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 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:
You may be eligible for Child Care Subsidy if you and your partner meet all the following criteria
Residency requirements include:
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:
Exemptions to these criteria may apply if your child is:
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:
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:
You may be able to access up to 24 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if you can meet these criteria:
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.