If you are about to enrol your child into daycare, you may be wondering what the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is about and whether you’ll be entitled to it. The purpose of the child care subsidy is to make gold coast childcare more affordable for Australian families. We’ve compiled this post to share everything you need to know about the child care subsidy.
What is the child care subsidy?
The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is an incentive formed by the Australian Government to help with the cost of childcare fees. It makes child care more accessible to families.
The child care subsidy is paid to your childcare provider and they pass the subsidy on to you at a discounted rate. You pay the gap fee which is the difference between the full daycare fee and the subsidy.
Why you should know what child care subsidy is
Enrolling your child into daycare can be an overwhelming process, and knowing what is involved and the costs associated can help make this transition much easier for you as a caregiver or parent. You can work out how many days you can enrol your child per week based on the weekly fees and your budget.
How do I know if I’m eligible for the child care subsidy or not?
To be eligible for the child care subsidy, you or your partner must meet all of the following:
- You or your partner must be living in Australia
- Have your child for at least 14% of the time or 2 nights per fortnight
- Are liable to pay fees for care at an approved childcare
Additionally, to be eligible, your child must meet the following two requirements:
- They must meet immunisation requirements
- Not be attending a secondary school
How much will I have to pay?
How much you will pay for your child to attend daycare will depend on several factors, some of these include how much you and/or your partner (if you have one) earn, whether you have other children in childcare or not and how many hours of work or activity the parents have each week.
- Here are some of the recognised activities that can determine the total number of hours of child care subsidy you will be entitled to:
- Paid work, including self-employment
- Paid or unpaid leave, including parental or maternity leave
- Studying via an approved course
- Volunteer work
- Unpaid work experience or an internship
- Actively looking for work
- Starting up a business
How does it work if I have more than one child in care?
If you have more than one child attending daycare, you may be eligible for a higher subsidy for additional children if you earn less than $354,305 or you have more than one child in childcare under the age of 5.
Families with more than one child in care may be eligible for a higher subsidy for their second child and younger children.
In most instances, the standard child care subsidy rate applies to the eldest child and subsequent children may be eligible for a 30% higher subsidy or more.
If you’d like to know more about the child care subsidy and what you may be eligible for, head to the services Australia website: Services Australia
Utilise the child care subsidy calculator
On the Services Australia website, you’ll find a payment and service finder, and you can use this to estimate how much CCS you may be entitled to.
The calculator will be looking for the following information:
- Your family’s income
- The hours of activity that you do as well as your partner
- The hourly rate cap. This is determined by your child’s age and the type of approved child care you have chosen
Preschool Exemption Program
If you have a child that is enrolled in a Government Approved Preschool or Kindergarten program, the child care subsidy exemption may be available for pre-school-age children who are eligible for 24 hours per fortnight subsidy. This means that your child may be able to access 36 hours per fortnight. The following conditions apply:
- The child must be of preschool age and be attending centre-based childcare or an early education program.
- The child would otherwise be entitled to less than 36 hours of care per fortnight.
How to apply for the Child Care Subsidy
- Before you can apply for the child care subsidy, you will need to create a MyGov account.
- Once you have done this, you can then sign in to MyGov and go to the Centrelink tab.
- After this, you’ll need to head to the payments and claims section on the drop-down menu. From here, you click on the ‘make a claim’ tab.
- Next, click on the ‘Families’ button and then ‘Get Started’.
- You will need to answer all the questions here and submit any supporting documents.
- Next, you can submit your claim.
- If you like, you can track the progress of your claim via your account.
Ready to enrol your child in daycare?
We hope this post has given you an idea of what the child care subsidy is and how it works. It may seem complex however, once you know the basics, it becomes much more straightforward to understand. If you have any questions about CCS or you’d like to book a tour at our forest school, feel free to reach out to our friendly team here at Little Saints.