Balancing Child Care Subsidy

Families must confirm their income each financial year to ensure they are paid the right amount of Child Care Subsidy (CCS). This is called ‘balancing’ or ‘reconciliation’.

Balancing is underway for the 2018–19 and 2019–20 financial years.

On this page:

What do families need to do?

Families must confirm their income at the end of each financial year so Services Australia can balance their CCS. They do this by:

Parents with ex-partners

If a parent separates from their partner/s Services Australia will also need their ex-partner's income.

If a parent at your service is concerned that their ex-partner/s won’t lodge their tax return by the deadline they should call the Families line.

Services Australia may be able to balance payments based on a recent estimate of their ex-partner’s income.

When is the deadline?

Families must confirm their income after the end of each financial year. For each financial year, there are two deadlines for confirming income. If families meet the first deadline, they don’t need to worry about the second one.

If families don’t meet the deadlines for balancing they may have to bear the full cost of child care, or even have to repay the CCS.

2018–19 financial year

First deadline

Families must confirm their income for the 2018–19 financial year by 31 March 2021.

The deadline was extended from 30 June 2020 to 31 March 2021 to provide families more time due to  COVID-19.

If families don’t confirm their income by 31 March 2021 their CCS will stop from 5 April 2021 (next CCS Monday). This means they will need to pay full fees when they use child care.

If families confirm their income after 5 April 2021, Services Australia can start their CCS again. Payments will restart the following CCS Monday, after their income is confirmed. If there was a gap between their CCS stopping and this date, they won’t get CCS for that time.

Second deadline

If families still haven’t confirmed their income by 30 June 2021 they may need to pay back all the CCS they got for 2018–19.

Families will no longer be eligible for CCS from 12 July 2021. You will need to direct families to make a new claim if they wish to get a reduced fee again.

Families can claim CCS entitlements again once they have confirmed their income and they have either:

  • repaid any current or previous CCS or Child Care Benefit debt, or
  • entered into a repayment arrangement.

2019–20 financial year

First deadline

Families must confirm their income for the 2019–20 financial year by 30 June 2021.

If families don’t confirm their income by 30 June 2021 their CCS will stop. This means they’ll need to pay full fees when they use child care.

Services Australia will be able to start it again but only after families have confirmed their income. This means families may miss out on CCS they may have otherwise got.

Second deadline

If families still haven’t confirmed their income by 30 June 2022 they may need to pay back all the CCS they got for 2019–20.

Families’ CCS eligibility will also stop from the first CCS fortnight of the 2022-23 financial year. You will need to direct families to make a new claim if they wish to get a reduced fee again.

Families can claim CCS entitlements again once they have confirmed their income and they have either:

  • repaid any current or previous CCS or Child Care Benefit debt, or
  • entered into a repayment arrangement.

What is withholding?

Services Australia withholds 5% of a family's CCS. If a family receives too much CCS, the withholdings that have been set aside will reduce what they owe at the end of the financial year.

Families can change their withholding percentage up to twice a year using their Centrelink online account through myGov. If families want to change it more than this, they’ll need to call the Families line.

Learn more about withholding CCS

What do providers need to do?

The balancing process is a matter between families and Services Australia.

You may notice a change to the amount of CCS you receive on behalf of a family after Services Australia balances payments.

You will also need to charge full fees to families if their CCS stops.

If your families have any questions regarding the balancing process, please direct them to Services Australia.

Session reports

The Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS) has closed for the 2019–20 financial year.

If you need to submit, vary or withdraw session reports for any period between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020, you’ll need to apply.

Learn more about amending session reports from a previous financial year.

Resources

Please share these resources with your families.

Families who want to know more, or have questions, should go to Services Australia.

Resource You can…
Information sheet – Confirming income distribute this article to families who attend your service.
Self-print poster – Confirming income display this poster at your service.
Information sheet – CCS Balancing distribute this article to families who attend your service.
Self-print poster – Family Update display this poster at your service.
Video – Balancing CCS share this video with families who attend your service.