Child Care Subsidy & Support

Guide to Child Care Subsidy and Rebate 2023-24

The application for child care benefits can seem a confusing process. That is why we have taken a closer look for you to help you through this.


What is the Child Care Subsidy?

Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is an Australian Government childcare fee assistance package introduced in 2018. CCS provides financial support to families using Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services, including Long Day Care, Before School Care, After School Care and Vacation Care. 

CCS payments are made directly to the ECEC service, and the family must pay any difference between the actual fee charged and the subsidy paid on their behalf. The level of support will depend on the eligibility and circumstances of your family. 

The Australian government is committed to ensuring that every family in the country can access high quality and affordable childcare. While there are lots of different government programs and subsidies, the Child Care Subsidy is the primary method of support for families.

This unique government grant helps to provide financial assistance to parents, supporting you in covering the costs of your childcare requirements. The level of support that you’ll receive will depend on the eligibility and circumstances of your family.


How does it work?

Although the application for childcare benefits might seem confusing, the process is actually quite straightforward. Once you have been confirmed eligible, the subsidy will be paid directly to your childcare provider, who will then give you a reduction in fees.

This means that the government will pay for a certain amount of your child’s care fees, requiring you to pay the remaining amount. The level of funding that the government will pay depends on the results of your activity test.

Still unsure? The below video from Services Australia helps to explain this further:


What are the prerequisites for obtaining CCS or “Higher CCS”?

Before you can submit an application for child care benefits, you will need to check your child care subsidy eligibility.

Requirements that the person claiming CCS or their partner must meet: 

  • residence requirements  
  • be liable to pay for the care under a Complying Written Arrangement with the chosen childcare provider. 

Requirements that the child must meet: 

  • be 13 years of age or younger and not attending secondary school (Please note that there are exceptions to this rule in some cases) 
  • meet the vaccination requirements 

Requirements for a higher subsidy:  

  • you get or will be eligible for CCS 
  • your family’s combined income is under $362,408 
  • you have more than one child aged five or younger in childcare. 

CCS rates for higher-rate children:

Learn more about how the calculation works in examples of various circumstances.

Alongside the standard Child Care Subsidy, certain families can also apply for further support or Addition Child Care Subsidy (ACCS). This includes those who are a grandparent, transitioning jobs or experiencing temporary financial difficulties. To apply for additional financial support, go to the Government Services Australia website for more information. 

Activity test

You can get the hours of subsidised care per fortnight depending on the hours of recognised activities you do.

Child Care Subsidy Income Test 2024- Family’s combined annual income

The Australian Government will subsidise a percentage of a family’s childcare fees or the hourly rate cap, whichever is lower. The amount the government subsidises is based on a family’s combined annual income. 

  1. The maximum CCS rate will be lifted to 90% for families earning $80,000 or less.
  2. CCS rates will be increased for families with a child in care earning under $530,000.

Learn more about CCS payment Australia: how your income can affect the CCS payment.

To help you work out how much money you could be saving with your application for childcare benefits, we have put together a unique Child Care Subsidy calculator.

How to apply for Child Care Subsidy benefit?

To make the process as easy as possible, we advise good preparation. Because then it is relatively easy.

General Preparation: MyGov Account & CRN and Immunisation history statement 

These preliminary steps may be necessary to apply for CCS. You may be able to skip these steps, but for the sake of completeness, we would like to mention them here. 

  • You need to have a MyGov account. If you don’t already have a MyGov account, please click the link and create it first.  
  • You will need your CRN (Centrelink Customer Reference Number). If you don’t already have a CRN, please proceed as described.  
  1. Sign in to myGov. 
  2. Select Link Centrelink  
  3. Select I don’t have or don’t know my CRN, followed by Continue. 
  4. Select I want to prove my identity through myGov, followed by Continue. 
  5. Please prepare two identification documents and your Medicare card for the final steps. 
  • Please ensure that your child’s immunisation history statement is up to date. Otherwise, the Child Care Subsidy cannot be paid. 

Preparation to apply for CCS (Child Care Subsidy)  

We recommend that you have the following documents and details to hand: 

  • Your MyGov Login 
  • Your CRN (Centrelink Customer Reference Number) 
  • Your TFN (tax file number)  
  • The child’s birth certificate 
  • Proof(s) of family income or eventual an employment separation certificate 
  • If you are a student, appropriate documents will be required for further details.  
  • Medical records

Please note that this list contains the most frequently requested information. In individual cases, further documents may be required. You can upload documents to your Centrelink online account or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. Check out the Child care rebate form online.

How to apply for CCS (Child Care Subsidy)  

  1. Log in to your MyGov account and navigate to Centrelink. 
  1. Next select Payments and Claim -> Claims -> Make a claim 
  1. Navigate to Families and then click on Get Started. 
  1. Fill out all the required information, upload all the necessary documentation, and click Submit.  

Please note that the Child Care Subsidy process can take up to 6 weeks to gain approval. 

If you are unsure of any stage of the application or need further assistance, then the government website has a range of services and tools to help you.  

Start your journey today

If you are looking for support with your Child Care Subsidy or you are looking for professional and recognised child care, then Journey Early Learning is here to help you. Our mission is to help every child start the journey of life in the very best possible way, and our play-based learning process creates a fun and engaging learning environment.

Each of our facilities is managed by experienced and qualified Early Childhood Teachers ready to inspire your child each and every day. Sending your child to kindergarten can be a very daunting moment for parents, but our friendly team is here to support you every step of the way.


We are on hand to guide you through the entire process, from our Child Care Subsidy calculator to help you through your child’s first day.


Want to find out more? Find your local Journey Early Learning centre here, check out our Parents FAQ or get in touch with our team today.

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