Calculate Your Child Care Subsidy (CCS)
It takes less than 30 seconds to calculate your Child Care Subsidy. Use our simple CCS calculator to find out how much your family could claim.
A Simple Guide to Calculating Your Out-of-Pocket Childcare Costs
The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is a government payment available to families to help cover the costs of childcare. The subsidy is paid directly to your child’s early learning provider to reduce the amount of fees that you pay out-of-pocket. Your out-of-pocket costs depend on how much CCS you are entitled to, depending on your family’s individual situation. If your circumstances change, it’s important to update your details to ensure you continue to receive the best support, entitlements and care possible.
We always encourage our families to revisit the Child Care Subsidy to ensure that you feel confident that you are getting the right level of support for your child’s needs.
It is likely that your family is eligible to receive CCS payments, depending on your circumstances. To be eligible for CCS you must:
- Care for a child 13 or younger who is not attending secondary school, unless an exemption applies
- Use an approved child care service
- Be responsible for paying the childcare fees
- Meet residency and immunisation requirements
The amount of Child Care Subsidy you can receive is dependent on three things:
- Your combined family income
- Your recognised work related activity
- The child care fees you pay
Any time that your income or activity changes, you will need to report the change to Centrelink to ensure that you continue to receive the correct amount of CCS.
Calculate Your Child Care Subsidy
To discover your entitlements, use our CCS estimator below. Please note, this is an estimate only and may be subject to changes dependent on your family’s situation.
Your estimate for the Child Care Subsidy from July 1, 2021:
Your Child Care Subsidy estimate:
|Per Week||Per Fortnight|
|Estimated Child Care Subsidy||
|Estimated out-of-pocket expenses||
- The Government will withhold 5% of your weekly Child Care Subsidy entitlement, which is reflected in our estimates.
- The estimator does not take into account your possible eligibility for 100 hours.
Remember, this is an estimate only. Changes to centre fees, the law, policy or your individual circumstances may mean that any Child Care Subsidy you actually are entitled to from July 1, 2021 differs from the amount estimated.
Before you enrol your child into an early learning centre or other child care services, it’s essential to understand the related costs and the availability of financial support provided by the Australian Government. For this purpose, the childcare subsidy calculator was developed for Families just like you.
It’s well understood that having knowledge of the assistance available to families is the tricky part of daycare and early education services. With the assistance of our Child Care Subsidy Calculator, you can determine your eligibility and gain a more thorough understanding of what portion of subsidised care you will qualify for. The best thing about it is that it’s free and easy to use – you will be able to know your child care rebate in advance, making the process a whole lot more straightforward.
Provided by the Federal Government, the CSS is Australia’s largest form of childcare assistance. This exists because it assists families in paying for long day care, out of school hours and vacation care, in-home and family day care, and other early learning service type and child care.
This has proven to ease the burden for families, which means children have access to improved development because of access to early education. Further, there is an increased level of back to work possibilities for families because of the availability of the child care subsidy entitlement.
If we look at how much it costs for your children to attend various child care centres and other services, you will discover that costs vary depending on the provider. For most services – whether it’s centre-based day care, vacation care, school care, in-home and family daycare or a nanny an hourly rate, charges are standard.
These charges can be anywhere from $15 to $35 an hour, depending on your service provider of choice. Over time, this adds up, which is why whether you have a child attending school hours care or long day care, determining your eligibility and accessing a child care subsidy will help ease any financial burden.
Your child care subsidy is paid directly to your provider and how much child care benefit you are eligible for is based on these main components:
- Must meet residency requirements
- Your children are in your care for two nights or more a fortnight/14% of care
- You contribute to the fees provided for your child at an approved child care centre or service.
Further to this, your child needs to also meet specific requirements as required by the Australian government, under the categories of immunisation and no longer being in attendance of secondary school.
It should be noted that the secondary school specification doesn’t come into effect if your child is:
- 13 years old or younger
- Live with a disability between the ages of 14 to 18.
For this child care subsidy assessment, the evidence must be provided to show why your secondary school child needs supervision and why an adult cannot be the caregiver during these school or after school hours. The requirements are likely to include you providing evidence of the disability your kid is living with.
Eligibility for Extra Support
Some families need extra child care subsidy support and are eligible for additional subsidy benefits. Eligibility to receive depends on whether you are:
- A grandparent
- Experiencing financial hardship that is of a temporary nature
- Transitioning to work
- Caring for a vulnerable or at-risk child.
