Child Care Subsidy

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is the main way the Australian Government helps families with child care fees. Providers must be approved by the department to receive CCS on behalf of families.

On this page:

The information on this page is for child care providers and services. Families who want to know more about CCS should go to the Services Australia website.

Child care providers must be granted approval under Family Assistance Law to receive CCS on behalf of families.

How Child Care Subsidy works

CCS is paid to providers who pass it on to families as a fee reduction. 

Families make a co-contribution to their child care fees by paying the difference between the provider’s fee and the subsidy amount (also called the out-of-pocket or gap fee). There are important rules about the fees you charge families. 

Families can get CCS when their child is unable to attend child care up to 42 days a year. Families can get extra absence days in certain circumstances, including due to COVID-19.

Services Australia balances CCS payments after each financial year to ensure families are paid the right amount. 

Apply to become an approved provider

Learn more about child care fees

Learn more about balancing CCS payments

Learn more about absences from child care

Family eligibility

Families must meet certain requirements to get CCS. 

Parents must:

  • care for their child at least two nights per fortnight, have 14% share of care, or receive Family Tax Benefit for their child
  • make a co-contribution to their child care fees at an approved child care service
  • meet residency requirements.

Their child must:

  • meet immunisation requirements
  • not be attending secondary school (unless an exemption applies)
  • be 13 or under (except in certain circumstances).

From 11 July 2022, children who haven’t attended a session of care in 26 consecutive weeks will no longer be eligible for CCS.

Read more about eligibility for CCS on Services Australia’s website

Family entitlement

The amount of CCS a family can get depends on their circumstances.

The following factors determine how much CCS a family can get: 

Families can get an estimate of what they may be entitled to at StartingBlocks.gov.au

Recent changes to CCS

We recently made changes to CCS to help families who currently pay the most and experience the biggest barriers to participation in work.
The changes included:

  • removing the annual cap, and
  • increasing CCS for families with more than one child aged 5 or under in care.
     

Read more about the changes to CCS