Families can get Child Care Subsidy (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.
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How absences work
Families can get CCS when their child is absent from a session of care they would normally attend for up to 42 days per child, per financial year.
Families can use their 42 absence days for any reason. Families do not need to provide evidence to use their absences.
In shared care arrangements, the 42 absences are allocated to the child, not to each individual parent.
If a child is enrolled in more than one session of care on the same day (such as before and after school care) and is absent for one of those sessions, it is counted as one absence day.
In response to COVID-19
- All children have an extra 10 allowable absences for the 2021–22 financial year. This brings the total number of allowable absences to 52.
- Families in all states and territories except Western Australia have unlimited allowable absences throughout January and February 2022.
- We provide extra allowable absences during extended COVID-19 lockdowns. See regions where this applies.
When to claim absences
You can claim an absence in your session reports if:
- the child was enrolled in a session of care but did not attend, and
- the family has been charged a gap fee for that session of care.
You cannot report absences when your service is closed, except on public holidays or in a local emergency.
You must keep a record of absences.
Absences before and after attendance
Generally, absences should occur between a child’s first and last physical attendance at your service.
There are some circumstances where families can get CCS if an absence occurs:
- within seven days of a child’s first attendance at your service (inclusive of their first day), or
- after their last physical attendance at your service (inclusive of their last day).
These circumstances are:
- any of the additional absence reasons listed below
- the service has changed ownership
- the child’s usual service is closed and the child attends a different service under the same provider
- a family tragedy has occurred, or
- the enrolment ceased incorrectly.
Other exceptions apply between 1 December 2021 and 30 June 2022 due to COVID-19.
Families may be able to get additional absences once they have used their 42 days in certain circumstances.
These circumstances are:
- the child, their carer, their carer’s partner or another person they live with is ill (a medical certificate must be provided)
- the child is attending preschool
- alternative arrangements have been made for the child on a pupil-free day
- the child has not been immunised against an infectious disease and the absence occurs during an immunisation grace period (a medical certificate stating that exposure to the infectious disease would pose a health risk to the child must be provided)
- the child is spending time with a person other than their usual carer as required by a court order or parenting plan (a copy of the relevant court order or parenting plan must be provided)
- the service is closed as a direct result of a local emergency
- the child cannot attend because of a local emergency (for up to 28 days after the emergency), or
- the child’s carer chooses not to send the child due to a local emergency (for up to seven days after the emergency).
Families must provide evidence where specified above. Where not specified, providers must be reasonably satisfied that the additional absence reason has been met.