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How to Apply for the Child Care Subsidy in Australia

The Child Care Subsidy is a government payment that can help you with the costs of childcare. If you’re yet to apply for the Child Care Subsidy for your child, read on to learn more about how to apply and what you’ll need for the process.

Who’s eligible for the Child Care Subsidy?

The following requirements must apply for you to receive the Child Care Subsidy, according to Services Australia:

  • You are caring for a child under the age of 13 who is not attending secondary school, unless an exemption applies,
  • You are using an approved childcare service.
  • You are responsible for paying the childcare fees.
  • Your family meets residency and immunisation requirements.

Does the Child Care Subsidy cover all childcare fees?

The Child Care Subsidy is means tested and paid directly to your childcare provider. For most families it won’t cover the entire amount, and families pay the difference between the subsidised amount and their childcare fees.

If you’re eligible, your Child Care Subsidy is based on three factors: your combined family income, your and your partner’s level of activity (both paid and unpaid), and your childcare provider’s hourly rate.

2020-2021 CSS family income thresholds Subsidy % of actual fee charged or relevant hourly rate: whichever is lower
$0 to $69,389 85%
$69,390 to $174,389 Between 85% and 50%
(The percentage goes down by 1% for every $3,000 of income your family earns)
$174,390 to $253,679 50%
$253,680 to $343,679 Between 50% and 20%
(The percentage goes down by 1% for every $3,000 of income your family earns)
$343,680 to $353,679 20%
Equal to or above $353,680 0%

From July 2022, subsidies will increase for families with more than one child in care under the age of 6, and the annual subsidy cap will be removed.

When should I apply for the Child Care Subsidy?

It’s a good idea to apply as soon as you know you’ll be needing childcare for your little one. The process can take a number of weeks, so the earlier the better. If your Child Care Subsidy is not already in place when your child begins care, you may need to pay full fees until the subsidy is active. You can apply for the Child Care Subsidy before you’ve officially chosen your childcare provider or enrolled your child.

How to apply for the Child Care Subsidy in 6 easy steps:

You may need certain documentation to complete this process including identification documentation, payslips and medical records.

  1. Sign into your MyGov account and click on Centrelink. If the two services aren’t connected, you’ll need to do this first.
  2. From your homepage, select Make a Claim.
  3. Find the Families menu and click Get Started.
  4. Select Apply for Family Assistance and answer the eligibility questions.
  5. Select Child Care Subsidy and Claim Now, then fill in the answers about your situation.
  6. Review and submit the form.

You’ll then receive an email when your application has been processed.

If approved, the next step is to enrol your child in care with your childcare provider of choice. Once your child is enrolled, you’ll need to complete the Complying Written Agreement (CWA) through your MyGov account so you can receive your Child Care Subsidy from the first day of care.

When do I need to update my details?

There are a few situations where you’ll need to update your Child Care Subsidy details in your MyGov account. This includes if:

  • Your family income changes
  • Your relationship status changes
  • Your or your partner’s activity levels change, such as volunteering or actively looking for work
  • There are other changes to your circumstances, such as your child starting school or your address changing.

Ready to apply?

Visit Services Australia to read more information and begin the application process for your Child Care Subsidy. And with our two new child care centres opening soon in Mornington and Ballarat, our team at Aurrum Kids is always here to help.

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