Child Care Subsidy FAQ
Below you will find all you need to know about applying for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and enrolling in one of our children’s education and care centres.
What is Child Care Subsidy?
The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is the main way the Government assists families with their child care fees. For more details refer to information on the government website https://dese.gov.au/child-care-subsidy/
How is income calculated and what if it changes during a financial year?
Your Child Care Subsidy percentage will be based on your estimated combined annual family income. Your actual subsidy entitlement will be worked out after you have lodged your tax return.
Do I have to be working to get the subsidy?
No, but if you’re not working you will have to be undertaking other approved activities, like education and training or volunteer work, to get the subsidy. In a two-parent family, both parents must meet the activity test and the person with the lower number of hours will determine the relevant step of the activity test. In a sole-parent family, the sole parent must meet the activity test.
If your child is in the year before starting school you will not have to meet the activity test.
There are a range of activities that meet the activity test: paid work (including leave), study and training, unpaid work in a family business, looking for work, volunteering, self-employment, and other activities on a case-by-case basis. You can also include reasonable travel time to and from your placeof activity to your child care centre.
If you undertake paid work, and paid or unpaid parental leave is a condition of your employment, then this is considered to be part of your paid work. There is no time limit on the amount of time you can be on unpaid parental leave.
How do hourly rate caps work?
The hourly rate cap is the maximum hourly rate the government will use to calculate your Child Care Subsidy. The hourly rate cap is adjusted annually. If the hourly rate at the centre your child is attending is above the capped rate, your subsidy will be based on the capped rate.
What if my child is absent from child care?
Families are entitled to 52 absence days per child, per financial year, and may be entitled to additional absence days in certain circumstances (including illness of the child, a parent or sibling). This entitlement is subject to variation, so ensure you check with your centre or on the CCS website about current entitlements.
What support is available for families with children who are/may be at risk?
Families in these circumstances may be able to access the Additional Child Care Subsidy, subject to individual circumstances. Our centre staff can support you in your application for Additional Child Care Subsidy.
Does my child need to be immunised to get CCS?
Yes, unless you have a medical exemption.
How can I determine my entitlements?
You can use the ‘payment finder’ on the Centrelink website to estimate your subsidy.
What if I have more than one child?
From 7 March 2022, families with more than one child aged 5 or younger will get a higher Child Care Subsidy (CCS). For more information, please check the Services Australia website.
How do I prepare to claim?
To claim online, you need a myGov account linked to Centrelink. We suggest completing your application four weeks before your start date.
Confirming enrolment in MyGov
Once you have received notification from Services Australia that your CCS is approved and in order for your CCS payments to start coming through, you will need to confirm enrolment in MyGov.
To confirm enrolment in MyGov you will have to log onto your MyGov account and click on the Centrelink tab. In the drop-down menu on your left, select Chid Care Subsidy then click enrolment. Your child’s name should come up with enrolment details which you can then confirm.
Estimate your CCS
To estimate your out-of-pocket expenses you can use SDN’s Child Care Subsidy estimator.
Where can I get more information?
For more information and the latest information on CCS, please check the Services Australia website.