Changes to Additional Child Care Subsidy child wellbeing

This content was published on Monday 16 October 2023. There may be more recent updates available.

We’re streamlining access to Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) child wellbeing from today.

ACCS child wellbeing provides extra help with the cost of early childhood education and care. It’s for families who care for a child at risk of serious abuse or neglect. Unlike other subsidies, providers apply on behalf of a family.

From today, we have:

  • consolidated service delivery within Services Australia
  • expanded the exceptional circumstances for extended backdating of the subsidy.

These changes will reduce barriers to early childhood education and care for vulnerable children and families.

Consolidating service delivery

All ACCS child wellbeing applications lodged from 16 October 2023 will be processed by Services Australia. Previously, applications for extended backdating were managed by the department.

This change will:

  • streamline the assessment of applications 
  • reduce the risk of potential gaps in entitlements
  • provide a single point of contact for providers about application outcomes and reviews.

The process to apply for the subsidy has not changed.

New exceptional circumstances

There are 3 new exceptional circumstances where you can apply for extended backdating. These are:

  • children in formal foster care
  • families experiencing homelessness
  • families affected by the harmful use of alcohol or drugs.

This change will:

  • allow more time to collect evidence for families in these circumstances
  • reduce the risk of children falling through the gaps.

You must provide evidence of the exceptional circumstance in your application.

Understanding ACCS child wellbeing

We’ve updated the information on our website to help you better understand ACCS child wellbeing.

We have new guidance about:

  • identifying a child at risk
  • establishing eligibility
  • applying for the subsidy
  • reporting obligations.

Read more about ACCS child wellbeing on our website.