In Australia, early childhood education and care is delivered by providers and services in the states and territories and subsidised by the Australian Government.
Most of the information on our website is for providers and services. Families should go to servicesaustralia.gov.au to find out about early childhood education and care. Families can find and compare services and fees at StartingBlocks.gov.au.
About early childhood
Early childhood education and care is delivered to children and families by approved providers and services.
The Australian Government subsidises the cost of child care. State and territory governments are responsible for the health, safety, wellbeing and educational outcomes of children.
Learn about Australia’s early childhood education and care system
Child Care Subsidy
Australian families receive help with the cost of child care through the Child Care Subsidy (CCS).
CCS is paid directly to approved providers and passed on to families as a fee reduction.
Additional Child Care Subsidy
The Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) provides extra help with fees to families facing barriers to early childhood education and care.
ACCS will usually cover all of a child’s fees.
Community Child Care Fund
The Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) helps early childhood education and care services address barriers to participation.
CCCF grants are targeted to disadvantaged, regional, remote and Indigenous communities.
Inclusion Support Program
The Inclusion Support Program (ISP) helps services care for children with additional needs.
Closing the Gap
We’re investing in measures to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children through better access to quality early childhood education and care.
Support for providers
You must be approved to operate a service that offers CCS. We have step-by-step guidance on the approval process.
Approved providers must comply with the rules under Family Assistance Law. We have information to help you comply with the law.
Support is available in the event of an emergency, like bushfires or floods. Learn about support and find out if your region is eligible.
About the sector
We have a range of initiatives that support the early childhood education and care sector to attract, develop and retain high‑-quality educators and teachers.
The National Quality Framework is Australia's system for regulating early childhood education and care.
We support state and territory governments to ensure a nationally consistent quality preschool program is available for all children in the year before school.
We conduct regular evaluations and inquiries to ensure our policies and programs continue to meet the needs of children and families.