Baby Hints & Tips

Australia’s new Child Care Subsidy – be prepared

From July 2nd 2018 Australia will have one new Child Care Subsidy to replace the existing two payments.  This does NOT happen automatically so you need to act now to make the transition smooth for your family.  If you do not complete the paperwork you may end up receiving no subsidy payment at all.

Australia's new Child Care Subsidy - be preparedFrom April 2018 you need to complete an online assessment at myGOV.

You can estimate your Child Care Subsidy payment here.

To fill out the form you will need

  1. Your combined family income
  2. activity level of parents
  3. type of child care service

To receive benefits you need to meet the following requirements

  • Child must be 13 or under and not attending secondary school
  • Child must meet immunisation requirements
  • The individual, or their partner, meets the residency requirements.
  • The individual must be liable to pay for care provided
  • Care must be delivered in Australia by an approved child care provider, and not be part of a compulsory education program.

The Child Care Subsidy will be paid directly to the care provider, with the family then paying a reduced fee.

Combined family income:

The following table shows the rates in 2018/19 for the Child Care Subsidy.  See more details.

Combined family incomeSubsidy rate*
< $66,95885%
$66,958-$171,95850-85%
$171,958-$251,24850%
$251,248-$341,24820-50%
$341,248-$351,24820%
>$351,2480%

* Subsidy rate of actual fee charged or the maximum hourly rate cap (whichever is lower).

Activity Test for Child Care Subsidy

In two parent families both parents, unless exempt, must meet the activity test. In the case where both parents meet different steps of the activity test, the parent with the lowest entitlement will determine the hours of subsidised care for the child.  More details.

StepHours of activity per fortnightMax number of hours of subsidy per child per fortnight
18-16 hours36 hours
216-48 hours72 hours
3>48 hours100 hours

Approved activities for Child Care Subsidy include

  • Paid work, including leave
  • Being self employed
  • Unpaid work in the family business
  • Training courses for the purpose of improving the individual’s work skills or employment prospects
  • An approved course of education or study
  • Volunteering
  • Actively looking for work.
  • Paid parental leave, including maternity leave

Note that these activities can be combined and include time travelling from child care to the activity.

Low income families on $66,958 or less a year who do not meet the activity test will be able to access 24 hours of subsided care per child per fortnight without having to meet the activity test, as part of the Child Care Safety Net.

Type of Child Care

The amounts paid per type of child care for 2018/19 will be:

Service TypeMax hourly rate cap
Centre Based Day Care$11.77
Family Day Care$10.90
Outside School Hours Care$10.29
In Home Care$25.48 per family

More information on the type of child care here.

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