Overpayments and debts

Providers who administer the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) may sometimes receive more subsidy than they're entitled to. This page explains how we manage overpayments and debts.

On this page:


Sometimes, you may receive more CCS than you're entitled to. This is known as an overpayment. Overpayments generally occur when a provider withdraws or changes a session report, such as amending to record fewer hours of care.

If this happens, we’ll use your future CCS payments to pay back the difference. This is called offsetting. You can see if offsetting has occurred in your payment advice in the Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS).

We won’t take more than 50% of any single future payment.

You must pass on the full entitlement to families, even if your CCS payments have been reduced by offsetting.

If you cease operations while offsetting is occurring, we’ll issue you with a debt notice to pay the remaining balance.


We also issue debt notices in certain circumstances.

You may receive a debt notice if you:

  • change a session of care to fewer hours or days
  • withdraw a session report
  • act in a non-compliant way
  • close or transfer ownership of a service retrospectively
  • cease operating your service while offsetting is occurring.

We may also issue you with an infringement if the debt is due to non-compliance.

Debt notices are presented on official departmental letterhead with our logo and the Commonwealth crest.

The debt notice will state:

  • how much you owe
  • reason for the debt
  • payment options and timeframes
  • process to request a review or extension of time to pay
  • action we will take if you do not repay the debt.

If you refuse to pay a debt, we may take further action. This may include legal proceedings or a garnishee notice to recover the debt.

Avoiding overpayments and debts

You can avoid overpayments and debts by complying with your obligations under Family Assistance Law.

These include:

Learn more about provider obligations, including a comprehensive table of responsibilities, tasks and timeframes.

Process arrangements regarding balancing

The Australian Government has amended Family Assistance Law to confirm certain policy settings regarding: 

The legislation came into effect on 29 June 2023.

Providers are being contacted via email and post. Please ensure your provider-level email and postal addresses are correct in the Child Care Subsidy System. Do this via the Provider Entry Portal or your third-party software.

Contact us

If you need more information about overpayments and debts, contact the CCS Helpdesk. Call 1300 667 276 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (AEST) or send an email anytime at ccshelpdesk@education.gov.au.