Child Care estimator to guide you on fees
The Child Care Package brings more support to more families across Australia. It replaced the Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate (from July 2018) with a single, means-tested Child Care Subsidy.
The subsidy is more generous for low and middle income families, but less generous for very high income families (defined as having a household income above $352,453 pa).
You can try our simple subsidy estimator to get an idea of how much Child Care Subsidy you could expect to receive – click here to use the estimator.
What should I know about the Child Care Subsidy?
There are three key factors that determine how much Child Care Subsidy families may receive:
Key facts about the Child Care Subsidy
- Families earning $68,163 or less receive a subsidy of 85% of their child care fees (up to the rate cap of $11.77 per hour).
- For families earning over $68,163 to under $173,163, the subsidy gradually tapers down from 85% to 50%, receiving 1% less for every $3000.
- Families earning $173,163 to under $252,453 will receive a subsidy 50% of their fees.
- For families earning $252,453 to under $342,453, the subsidy gradually tapers down from 50% to 20%, receiving 1% less for every $3000.
- Families on $342,453 to under $352,453 will receive a subsidy of 20% of their fees, while families on income $352,453 or more will receive no subsidy.
- If your family earns $188,163 or less, you won’t have an annual cap on your subsidy. If your family earns between $188,163 and $352,453 we’ll cap your subsidy. This means your fees will be subsidised up to the annual cap of $10,373 per child each financial year.
- In two parent families, both parents must engage in recognised activity for at least 8 hours a fortnight to receive the subsidy (unless exempt).
- Recognised activities include but are not limited to: paid work (including leave), approved study or training, actively seeking work, volunteering and self-employment.
- Families can access up to a maximum of 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight dependent on how much they are working, studying or doing other approved activity.
- A hourly rate cap of $11.98 per hour subsidy applies for centre-based care which the Government will use when determining your level of subsidy. However, your child care service may charge above or below this amount. The Government will use the lower amount to calculate any subsidy entitlement.
- In most cases, the subsidy will be paid directly to child care providers, in which case you only pay the difference between the fee charged by your service and the amount subsidised by the Government.
- 5 per cent of your weekly Child Care Subsidy entitlement will be withheld by the government. Following reconciliation of your tax return at the end of the financial year, any amount owing to you will be paid as a lump sum by the government. If you have been paid too much Child Care Subsidy, you will have a debt to repay.
- Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) provides a higher level of subsidy than the regular Child Care Subsidy, in recognition of the circumstances the child and/or family is facing. You need to meet extra criteria to be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy.
- 24 hours of subsidised care per fortnight will be available for children from families on a combined income less than $68,163 pa who do not meet the activity test requirements.