Accessing child care

Find out what payments and services are available to help when your family uses child care.

Find child care

You have options when choosing child care. It’s important to look for child care early so you can reserve a spot for your child. There may be a waiting list.

Use Starting Blocks to find approved care near you. You can also check how much a service will charge you per day. These fees do not take into account any Child Care Subsidy you may get from us.

Read more about Early Childhood on the Department of Education website.

Enrol your child

Your child care service will ask you to complete an enrolment form. They’ll ask for your child’s Customer Reference Number (CRN).

If you haven’t claimed a payment or service from us for your child before, they won’t have a CRN yet. Ask your service whether you can provide this once you’ve claimed and been approved for Child Care Subsidy. If not, you’ll need to wait to get your child’s CRN before you can finalise enrolment.

If you’ve already claimed a payment or service from us for your child, they’ll have a CRN. A payment could include Family Tax Benefit or Parental Leave Pay.

You can find their CRN on your concession card, if you have one.

If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov, sign in now to find your child’s CRN online.

Sign in to myGov

You can also use the My Family section of your Express Plus Centrelink app.

If you can’t find your child’s CRN, you can contact us on the Families line.

Check what you can get

You need to make a claim for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) for all children using child care. Before you start, check if you can get it.

You may be eligible if you or your partner meet all of the following, you:

  • care for your child at least 2 nights per fortnight, or have at least 14% care
  • are liable for fees for care provided at an approved child care service
  • meet the residency rules.

Your child must also both:

You can use the Australian Immunisation Register to keep track of your child’s immunisations.

Read about the National Immunisation Program Schedule on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.

You may also be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS). ACCS gives some families extra help with the cost of approved child care.

Make a claim

You should make a claim before your child starts child care. If you wait until they start care, you may have to pay full fees until your claim is finalised. We can only backdate CCS claims up to 28 days from the date you submit your claim.

The same person claiming CCS needs to have the Complying Written Arrangement (CWA) with their child care service. Read more about CWA when you confirm enrolment for Child Care Subsidy.

If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov, sign in now to submit a claim for CCS online.

Sign in to myGov

You can also apply using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Follow our guide on how to claim CCS online.

If you already get CCS and want to add another child to your claim, you can complete a shortened claim.

When we’ve finalised your claim, we’ll send you an assessment notice to let you know the outcome. Your notice will tell you:

  • whether you’re eligible
  • the amount of CCS you’ll get
  • the annual cap that applies to you
  • the withholding amount.

Remember to confirm your child’s enrolment details

Before we can pay your CCS, you need to confirm your child’s enrolment details.

Your child care service will tell us your child’s name and the type of care you are using. You’ll need to check that this information is correct within your online account.

You can confirm your child’s enrolment details using the online enrolment task. You can find this online task in your Centrelink online account through myGov or your Express Plus app.

Use the Confirm your child’s enrolment online guide for help completing this task.

Sign in to myGov

Manage your payment

You’ll need to keep your details up to date so you can get the right amount of CCS. This includes:

If you already receive CCS, you may be eligible for:

Page last updated: 31 October 2023.
QC 60006