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.

How Child Care Subsidy works

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

CCS is paid to providers who pass it on to families as a fee reduction. Families pay the difference between the provider’s fee and the subsidy amount. There are important rules about the fees you charge families. 

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

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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).
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Family entitlement

Three factors determine how much CCS a family receives: 

Extra help is available for vulnerable and disadvantaged families through the Child Care Safety Net.

Families can get an estimate of what they may be entitled to on Services Australia’s Payment and Service Finder.

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Enhanced CCS from July 2022

From July 2022, families will receive more support from the Australian Government through proposed changes to CCS.

The changes include:

  • increasing the Child Care Subsidy for families with more than one child in care under the age of 6, and
  • removing the annual cap.

These measures will lower out-of-pocket costs for more than 250,000 families in 2022–23, with the Australian Government investing an additional $1.7 billion through CCS.

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