Care Subsidy the individual must be liable to pay for care provided, the care must be delivered in Australia by an approved child care provider, and not be part of a compulsory education program.
Child Care Subsidy entitlement
There are three factors that determine a family's level of Child Care Subsidy. These are:
- Combined annual family income
- Activity test – the activity level of both parents
- Service type – type of child care service and whether the child attends school
The Child Care Subsidy is generally paid directly to service providers to be passed on to families as a fee reduction. Families make a co-contribution to their child care fees and pay to the provider the difference between the fee charged and the subsidy amount.
There is also targeted additional fee assistance for vulnerable families through the Child Care Safety Net.
Families can get an estimate of what they may be entitled to by entering their details into the Department of Human Services Payment and Service Finder.
A range of information resources are available to assist families and providers.