Guardian Childcare & Education

What is the Child Care Subsidy?

27th October 2020

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is a government subsidy that offers different levels of financial assistance to help cover the cost of childcare for Australian families. How much you receive depends on your individual circumstances.   

getting the most out of your ccs

How much CCS should I receive? 

Your CCS is calculated using three components: 

  1. Your combined family income 
  2. Your level of ‘activity’
  3. Your childcare provider’s hourly rate 

 

It can be a little complicated … So, we made it easy for you to understand how much you might be eligible for with our simple

Child Care Subsidy Calculator

 

Let’s take a look at each of the factors used to calculate your CCS, and what they mean for you. 

Your Combined Family Income 

Your family’s combined income will help determine the CCS percentage you’re entitled to.   Remember, you will need to contact Centrelink when your combined income increases or decreases – this can be done at any time through your Centrelink online account through myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. 

Your family income 

Child Care Subsidy percentage 

$0 to $69,390  85% 
More than $69,390 to below $174,390  Between 85% and 50%
The percentage goes down by 1% for every $3,000 of income your family earns 
$174,390 to below $253,680  50% 
$253,680 to below $343,680  Between 50% and 20%
The percentage goes down by 1% for every $3,000 of income your family earns 
$343,680 to below $353,680  20% 
$353,680 or more  Nil 

*These amounts are correct for 2020-21 (from 13 July 2020) and may be adjusted according to CPI. 

Your Level of ‘Activity’ 

CCS is linked to how much a family contributes to the Australian economy through activity – both paid and unpaid. This activity level is calculated from the parent with the lowest number of hours of activity per fortnight. 

Activity level each fortnight 

Hours of subsidised care each fortnight 

Less than 8 hours  0 hours if you earn above $68,163
24 hours if you earn $68,163 or below 
More than 8 to 16 hours  36 hours 
More than 16 to 48 hours  72 hours 
More than 48 hours  100 hours 

 

What counts as an activity? 

  • Paid work (including all-time between drop off at the Centre and pick up at Centre, commute time, lunch breaks etc) 
  • All types of work across all jobs/employers 
  • Authorised leave (e.g. maternity leave, long service leave, annual leave) 
  • Unpaid leave of up to 6 months 
  • Unpaid work in a family business 
  • Time spent setting up a business that has not yet started to operate 
  • Training and study (including additional study outside scheduled hours, holiday and non-class periods) 
  • Work experience/internships (paid or unpaid) 
  • Volunteering 
  • Looking for work (including contacting employers, preparing resumes and letters of application, preparing for and attending job interviews etc) 

Exemptions to the ‘Activity Test ’  

There are some exemptions to the activity test. To discuss your individual circumstances, please contact our Concierge Team on 1300 001 119. 

  • Universal access: 4 -year-old preschool/kindergarten programs. If a child attends an early educational program at a childcare Centre in the year that is 2 years before Grade 1 of school (ie a preschool or kindergarten program), they are entitled to up to 36 hours of care per fortnight, irrespective of their parent’s activity.
  • Low-income families. If a family earns less than $65,710 with no activity, then they are entitled to 24 hours per fortnight.
  • Individuals on Income Support will automatically qualify for 36 hours of activity per fortnight, plus any other recognised activity (e.g. volunteering, studying etc).
  •  Individuals receiving Carer’s  Allowance will automatically qualify for the higher of: 
    • 72 hours of activity per fortnight, or
    • The actual time spent caring plus any other form of recognised activity 

Your childcare provider hourly rate  

The third factor taken into consideration when calculating your CCS is the hourly rate charged by your childcare provider.  CCS is calculated according to whichever is the lowest: 

  • The Centre’s actual hourly fee (which is the daily fee’ divided by hours of operation), or
  • The Hourly Rate Cap of $12.20 per hour. 

 

To discuss your individual circumstances, please contact our Concierge Team on 1300 001 119. 


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