- The Child Care Subsidy is the main way the government assists families to pay for the cost of childcare.
- The Child Care Subsidy is only paid for certain types of child care provided by approved providers.
- The amount of subsidy you will receive will depend on your family circumstances, your family’s income and your child’s age.
- The Child Care Subsidy is usually paid directly to the provider, lowering the out-of-pocket cost you need to pay.
- You may also be eligible for an Additional Child Care Subsidy in certain circumstances, such as financial hardship.
What is the Child Care Subsidy?
The Child Care Subsidy is the main way the government assists families to pay for the cost of childcare.
If you and your family are affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for additional payments. Visit the Services Australia website for more information.
The Child Care Subsidy replaced the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate in 2018. The subsidy is designed to be simpler, to make childcare affordable for more families, and to provide more help to low- and middle-income families.
The Child Care Subsidy is only paid for approved child care, which is:
- centre-based day care, including long day care and occasional care
- family day care
- outside school hours care, including before, after and vacation care
- in home care
The Child Care Subsidy doesn’t cover informal care such as babysitting or child care provided in a standalone preschool or kindergarten. Your childcare service can tell you which sort of care they provide. The StartingBlocks website can help you find approved care in your area.
The Child Care Subsidy is calculated according to:
- your family’s income
- the hourly rate cap on the type of approved child care you use
- your child’s age
- the number of hours of activity you and your partner do
You can estimate how much Child Care Subsidy you may get on the Services Australia website.
The Child Care Subsidy is paid directly to the childcare service. The service will then reduce your fees — you only pay the difference between the amount the service charges and the amount paid by the subsidy.
How much will the Child Care Subsidy pay?
The amount of the subsidy will depend on your circumstances including:
- your combined family income (you will need to do a means test, which is a type of financial assessment)
- how many hours per week each parent spends doing activities such as paid work, training, volunteering or looking for work
- the type of childcare service(long day care, occasional care, family day care or outside school hours care)
- the number of children in your care
Families earning up to $72,466 will receive a subsidy of 85% of the actual fee charged. Families earning between $72,466 and $356,756 will receive a progressively lower percentage (amount), depending on how much they earn. The hourly fee will be capped depending on the type of service.
For families earning $189,390 or less, there is no longer an annual cap on the amount of subsidy they can receive. There is an increased annual cap for families earning more than that amount.
Am I eligible for the Child Care Subsidy?
You may be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy for a child if:
- your child is 13 years old or under and not attending secondary school
- your child is immunised
- you or your partner meet the residency requirements
- you are responsible for paying the childcare fees
You can check your eligibility on the Services Australia website.
Additional Child Care Subsidy payments
You may also be eligible for an Additional Child Care Subsidy to help with the cost of approved care if you are:
- an eligible grandparent getting an income support payment
- transitioning from certain income support payments to work
- experiencing temporary financial hardship
- caring for a child who is vulnerable or at risk of harm, abuse or neglect
Resources and support
Read more about the Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy on the Services Australia website.
The StartingBlocks website can help you find approved childcare in your area.
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Last reviewed: November 2022