The Child Care Subsidy is financial assistance that’s provided by the Australian Federal Government to assist families with the cost of Early Education and Care.

Child Care Subsidy is based on your level of income, activity and the daily fees charged by your Early Education and Care provider. Our Child Care Subsidy Calculator can help you estimate how much subsidy you may be eligible for.


You’ll need to answer some questions to learn how much Child Care Subsidy you may be entitled to. This amount will be determined by:

  • The hours of work or recognised activity you and your partner undertake each fortnight. For couples, the Child Care Subsidy is based on the partner doing the least amount of activity per fortnight.
  • Your combined family income.
  • The fees that you pay for Early Education and Care – the hourly rate cap, based on the type of approved care that you use and your child’s age. (There is a different hourly rate cap, depending on the type of approved care that you use.)

The Child Care Subsidy is paid directly to your Early Education and Care provider, to reduce the fees that you pay.

Remember, for payments to be made to your Early Education and Care provider, you will need to have completed these steps:

  • Have applied for a Customer Reference Number (CRN) from Centrelink
  • Have created a Centrelink Account online
  • Have created a MyGov account online, and
  • Have completed your child care subsidy assessment.

You may be eligible for Child Care Subsidy if you and your partner meet all the following criteria

  • You care for your child at least two nights per fortnight, or have 14 per cent care
  • You are liable for fees for Early Education and Care provided by an approved service
  • You live in Australia for at least 46 weeks of the financial year, and
  • You meet the residency rules.

Residency requirements include:

  • Have Australian citizenship
  • Hold a permanent visa, or
  • Hold a Special Category visa, or
  • Hold a certain temporary visa type.

If you can’t meet the residency rules, you may seek an exemption if you or your partner are a student sponsored by the Australian Government, are experiencing hardship or have special circumstances.

In addition to you or your partner meeting the eligibility criteria, your child must also meet two eligibility criteria for your family to be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy. Your child must be:

  • 13 years of age or under, and not attending secondary school, unless an exemption applies, and
  • up to date with immunisations listed in the National Immunisation Program Schedule published by the Department of Health.

Exemptions to these criteria may apply if your child is:

  • On an immunisation catch-up schedule according to the current Australian Immunisation Handbook,
  • Has an approved medical exemption from immunisation which has been recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR),
  • Is aged 13 or under and attending secondary school,
  • Is 13 or under with a disability, attending secondary school, or
  • Is aged 14 to 18 with a disability, attending secondary school.

To qualify for an exemption, you must also offer evidence as to why your child cannot be left without supervision and confirm that there are no adults available to care for your child.

The hours of subsidised care that you can receive per fortnight depends on the hours of recognised activities that you do.

Activities that are recognised, can include any of the following:

  • Paid work, including being self-employed
  • Unpaid work in a family business
  • Paid or unpaid leave, including paid or unpaid parental or maternity leave
  • Unpaid work experience or unpaid internship
  • Actively setting up a business
  • Undertaking an approved course of education or study
  • Undertaking training to improve work skills or employment prospects
  • Volunteering
  • Actively looking for work
  • Other activities (considered on a case-by-case basis)

Please be aware that recognition of some of these activities will only take place for a certain amount of time.

The Australian Federal Government will only count:

  • Periods of unpaid leave for up to six months. However, this doesn’t apply to unpaid parental leave.
  • Setting up a business for six months out of every 12 months.

You may be able to access up to 24 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if you can meet these criteria:

  • Your family earns less than $69,390 per annum
  • You’re eligible for the Child Care Subsidy
  • You do less than eight hours of recognised activities per fortnight

You may be able to access up to 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if the recognised activity level is more than eight hours and less than 16 hours per fortnight.

If you do more than one recognised activity, you can combine the hours you spend doing each activity. This may increase the hours of subsidised care you’re entitled to.

If you receive Child Care Subsidy, you are responsible for keeping your information with the Australian Federal Government up to date. You can do this regularly online by checking your details are correct. This involves updating your family’s income if it changes, updating a change in recognised activity levels, informing of a change in relationship status or the circumstances of your partnership.

Five per cent of your Child Care Subsidy will be withheld each financial year. This is to help reduce the likelihood of you receiving an overpayment. You’re able to vary this amount to suit your circumstances.

If parents received more Child Care Subsidy than they were entitled to, the withholding amount will be used to offset the overpayment, so they do not have a debt (or have a smaller debt) to repay. Where parents received the correct amount of Child Care Subsidy, or received less subsidy than they were entitled to, amounts withheld during the year will be paid directly to them as a lump sum.

Child care subsidy calculator
Explore & Develop Baulkham Hills childcare and preschool
Explore & Develop Baulkham Hills childcare and preschool
Explore & Develop Baulkham Hills childcare and preschool