Understanding the Child Care Subsidy

Jun 27, 2023

Child's wooden abacus

As parents, we understand the importance of quality childcare and early education for our children. However, the financial burden can sometimes be overwhelming. That is where the Child Care Subsidy comes into play, offering different levels of assistance to make quality childcare and kindergarten more affordable for families.

What is the Child Care Subsidy?

The Child Care Subsidy is a government initiative designed to provide financial support to eligible families to help cover the costs of childcare and kindergarten.

It provides a percentage of the cost, depending on the family’s income and the type of care chosen. This allows parents to access high-quality childcare and kindergarten services without compromising their budget.

The subsidy will be paid directly to your childcare provider, based on attendance records per fortnight. You will pay any difference between the actual fee you are charged and the subsidy that is paid on your behalf – this is what we refer to as the GAP fee or Out Of Pocket Fee.

How to Apply for the Child Care Subsidy

Applying for the Child Care Subsidy is a straightforward process, and you can make a claim at any time on Centrelink online through your MyGov Services account. You can also do this using the Centrelink or MyGov App.

If you have never received a Centrelink benefit or used Centrelink services before, you will need to link Centrelink to your MyGov account. The quickest way to do this is online through MyGov by providing your Customer Reference Number (CRN) or using Digital Identity Verification to link the account.

Every person born in Australia has a CRN even if you haven’t used Centrelink before – you can call Centrelink on 132 307 and they will ask you a series of questions to identify you. If you can successfully identify yourself, they will give you your unique CRN over the phone.

Take a look at these guides for more information:

Link Centrelink to MyGov if you have a Customer Reference Number – Services Australia

Link Centrelink to MyGov using your Digital Identity – Services Australia

Eligibility and Assessment:

To qualify for the subsidy, parents must meet certain criteria, including residency, income, and work or study requirements. How much the government contributes is based on things like family income, activity level, the type of childcare and your child’s age, and the number of children you have.

Changes to the CCS

From the 10th of July 2023, your CCS amount will change. Most families using childcare services will receive a larger subsidy, while some families previously not eligible for the CCS will be able to apply.

  • The family income limit to get Child Care Subsidy is increasing from $356,756 to $530,000 per annum.
  • The maximum amount of Child Care Subsidy is increasing from 85% to 90%.
  • Families earning $80,000 or less will get a Child Care Subsidy rate of 90%.
  • Families earning over $80,000 may get a Child Care Subsidy rate starting from 90%. This will go down by 1% for each $5,000 of income they earn above $80,000. This rate reaches 0% for families earning $530,000.
  • Families earning below $362,408 with more than one child aged 5 or under in care can still get a higher rate for one or more of their children.
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children can get at least 36 subsidised hours of early childhood education and care per fortnight, regardless of their family’s activity level.

Please Note: If you already receive a CCS, you won’t have to reapply. Once the changes come into effect, they will be automatically applied to your subsidy amount.

Embracia CCS calculator

We are happy to announce our CCS Calculator is now live on our website and you can use the calculator to estimate how much you’ll get back in childcare costs. It’s important you apply for the CCS via Centrelink as soon as possible because it can take several weeks for an application to be approved.