Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship) and COVID-19

The Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship) is available to support families experiencing temporary financial hardship due to COVID-19 to get back on their feet. 

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This subsidy is a short-term payment from the Australian Government to help families experiencing significant financial stress with the cost of child care. The subsidy will cover the entire cost of care (up to 120 per cent of the hourly rate cap) for up to 13 weeks per event.

Families who are eligible for this subsidy will not have to meet the activity test. This means they will be entitled to access up to 100 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight.

Who is eligible?

To access this subsidy families must be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and have experienced one of the following temporary financial hardship events which is impacting their ability to pay child care fees:

  • the death of a partner or child of the individual
  • unexpected loss of employment of the individual, or a partner of the individual, other than due to resignation or retirement
  • loss of income or business failure of an individual, or the partner of the individual, due to circumstances outside of their, or their partner’s, control (such as serious illness)
  • loss of income of the individual, due to the death of a former partner who was providing ongoing financial assistance in relation to their child
  • the individual, or their partner, has been adversely affected by a major natural disaster event (e.g. bushfire, flood)
  • destruction of, or severe damage to, the individual, or their partner’s, home
  • the individual having to leave home and not being able to return because of an extreme circumstance (such as domestic violence)
  • where an individual is still living at home and a family member has left or has been removed because of domestic violence against the individual.

The event must have occurred within six months from the date of application. Families can receive this subsidy once only per temporary financial hardship event.

What supporting evidence needs to be provided?

Evidence will be required to support the application. It must show that the event occurred less than six months from the date of application, outlining how the event has caused temporary financial hardship and impacted the families ability to pay child care fees.

If the claimant or their partner has lost their job or they have a reduction of income due to COVID-19, acceptable evidence includes:

  • an Employment Separation Certificate
  • an email or letter (on letter head) from your employer
  • a letter from an accountant or financial advisor with whom you have a pre-existing relationship
  • a statutory declaration which states you’ve lost your job or income due to circumstances outside your control
  • bank statements (as supplementary evidence, not sufficient on their own).

The appropriate evidence must be submitted with the application to avoid any delays in the assessment. Further information on the types of acceptable supporting evidence is available on the Services Australia website.

How do families apply?

Families can apply for ACCS (temporary financial hardship) by accessing their Centrelink online account through myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. The Services Australia website details the steps to apply.

Families that applied for the this subsidy before the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package was introduced on 6 April 2020, and did not receive a total of 13 weeks of additional subsidy can re-apply to access the remaining balance of the total 13 week entitilement. The evidence must show the event occurred within six months of the date of the latest application.

Where can I find further information?

Visit the Services Australia website for more information on the Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) and the CCS.