Childcare Rebates Explained

Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate

Families can no longer claim Child Care Benefit (CCB) or the Child Care Rebate (CCR). These payments stopped on 1 July 2018, and were replaced by the Child Care Subsidy. You may also be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy, which replaces:

  • Special Child Care Benefit.
  • Jobs Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance.
  • Grandparent Child Care Benefit.

Visit our Child Care Subsidy page for more information.

Childcare Rebates from 2018

From 2 July 2018, accessing childcare will be more accessible. Providing higher levels of financial support to the families who earn the least aims to make the process of returning to work less financially draining. More importantly, this initiative will give your child an opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of an early childhood education. Family life is busy – in between juggling work and family life, there’s not a lot of time left to catch up on legislative changes, so we’ve outlined the changes for you.

Out with Benefits, in with Subsidies

With any change in legislation comes an inevitable change in acronym, so here’s what you need to know to navigate the Child Care Benefit (CCB), Child Care Rebate (CCR) and the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS). As you can see, the current childcare landscape is a myriad of acronyms and a sliding scale of rebates.

From July 2018, the current Child Care Rebate and the means-tested Child Care Benefit will be completely scrapped to make way for a new income and activity based system called Childcare Subsidy (CCS). The new activity test will give families access to either 36, 72 or 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight and will be calculated based on the hours of combined hours of work, training or study. To be eligible for the new subsidy, both parents must work or study at least eight hours a fortnight.

Families Earning Less than $65,710

With the current $7,500 cap now redundant, the new Child Care Subsidy will cover up to 85 per cent of childcare costs. A family earning $50,000 with two children aged under six in long day care three days a week will be approximately $3,295 better off each year.

Families Earning Over $65,710 to under $170,710

Under the new CCS, the current $7,500 cap is scrapped for families earning above $65,710. With the per hour subsidy tapering down 1 per cent for each extra $3,000, a family earning $80,000 with two children aged under 6 in long day care three days a week will be $3,424 better off each year.

Families Earning Over $170,710 to under $250,000

An annual subsidy cap of $10,000 per child will kick in at $185,710 and the subsidy will taper down to 50 per cent.

Families Earning Over $250,000 to under $340,000

A cap of $10,000 per child will apply and the subsidy will taper down to 20 per cent.

Families Earning Over $340,000 to under $350,000

The subsidy rate for families will be 20 per cent.

Families Earning Over $350,000

Families with a combined income over $350,000 won’t be able to access the subsidy.

Estimate your new subsidy here.

Help for Disadvantaged Families

The new package also offers additional support for children at risk of serious abuse or neglect. It also offers contributions for families where grandparents on income support are the principal carers as well as families experiencing temporary financial hardship. An additional $61 million dollars has also been allocated to provide remote Indigenous families with better access to childcare.

The new reforms also include a ‘Child Care Safety Net’ which provides better support to children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with additional needs such as disability.

Making childcare more accessible is good news for everyone. These initiatives give your child more opportunity to join a social culture and to play, learn and grow in a nurturing environment. It also gives you a chance to foster your network of parents and families and get back into the workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions about the cost of childcare

Why does the government provide subsidies for childcare?

The government provides financial assistance to families to help cover the cost of childcare. This eases out of pocket costs depending on how much a family earns and allows parents to return to work and for children to be exposed to high-quality early childhood care and education, which has many proven benefits for child development.

How do I claim the CCS?

The easiest way to decide how to make a claim is by visiting the Services Australia website.

Am I eligible for the CCS?

To get Child Care Subsidy (CCS) you must:

  • care for a child 13 or younger who’s not attending secondary school, unless an exemption applies
  • use an approved child care service
  • be responsible for paying the child care fees
  • meet residency and immunisation requirements.

Ho much am I entitled to claim through the CCS?

This will depend on your individual circumstances. You can estimate your likely out of pockets costs using our simple Child Care Subsidy Calculator.