Government Child Care Subsidy

When the Child Care Subsidy commences on 2 July 2018, it will:

  • replace the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR) with a single, means-tested subsidy
  • be paid directly to providers to be passed on to families
  • be simpler than the current multi-payment system
  • be better targeted and provide more assistance to low and middle income families.


The below information is taken from the Australian Government Education website. For further information, please visit click here.


This Calculator may help Australian parents to estimate their possible Child Care Subsidy (CCS) amount from the Australian Government and out-of-pocket child care costs.

Combined family income

Your family’s combined income will determine the CCS percentage that you’re entitled to.

You will need to contact Centrelink when your combined income increases or decreases.



Family income
$66,958 – $171, 958Subsidy reduces 1% for every $3,000 over $66,958
$171,958 – $251,24850%
$251,248 – $341,248Subsidy reduces 1% for every $3,000 over $251,248
$341,248 – $351,24820%


Every financial year, these tax brackets will be adjusted as per CPI.



Level of activity

CCS relates to how much activity a family contributes to the Australian economy . This activity level is based on the parent with the lowest number of hours of activity.


Hours of activity (per fortnight)
Maximum number of hours of subsidy (per fortnight)
8 hours to 16 hours36 hours
16 hours to 48 hours72 hours
More than 48 hours100 hours


What counts as activity?

Under the new system, you must be doing suitable activity to access the Child Care Subsidy.  The amount of activity then determines how many hours of Childcare Subsidy you are eligible for.


Activity includes:

  • Paid work (including unpaid lunch breaks)
  • Commute time from childcare centre to work (excludes time travelling form home to childcare centre and vice versa)
  • Authorised leave (eg maternity leave, long service leave, annual leave etc)
  • Unpaid leave of up to 6 months
  • Unpaid work in a family business
  • Setting up a new business
  • Study
  • Training and study (includes semester breaks)
  • Work experience/internships (whether paid or not)
  • Volunteering
  • Looking for work (eg internet research, contacting employers, preparing resumes/letters of application, preparing for and attending job interviews, travel time for interviews)


What if you don't have enough activity?


Some families may see a reduction in childcare funding support as a result of the activity test. However, do note that:

  • Activity is based on the family’s estimate over a thirteen week period
  • For casual/contract/itinerant workers whose hours may vary from week to week, you should pick the week with the highest level of activity in the thirteen week period and use that as your level of activity
  • You can go onto myGov and change your activity level at any time
  • While you do not have to verify your activity, the Government mentions that it will look to audit approximately 10% of families each year and seek verification that the activity is valid
  • Families earning less than $64,710 are exempt from activity tests for up to 24 hours care per fortnight

The new caps

The current cap of $7,500 per child has been updated based on your family’s combined income.

  • Families earning less than $186,958 = no cap
  • Families earning $186,958 to $351,248 = $10,190 cap
  • Families earning over $351,248 are not eligible for CCS

Note: the government will hold back 5% of CCS paid to families until reconciliation at the end of each financial year. This balance will be paid back to families in their tax return if they are eligible.