The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is an important tool made available by the Australian Government to help with the financial costs associated with childcare. The program is designed to increase access to high-quality care for children of families from different backgrounds across Australia. However, like most government programs, there are requirements, caveats and stipulations that surround the subsidy. To help alleviate the inevitable stress of understanding this government program we’ve answered some of our parents’ most common questions.
In this article, you’ll find information relating to the CCS program in Australia. We’ve provided information that is up to date as of October 2021. If you’d like further information regarding this subsidy program, we invite you to visit Child Care Subsidy – Services Australia, check out our CCS information page or contact our team with your specific questions.
How do I figure out how much CCS I’m entitled to?
CCS is meant to provide financial assistance to families of varying circumstances. The amount is calculated based on three components:
- Your family’s combined income
- The level of activity* that your family contributes to the Australian economy
- Young Academics’ hourly rate (the hourly rate of your childcare provider)
The easiest way to determine your CCS is by using a CCS Calculator which can easily be found online. This tool will take into account all of the above factors and provide you with your CCS entitlement.
How do I know if I’m eligible for CCS?
To be eligible for CCS, you must:
- care for a child 13 or younger who's not attending secondary school, unless an exemption applies
- use an approved childcare service
- be responsible for paying the childcare fees
- meet residency and immunisation requirements
Your child must also:
- have the necessary immunisation requirements
- not be attending secondary school unless an exemption applies
There are some families who may be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy. This is paid on top of CCS to provide extra support. You may be able to apply for Additional Child Care Subsidy if you’re:
- a grandparent
- transitioning to work
- experiencing temporary financial hardship.
How do I claim for CCS?
Claiming your CCS is very easy and can be done online. Follow these steps to claim your CCS:
- Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink. If you don’t have a myGov account, then create one and continue with the following steps.
- Select “Make a Claim” or “View Claim Status” from your homepage.
- Select “Get Started” from the “Families” menu.
- Select “Child Care Subsidy”.
- Answer the Eligibility questions.
- Start your claim and answer the questions about your situation.
- Review and confirm your claim.
Bear in mind that you may be asked for supporting documents to submit your claim.
My circumstances have changed – will my CCS remain the same?
Briefly, no. If your circumstances have changed, then your CCS will most likely reflect that change, depending on how significant the change is. However, it is your responsibility to report to Services Australia, if the following needs to be updated:
- your family’s income changes
- your or your partner’s activity levels change
- your relationship status changes
- there are any other changes to you or your partner’s circumstances.
It’s important that you update the Australian Government if the above changes throughout your usage of the childcare system. Knowing your accurate circumstances helps Services Australia pay you the correct amount. If Services Australia overpays you as a result of you not updating them about your information, you may have to repay them.
If I increase my hours at Young Academics, will this affect my CCS?
Increasing your time at our childcare centre may result in you reaching your CCS cap much more quickly. While you don’t need to let Services Australia know this information, it’s important that you stay on top of your own circumstances.
This is only applicable to families earning between $190,015 and $354,305 as CCS is capped at $10,655 per child per financial year. If your family makes below $190,015, then there is no annual cap on your subsidy.
We hope that this article helps to answer some of your most pressing questions. We know that the CCS is a complex area, which is why we’re prepared to offer all the help you need to confidently claim your subsidy.
Want to join the Young Academics family? Find your nearest location here, and our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly.
*Activity refers to anything that may stimulate the Australian economy including paid work, training (even if unpaid), unpaid work in a family business, volunteering, time spent in a business that has not begun to operate, unpaid and authorised leave, study, work experience or looking for work. Any activity that maintains or improves work skills and employment can be assessed by Centrelink to be recognised as an “activity”.