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How to Apply for The Childcare Subsidy

06 July, 2021

Mother holding baby doing paperwork
Did you know that the Australian Government offers assistance to families, to help make childcare more accessible? It’s called the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) scheme, and you could be eligible. Find out how to apply for childcare support, the claim process, subsidy payment calculation and more.

What is the childcare subsidy scheme (CCS)?

Knowing how important access to childcare is to Australian families, the federal government offers parents fee assistance in the form of the CCS. From July 2022, the CCS has offered more support to families with multiple children under the age of six. The annual cap will also be removed.

Did you know that Edge Early Learning is an approved childcare subsidy provider? That means lower out-of-pocket costs for you, while your child benefits from our Active Early Learning and inquiry-based approach.


How does the childcare subsidy work?

To assist with the cost of childcare for Australian parents, families and guardians, if eligible, the Australian Government will provide financial support. This CCS benefit will be provided to families each fortnight depending on the guardian’s recognised activity level and the type of childcare the child has.

Recognised activities include paid work, leave, internships, work experience, entrepreneurs, approved education course/study, actively seeking work, volunteering and more. However, you can get at a minimum 36 hours of CCS for each child regardless of the recognised activities you do.

To receive these benefits, parents must apply online using the MyGov portal and meet the eligibility requirements.


How much is the child care subsidy?

How much of the child care subsidy (CCS) you are entitled to will depend on your personal circumstances. This includes the family income, type of childcare, the child’s age, hours of recognised activity, and number of children in your care.


What is the additional child care subsidy?

The additional child care subsidy provides additional help with managing the costs of approved child care. This is offered to families facing financial hardship and is only available to:

  • An eligible grandparent getting income support payments
  • Transitioning from income support payments to the workforce
  • Experiencing temporary financial hardship
  • Caring for a child who is vulnerable or at risk of harm, abuse or neglect


Who is eligible to get childcare subsidy payments?

The childcare subsidy scheme (CCS) is available to anyone who:

  • Cares for a child 13 years or younger who is not attending secondary school
  • Uses an approved childcare service
  • Is responsible for paying the childcare fees and meets residency and immunisation requirements
  • You must also care for your child for a minimum of two nights per fortnight


The childcare subsidy amount you receive depends on additional factors, including:

  • Household income
  • Service type
  • Amount of work-related activities per fortnight

If you still need some help finding out if you qualify for the childcare subsidy scheme, don’t hesitate to call your local Edge Early Learning Centre. Click here to find your local centre.


How to calculate your childcare subsidy payment?

The amount received through subsidy payments depends on your circumstances. You can estimate your child care subsidy payment using a child care subsidy calculator or other government resources available that are available to assist in the calculation of the subsidiary payments.

Learn more about calculating your expected child care subsidy at Edge Early Learning, here.


How do you apply for and claim the childcare subsidiary scheme?

Applying for the child care subsidy is simple, but you should be sure to apply early – before your child’s first day of childcare – to be safe. Here is how to apply for the childcare subsidy:

  • Set up a MyGov account (if you don’t have one already) and ensure you have a customer reference number
  • Set up your Centrelink online account through MyGov
  • Prove your identity through documentation to be able to claim payments (you can do this online or in-person)
  • Gather supporting documents including payslips, birth certificate, and medical records
  • Submit supporting documents in your Centrelink online account or the express plus Centrelink mobile app. You can also mail, fax, or visit a service centre.
  • Lodge your application via MyGov.
  • Once this is lodged, Edge Early Learning, as your childcare provider, will input your enrolment details and lodge your application for you to get it fully processed.
  • You will then get notified about what you’re entitled to ASAP to ensure it is fully set up before your child’s first day.

For more information on the application process, including how to do the childcare subsidy assessment, see here.


So, how much do you actually receive and how much do you have to pay?

The child care subsidy threshold and the gap fee (i.e., the out-of-pocket amount you will pay your childcare provider, which is the difference between our fee and the subsidy payment) will depend on your circumstances.


How long does the child care subsidy take to process your application?

The entire CCS process can take around four to six weeks to process, so we recommend getting on top of this early if you are looking to begin childcare.

Once you submit your application it enters a queue for processing. The application will then be checked for completeness, and you may receive an email if any areas are missing from your initial application. So, we recommend keeping an eye on your email regularly for any updates on this.

However, if there is no missing information the application will continue to assessment, where more emails may be sent to you depending on the need for clarification or any additional evidence. Following this, approval or refusal of application will be granted.

If your application is approved, payments will only be backdated to the day you submitted your initial application or after the start date of your National Law approval. Importantly, after approval, you will be required to provide care within 3 months or your approval can be cancelled.


How many absences are allowed for the child care subsidy?

Under the CCS, you are entitled to 42 allowable absence days per child throughout the financial year. Families can use this absence for any reason and do not need to provide evidence. Additional absences can be granted in certain circumstances.


If you would like to know more about the CCS or need help with your application, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly centres for assistance!

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