Oh the child care subsidy – what a confusing system! Having worked in early childhood since I left school I thought I would understand, but having to navigate it as a parent I am still confused! 

This is calculated based on your income, how many hours of work (or other approved activities) you complete and your family circumstances. You need to be an Australian citizen (or hold a specific visa) to receive CCS. 

There are two parts to the Child Care Subsidy (CCS):

  1. Subsidy Percentage – For example, 85% (The percentage of care that will be paid for by Services Australia/Centrelink)
  2. Approved Hours Per Fortnight – For example, 100 hours per fortnight. (The number of hours care to which that subsidy percentage applies)

Try our Child Care Subsidy Calculator below to see what your family may be eligible for.

Our top tips!

  • When you need to talk to Centrelink call at busy times of the day! While most families are getting out the door in the mornings or doing the dinner/bath/bed routine your call will go through more quickly. 
  • The Centrelink helpline is open 8:00am-8:00pm Monday to Friday. Ph. 136 150
  • You need to let Centrelink know of any changes to your income, activity level or family circumstances. If things change and they are overpaying you, there will be a bill at the end of the financial year. 
  • Centrelink does withhold 5% of your payment to reduce the risk of overpayment. You will receive this at the end of financial year when everything is balanced. 
  • You can increase the amount that Centrelink withholds and use it as a saving strategy! 
  • Centrelink works in fortnights! Your activity level and the number of hours of care you are entitled to are both discussed in fortnights. It can be very easy to get mixed up here.

Find out more about the Child Care Subsidy here.