The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is a payment from the Australian Government that helps families with the cost of child care. To be eligible for CCS, you must:
– Care for a child aged 13 or younger who is not attending secondary school, unless an exemption applies.
– Use an approved childcare service.
– Be responsible for paying the child care fees.
– Meet residency and immunisation requirements.
The amount of CCS you can get depends on your family income, the type and age of your child, the hours of work you do, and the number of children you have in care. You can use the Payment and Service Finder on the Services Australia website to estimate how much CCS you may get.
If you have more than one child in care you will get a higher subsidy for the second and subsequent children although your family income must be less than $354,305 and have more than once child aged five or under in child care, read more here. (They have and additional 30% subsidy up to a maximum of 95%)
It is a very complex system, however a calculator has been provided to estimate how much CSS you are eligible for here and we recommend you try it out.
Standard CCS rates – Family Income
$0 to $80,000, 90% CCS percentage
$80,001 to $529,999, Between 90% and 0%, goes down by 1% for every $5,000 of income your family earns above $80,000.
$530,000 or more, 0%
CCS changed on 10 July 2023. Most families using child care can now get an additional subsidy of $56.50 per week. There are also changes to the CCS activity test for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. You can find out more about these changes on the Services Australia website.
CCS is paid directly to your child care service, who will pass it on to you as a fee reduction. You will need to pay the difference between the fee charged by your service and the amount of CCS you receive. This is called the gap fee or out-of-pocket cost. From 1 July 2023, gap fee payments must be paid electronically.
To apply for CCS, you need to complete an online claim through your Centrelink online account or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. You also need to keep your information up to date with Services Australia and your childcare service. At the end of each financial year, Services Australia will compare your income estimate with your actual income to check if you got the right amount of CCS. If you were overpaid, you may have to pay some money back.