Family eligibility and entitlement

Families must meet eligibility criteria to get Child Care Subsidy (CCS). The amount of CCS a family can get depends on their circumstances.

On this page:

The information on this page is for providers and services that administer CCS. Families can learn more about CCS and lodge a claim on the Services Australia website.

Who can get CCS?

Families must meet eligibility criteria to get CCS.

Parents must: 

  • care for their child at least 2 nights per fortnight or have 14% share of care
  • be liable for child care fees at an approved early childhood education care service
  • meet residency requirements.

Their child must:

  • meet immunisation requirements
  • not be attending secondary school (unless an exemption applies)
  • be 13 or under (except in certain circumstances).

If a child doesn’t attend a session of care at least once in 26 consecutive weeks, they will stop being eligible for CCS. If a child starts to attend care again, a family can make a new claim for CCS.

Families can learn more about eligibility for CCS on the Services Australia website.

How much CCS can a family get?

The amount of CCS a family can get depends on their circumstances.

Family income

Services Australia works out a family’s CCS percentage based on their family income estimate.

A family’s CCS percentage is the amount the government will subsidise. It will apply to the hourly fee or the relevant hourly rate cap, whichever is lower.

CCS rates 2023-24

Family incomeSubsidy rate
Up to $80,00090%
More than $80,000 to below $530,000

Decreasing from 90% 

The percentage decreases by 1% for every $5,000 of income a family earns

$530,000 or more0%

CCS rates 2024-25

Family incomeSubsidy rate
Up to $83,28090%
More than $83,280 to below $533,280

Decreasing from 90% 

The percentage decreases by 1% for every $5,000 of income a family earns

$533,280 or more0%

Families can learn more about how their income affects CCS on the Services Australia website.

Number of children in care

Families with more than one child aged 5 or under in care may get a higher subsidy for their second child and younger children. Siblings do not need to attend the same service to get the higher subsidy.

The rates for each child are worked out using two separate income tests.

The ‘standard rate child’ is usually the eldest CCS eligible child aged 5 or under. The standard rate child will get the standard CCS rates.

The ‘higher rate child’ is the second and any younger children aged 5 or under. The higher rate for second and younger children is calculated using the rates for second and younger children.

The higher subsidy for second and younger children ends when a family earns $362,408 or more.

Rates for second and younger children 2023-24

Family income  Second and younger children subsidy rate
$0 to $138,11895%
More than $138,118 to below $183,118

Decreasing from 95%

The percentage decreases by 1% for every $3,000 of income a family earns 

$183,118 to below $262,40880%
$262,408 to below $352,408

Decreasing from 80%

The percentage decreases by 1% for every $3,000 of income a family earns

$352,408 to below $362,40850%
$362,408 or moreHigher CCS rates no longer apply, all children in the family will receive the standard CCS rate

Rates for second and younger children 2024-25

Family income  Second and younger children subsidy rate
$0 to $141,32195%
More than $141,321 to below $186,321

Decreasing from 95%

The percentage decreases by 1% for every $3,000 of income a family earns 

$186,321 to below $265,61180%
$265,611 to below $355,611

Decreasing from 80%

The percentage decreases by 1% for every $3,000 of income a family earns

$355,611 to below $365,61150%
$365,611 or moreHigher CCS rates no longer apply, all children in the family will receive the standard CCS rate

Combined families are where both members of a couple get CCS for different children in their family. Services Australia counts all CCS-eligible children in a combined family when determining entitlement to the higher rate for second and younger children.  

In Home Care (IHC) sessions do not attract the higher subsidy. This is because IHC is subsidised per family, rather than per child.

Children who are entitled to both the higher subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) will be paid the ACCS rate. 

Families can learn more about how the number of children in care affects CCS on the Services Australia website.

Activity level

The hours of subsidised care a family can get each fortnight depends on their activity level. The higher the level of activity, the more hours of subsidised care families can get.

Services Australia looks at both parents’ activity level. They use the parent with the lower activity level to determine a family’s hours of subsidised care.

Families need to do a recognised activity to get CCS. Exemptions apply for parents who cannot meet activity test requirements.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children

Families can get at least 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight for each Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child in their care. This is regardless of their family’s activity level.

Families should tell Services Australia that they have an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child in their care if they would like to get at least 36 hours of subsidised care.

Families can call Services Australia on the Centrelink families line to let them know a child in their care is an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person. It is voluntary to tell Services Australia this.

Families may get more than 36 hours of CCS per fortnight based on their circumstances and the amount of recognised activity they do.

Families do not need to do anything if they already get more than 36 hours of subsidy based on their circumstances.

Families must still pay the gap fee.

Learn more about the activity test for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children.

Activity levels 2023-24

Hours of activity each fortnight Hours of subsidised care, per child, each fortnight 
Less than 8 hours

0 hours if you earn above $80,000 (2023-24)
24 hours if you earn $80,000 or below

36 hours – Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child, regardless of family activity

8 hours to 16 hours36 hours
More than 16 hours to 48 hours72 hours
More than 48 hours100 hours

Activity levels 2024-25

Hours of activity each fortnight Hours of subsidised care, per child, each fortnight 
Less than 8 hours

0 hours if you earn above $83,820
24 hours if you earn $83,280 or below

36 hours – Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child, regardless of family activity

8 hours to 16 hours36 hours
More than 16 hours to 48 hours72 hours
More than 48 hours100 hours

Families can learn more about how their activity level affects CCS on the Services Australia website.

Care type

The amount of CCS a family can get depends on the type of care they use.

A family’s CCS percentage will apply to the lowest of either:

  • the hourly rate cap
  • the hourly fee you charge at your service.

The Australian Government does not set early childhood education and care fees or require services to charge on an hourly basis. The hourly rate caps are a guide for providers and families about what a ‘high fee’ might be.


2023–24 hourly rate caps

Care typeHourly rate cap for children below school ageHourly rate cap for school-age children
Centre Based Day Care$13.73$12.02
Outside School Hours Care$13.73$12.02
Family Day Care$12.72$12.72
In Home Care (per family)$37.34$37.34

2024–25 hourly rate caps

Care typeHourly rate cap for children below school ageHourly rate cap for school-age children
Centre Based Day Care$14.29$12.51
Outside School Hours Care$14.29$12.51
Family Day Care$13.24$13.24
In Home Care (per family)$38.87$38.87

Families can learn more about how the type of care they use affects CCS on the Services Australia website.

Shared care

If a child’s parents are separated, both parents may be eligible for CCS if they:

  • share care responsibilities, and
  • are each liable for child care fees.

Each parent must lodge their own CCS claim. They will each need to meet the eligibility criteria outlined above.

The amount of CCS each parent can get will depend on their income and activity level as outlined above. Where a parent has re-partnered, their partner’s income and activity level will also be taken into account.

Combined families, with children from a current and previous relationship, are counted as a single family unit when determining entitlement to the higher rate for second and younger children.

Separated parents can find more information on the Services Australia website.

You must establish a separate care arrangement and enrolment notice for each parent. Learn more about enrolments.

You must identify which parent is responsible for each session of care in your session reports. Learn more about session reports.

Families can get CCS when their child is absent from care for up to 42 days per child, per financial year. The absence count is allocated per child, not to each individual parent. Learn more about absences.

More information

Families can get more information about CCS on the Services Australia website.

Families can use the CCS Calculator at StartingBlocks.gov.au to find out what their CCS rates may be.