For many Australian families, their investment in their child’s early education and care is significant, which is why access to the Australian Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is so important. Understanding the subsidy and how to make the most of the benefits can make a big difference to the family budget.
The CCS is a part-payment by the Australian Government to offset the cost of early education and child care for Australian families.
The Centre Managers and Family Support Team at Lifelong Learning Centres provide information and support to thousands of Australian families every year, to ensure they gain the maximum CCS available to them.
In the interests of helping our families understand this vital ‘life admin’ topic, here are some helpful steps families can take before you enrol your child to ensure the CCS is paid correctly and on time.
Register early. Ensure your myGov account is set up and you have registered for the Child Care Subsidy at least 28 working days before your child’s first attendance. This will reduce the risk of you paying full fees in the first few weeks. Two weeks before your child’s first attendance, ask your Centre Manager to confirm your child’s enrolment so any issues can be resolved before you start paying fees.
Count every hour of approved activity. For the lower income earner in the family, your approved activity hours are the ‘deciding factor’ in how many hours of child care the Australian Government will subsidise for your child. Approved Activity includes work, studying and volunteering, and each of those approved activities need to meet the definition provided by Centrelink. Understand what counts, and report every hour, to ensure you receive what you are entitled to. Visit the Child Care Subsidy Activity Test to see your eligibility. Your Centre Manager or our Family Support Team are also available to provide information.
Use flexible sessions. Our Lifelong Learning Centre offer families the option of 10-hour or full-day sessions, so they can use their subsidised child care hours over more days. In some centres we also offer 9-hour or shorter sessions. Please discuss the best option for your family when you enrol.
Provide your Child Care Subsidy entitlement letter with your enrolment or send us a screen shot from your myGov page, so we can clearly see what you are entitled to receive.
Be specific. Your written agreement with your child’s early education centre should clearly state which days they will attend, so the Centre Manager can accurately report this to Centrelink, and you won’t miss out on the CCS for any days your child attends.
Need more advice or information? Our Family Support Team are ready to answer your questions, and they’re available Monday to Friday on 1800 CHILD CARE.