Your number of children in care can affect it

You may get a higher Child Care Subsidy if you have more than one child aged 5 or younger in care.

We’ll assess combined families for Higher Child Care Subsidy (CCS) from 1 July 2022. Read more about Higher CCS and combined families.

If you have more than one child aged 5 or younger in care, you may get a higher Child Care Subsidy (CCS). This may apply for one or more of your children.

Watch this video to learn more about  Higher CCS.

Who can get the higher subsidy

You can get the higher subsidy if all of these apply:

  • you get or will be eligible for CCS
  • your family’s combined income is under $354,305
  • you have more than one CCS eligible child aged 5, or younger
  • your higher rate child or children are using child care.

If you have more than one child aged 5 or under we’ll assess which children get the higher subsidy by working out:

  • the ‘standard rate child’
  • the ‘higher rate child’ or the ‘higher rate children’.

The ‘standard rate child’ is usually your eldest CCS eligible child aged 5 or under. For this child, you’ll continue to get the CCS rate that you’re eligible for based on your family income estimate. This is known as the standard CCS rate. You can check the current standard CCS percentages based on family income.

The ‘higher rate child’ refers to your younger eligible child or children. You’ll get the higher subsidy rate for them.

For children born on the same date, such as twins, we’ll automatically determine one child as the ‘standard rate child’. We’ll then apply the higher rate to other eligible children.

We won’t pay the higher subsidy for sessions of In Home Care (IHC). This is because IHC is subsidised for the family, rather than for each child. IHC will continue to be paid the standard CCS rate.

You’ll continue to get the standard rate of CCS if these apply:

  • you have children aged 6 and above
  • you have one child aged 5 or under.

The higher subsidy rate only applies if you have more than one eligible child aged 5 or under.

If your child doesn’t use child care

From 11 July 2022, if your child hasn’t used child care at least once in the previous 26 weeks, they will stop being eligible for CCS.

We’ll reassess your family if one or more of your children stop using child care. We’ll check to see if any other children still using child care can get the higher CCS rate from 11 July 2022 onwards.

If you decide not to use child care you can contact us to end your child’s CCS eligibility.

If your child starts to attend care again you’ll need to submit a new claim for CCS for that child.

How to check your CCS percentage

You can check your CCS percentage in your Centrelink online account through myGov. To do this:

  • select the MENU
  • select My family
  • from this menu select Child Care
  • select Child Care Subsidy summary.

How much will I get?

You can get a 30% higher subsidy for your ‘higher rate child’. This is a 30% increase on your standard CCS percentage. We’ll cap this at a maximum of 95%.

You’ll continue to get your standard CCS percentage for your ‘standard rate child’ and any children aged 6 or above.

You can check the current standard CCS percentages based on family income.

You can also check how the changes affect your rate on the Starting Blocks website using the estimator tool.

Find more detailed examples of how the higher subsidy works in different circumstances in our case studies.

When you’ll get the higher subsidy

Higher CCS started on 7 March 2022. If you’re eligible from this date, we’ll automatically work out your higher subsidy and start paying it to your child care.

Combined families

Combined families are where both members of the couple get CCS for different children in their family.

If you’re in a combined family, we’ll start paying the higher subsidy automatically from July 2022. We’ll back pay any higher subsidy you were eligible for between 7 March and July 2022. You’ll continue to get your standard CCS percentage before July.

If you want to get the higher subsidy straight away, you can choose one parent or carer to claim CCS for all children in your family. This person must make a new CCS claim as soon as possible to get the higher subsidy. We can only backdate claims up to 28 days. If you’re a parent or carer claiming for a child, you’ll need to contact your child care service. Speak with them about starting a new enrolment for that child and the parent or carer claiming CCS.

Some members of a combined family may still get the higher subsidy from March 2022, if they get CCS for 2 or more eligible children in their care.

We’ll still assess family as a whole from July 2022. When we do this, we’ll pay the higher subsidy for any extra eligible children, including those who have been claimed for by the other parent or carer.

If you’re combined family is eligible for higher CCS, we’ll send you an SMS in July to notify you of the changes.

What you need to do

You don’t need to do anything to get higher CCS.

We’ll automatically work out if you’re eligible. If you are, we’ll apply the higher subsidy to any eligible children in your family and start paying it to your child care service to reduce your fees.

You can view your letters in your myGov Inbox or through your Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Page last updated: 9 May 2022