The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is the main way the Government assists families with their child care fees, and is targeted to provide greater 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 CCS for a child. These include:
- 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 individual must care of the child at least 2 nights per fortnight or have 14% per cent of care or be receiving Family Tax Benefit for the child
- the child must meet immunisation requirements
- the individual, or their partner, must meet the residency requirements
In addition, to be eligible for CCS 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 CCS. 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
CCS 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 (also called the out of pocket fee).
To support disadvantaged and vulnerable children attend quality early childhood education and care, state and territory governments can contribute to the out of pocket fee on behalf of the family. For more information, visit Third party payment of gap fees.
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 Services Australia Payment and Service Finder.
A range of information resources are available to assist families and providers.