Designed to help cover the costs of child care for Australian families, the Child Care Subsidy is funded by the Federal Government. It came into effect on 2 July 2018 and replaced the previous child care support package, known as the Child Care Rebate.

There are certain eligibility criteria that families need to meet in order to receive the subsidy and it can only be used for registered or approved child care providers. It’s also income tested so the amount of CCS you receive will vary depending on your family income.

Child Care Subsidy Eligibility

It’s important to note that not everyone who sends their child to child care is eligible for the CCS. There are certain eligibility criteria such as residency and immunisation requirements that you must meet.

These include:

  • Residency requirements: you or your partner must be either an Australian citizen or a permanent resident living in Australia. There are also some exemptions to these residency rules for different visa categories.
  • Age requirements: the subsidy is not available for children who are attending secondary school, unless they are aged 13 or under, or they are aged 14 to 18 with a disability.
  • Immunisation requirements: your child must be up to date with all immunisations on the National Immunisation Program Schedule or hold an approved medical exemption.
  • Provider requirements: the child care your child attends must be registered or approved by the Australian Government.

You must also be the person liable for paying the child care fees and have care of your child at least two nights per fortnight.

Combined family income

Your family’s combined income will calculate the CCS percentage you’re entitled to.
Remember, you will need to contact Centrelink when your combined income increases or decreases.

Family income CCS %
$0 to $72,466 85%
More than $72,466 to below $177,466 Between 85% and 50%
The percentage goes down by 1% for every $3,000 of income your family earns
$177,466 to below $256,756 50%
$256,756 to below $346,756 Between 50% and 20%
The percentage goes down by 1% for every $3,000 of income your family earns
$346,756 to below $356,756 20%
$356,756 or more 0%

These tax brackets will be adjusted as per CPI every financial year.

Level of activity

CCS is linked to how much a family contributes to the Australian economy through activity. This activity level is calculated from the parent with the lowest number of hours of activity.

Hours of activity (per fortnight) Maximum number of hours of subsidy (per fortnight)
8 hours to 16 hours 36 hours
16 hours to 48 hours 72 hours
More than 48 hours 100 hours

What counts as activity?

Under the Child Care Subsidy system if you are doing suitable activity and the amount of activity will then determine how many hours of Childcare Subsidy you are eligible for.
Activity counts as:

  • Paid work (including unpaid lunch breaks)
  • Commute time from childcare centre to work (excludes time travelling from home to childcare centre and vice versa)
  • Authorised leave (eg maternity leave, long service leave, annual leave etc)
  • Unpaid leave of up to 6 months
  • Unpaid work in a family business
  • Setting up a new business
  • Study
  • Training and study (includes semester breaks)
  • Work experience/internships (whether paid or not)
  • Volunteering
  • Looking for work (eg internet research, contacting employers, preparing resumes/letters of application, preparing for and attending job interviews, travel time for interviews)

Applying for Child Care Subsidy

All applications for the CCS are made through your myGov Account, not through your child care provider.

To apply for the subsidy, please follow the below steps:

  1. Go to the myGov website.
  2. Log in to your account. If you don’t yet have one, you can create one.
  3. Once you are logged in, navigate to Centrelink.
  4. Choose the following options from the menu – Payment and Claims > Claims > Make a Claim.
  5. Under the Families section, choose ‘get started’.
  6. Follow the instructions to answer all the questions. You will need to have your salary information handy.
  7. Press submit.

Child Care Subsidy & Immunisation

In order to receive the CCS, your child must meet the immunisation requirements.

They either need to be up to date with the National Immunisation Program Schedule, be on an immunisation catch up schedule in line with the Australian Immunisation Handbook or have an approved medical exemption.

If your child is immunised, you don’t need to do anything. This will be checked automatically through Medicare when you apply.

If your child misses an immunisation, you have a grace period of 63 days before you will stop receiving the subsidy.

For those children who were vaccinated overseas, speak with your vaccination provider in Australia.