Confused about the Australian Government’s Child Care Subsidy changes? We’ve updated our guide for 2019 with what you need to know, and how to claim your subsidy on the cost of your little one’s care.
The new Australian childcare package, called the Child Care Subsidy, is paid directly to your childcare provider.
This subsidy replaced the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR) with a single, means-tested subsidy.
What is the Child Care Subsidy (CCS)?
The Child Care Subsidy is how the Government assists families with their childcare fees.
For families enrolling in childcare for the first time, you’ll need to use the updated rulings to work out your eligibility & entitlement as part of your enrolment.
The Child Care Subsidy commenced on 2 July 2018:
- is generally paid directly to childcare providers to be passed on to families
- is simpler than the previous multi-payment system
- is better targeted and provides more assistance to low and middle-income families.
Am I eligible for the Child Care Subsidy?
There are three factors that determine a family’s level of Child Care Subsidy. These are:
Combined annual family income
Under the Child Care Subsidy, the percentage of subsidy a family is entitled to is based on their combined annual income, with more financial support available to lower-income families.
Use this Child Care Subsidy calculator to calculate the amount of subsidy your family is entitled to. There is an annual cap for families earning over $186,958 and under $351,248 of $10,190 per year per child.
The number of hours of subsidised childcare that families have access to per fortnight is determined by a three-step activity test.
Approved activities include work, study, volunteering, looking for work, training courses. Find out more here.
This is the type of childcare service and whether the child attends school. The maximum hourly rate the Government will subsidise is based on the type of childcare service. These caps place an upper limit on the amount of Child Care Subsidy the Australian Government will provide.
The Child Care Subsidy is generally paid directly to service providers and passed on to families as a fee reduction. Families make a co-contribution to their childcare fees and pay to the provider the difference between the fee charged and the subsidy amount.
Child Care Subsidy Checklist
Did you and your partner (if applicable) have work, training, study-related commitments (or have an exemption) at some time during the week childcare is provided?
Under the new system, both parents must be working, studying, volunteering, or searching for work for at least eight hours a fortnight to be eligible for the rebate.
Are you using approved childcare?
Grace Village Early Learning Centre is an approved childcare provider.
Are you or your partner an Australian citizen, a permanent resident living in Australia or exempt from the Australian Government’s residency requirements?
Does your child (under seven years of age) meet the Australian Government’s immunisation requirements or have an exemption?
Are you the one responsible for your childcare costs?
In the situation, for example, your employer contributes to your child care through salary sacrificing or packaging, you should discuss with them who is responsible for the cost.
Centrelink will also need to know the estimated income for you and your partner, the approximate number of hours of work, study volunteering or searching for work, and other relevant details for both parents such as Tax File Number.
Here at Grace Village, we understand every family has different circumstances. For more information about childcare assistance payments and a full list of available payments & services, visit this Centrelink page.
How can I claim the Child Care Subsidy?
The best way to begin your claim is online through your MyGov account. Your identification may need to be checked, so have your paperwork handy before you get started.
- Sign in to your myGov account and click on the box ‘Centrelink’
- Select ‘Payment and Claims’ from the menu, then, ‘Claims’, then ‘Make a Claim’
- Under ‘Families’, select Get started’
- Answer all the questions. If you get stuck on a question an explanation is provided. You will need to submit your supporting documents with this step.
- Submit your claim.
- You can track your claim through your myGov account, under Centrelink. Your childcare centre/facility will need to submit your child’s enrolment details as well.
Click here for a detailed document on how to claim your childcare subsidy
Information you need to give your childcare service provider
- Once you have completed the steps above, you will need to give your childcare service provider some information as well, so they can complete their end of the process and reduce your childcare fees.
- You will need to give them your Customer Reference Number (CRN) and your date of birth – the CRN will be on previous correspondence or on your Health Card. If you are new, you will need to visit a service centre with photo identification.
- You will also need to provide your child’s CRN and date of birth. Their CRN can be found on your Centrelink account or can be created when you arrange for your CRN at a service centre.
Once it is all set up, your childcare subsidy will be paid directly to Grace Village Early Learning to reduce your childcare fees.
How much can I claim?
Each family’s circumstances are different. You can find out how much your childcare subsidy will be using the Child Care Subsidy calculator.
Keep your information up to date
You have an ongoing responsibility to keep your information up to date to ensure you are subsidised for what you are entitled to.
Changes in any of your circumstances such as your family’s income, you or your partner’s activities in work/study/volunteering, your relationship status changes, or other changes could affect the amount of your childcare subsidy.
Any overpayments will need to be paid at the end of the financial year.
Sign in to your MyGov account and click the box ‘Centrelink’. You will need to enter income estimates, your withholding percentage and you and your partner’s activity levels – these are the elements the government uses to work out how much childcare subsidy you can get.
So, what do I do now?
Of course, our knowledgeable staff at Grace Village Early Learning are always happy to help, simply call us on 1300 854 388 during business hours or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, alternatively, visit the Department of Education website.