Your income can affect it

The Child Care Subsidy percentage you’re entitled to depends on your family’s income.

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Family income

We’ll work out your Child Care Subsidy (CCS) percentage using your family income estimate.

Your CCS percentage applies to either your hourly fee or the relevant hourly rate cap, whichever is lower.

We pay this directly to your child care service to reduce the fees you pay.

Use the Child Care Subsidy calculator on the Starting Blocks website to see what you may be eligible for.

Standard CCS rates

Your family incomeChild Care Subsidy percentage
$0 to $80,00090%
More than $80,000 to below $530,000Between 90% and 0%
The percentage goes down by 1% for every $5,000 of income your family earns above $80,000
$530,000 or more0%

If you have more than one child aged 5 or younger, you may get a higher rate for one or more of your children.

You can still claim CCS even if your family income estimate is $530,000 or more. If you actually earn less than this, we’ll pay you the subsidy you’re entitled to. We’ll do this when we balance your payments at the end of the financial year.

Watch this video to learn more about Child Care Subsidy and your family income estimate.

Withholding

We’ll withhold 5% of your subsidy. This is to help reduce the likelihood of you getting an overpayment. You’re able to vary this amount to suit your circumstances.

You can do this up to twice a year online.

If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov, sign in now and select View withholdings to manage your withholdings.

Sign in to myGov

If you’d like to change it more than this, call the Families line.

We use your family income estimate to work out how much subsidy you’ll get. This means at the end of each financial year we’ll balance your payment using your actual adjusted taxable income. We compare this information to make sure we’ve subsidised your child care fees correctly in the financial year.

If you underestimated your family income, you may end up with an overpayment which you’ll need to pay back. We’ll use the amount we withheld to help reduce the debt.

If you have a CCS overpayment, we may use some of your CCS each fortnight to pay this back.

If you don’t get CCS each fortnight, the easiest way to repay money is online using the Money you owe service. If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov, sign in now to do this.

Sign in to myGov

You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

If you overestimated your family income and didn’t get enough subsidy, we’ll pay any outstanding amount directly to you. This will include the amount we withheld.

Watch this video to learn more about Child Care Subsidy and your withholding percentage.

Page last updated: 31 January 2024.
QC 42191