This type of subsidy doesn’t have an annual cap, and the extent you will receive will depend on what category you come under.
Now that you understand what the CSS calculator does, let us help you know more about how much child care subsidy you will be eligible for, information about approved activities to receive your child care benefit and further details so you can get the most out of your income support.
To determine your CCS hourly rate cap, you will be required to answer a number of questions about your circumstances, including:
- information about the type of provider you will be accessing;
- combined family income and estimated hours of paid work or study; and
- the hourly rate payment for the early learning centre you will be using.
Let’s take a closer look at this:
Combined Family Income
What your family earns combined is one aspect of how your CCS percentage is determined. When using the child care subsidy calculator, you will need to estimate your families combined income. This should include:
- Government benefits
- Net returns from investments
- Child support.
Further to this, for accuracy, you need to subtract any tax deductions with which you’re entitled. Combined, this will give your family their combined annual income. Should what your family earns increase or decrease, contact Centrelink through myGov to make them aware of the changes.
The following is a look at the thresholds for 2021-22, which gives you an indication of what your subsidy entitlement may be:
CCS Family Income Thresholds Subsidy %
Up to $70,015 85%
More than $70,015 & up to $175,015 Decreasing to 50%
$175,015 but below $254,305 50%
$254,305 to below $344,305 Decreasing to 20%
$344,305 but below $354,305 20%
$354,305 or more 0%
It must be noted that currently, a combined family income of less than $190,015 does not have an annual cap; however, from December 2021, the annual cap will be moved, making paying child care fees a lot more sustainable.
Your CCS percentage and subsidised care entitlements are also determined by your level of recognised activity. The government provide subsidies based on four activity levels, which include:
Step Hours of Activity Per Fortnight Max. Hours of CCS Per Child, Per Fortnight
1 <8 hours 0 hours when earning above $70,015 & 24 hours for
earnings $70,015 or below.
2 8 – 16 hours 36 hours
3 16 – 48 hours 72 hours
4 >48 hours 100 hours
Your activity test requirements include families to be actively involved in any of the following and combined will determine what CCS percentage you’re eligible for :
- Paid work – whether employed or self-employed, including periods of paid and unpaid leave, which includes maternity leave.
- Unpaid work in a family business – this could be a partner, parent, child etc.
- Training to improve skills – inclusive of contact and self-directed study, vocational placements, and includes semester/term breaks.
- Approved education or study – must be enrolled and actively involved in secondary or tertiary study.
- Volunteering – this must either improve work skills or employment prospects, be for a charitable organisation that directly supports the development and education of children.
- Setting up a business – actively engaging in preparations for a proposed business by obtaining finance and support, undertaking meetings and developing marketing plans.
- Actively seeking work – you need to engage in one or more of the following on a fortnightly basis: looking for jobs, writing resumes and applications, reaching out to potential employers, attending job interviews.
Additionally, some exemptions apply to the recognised activity test requirements, and you may find yourself in these categories.
For a more thorough understanding of these requirements, an extensive version can be located in the family assistance guide, the official reference for calculating your child care subsidy.
Now you have a greater understanding of the child care subsidy and costs charged by various childcare providers, let’s look at how this child care subsidy is claimed throughout the financial year.
The process is relatively simple and requires little input from you, the parents or guardians; most of the work is done in the initial set-up of your Centrelink online account. The payments are paid directly to the child care provider your child attends and are calculated against your daily fees so you can pay your portion of the costs.
You are required to follow the process below whether you use school holiday care, centre-based day care, after school care or any other child care facility your child attend:
- Apply for your customer reference number (CRN) from Centrelink
- Create an online account
- Create a MyGov account if you don’t already have one
- Complete your Child Care Subsidy assessment, then make a claim.
If you already have access to the first three steps, go directly to step four which can be done by logging into your MyGov account.
Calculate your savings with our child care subsidy calculator. It takes under a minute to find out what portion of subsidised child care you are eligible for. Whether you are low-income families are paying daily fees for ELC care or you’re using different care types that charge an hourly rate, this child care subsidy calculator will give you a guide about your pocket costs.
The following steps are what you will follow to discover your new child care subsidy calculated. However, remember the results of this are a guide to give you an indication of how much you will be out of pocket no matter how many children you have attending childcare or early education throughout the financial year:
Step 1: Activity Test: This first step will determine if you meet the activity test requirements to qualify for the childcare subsidy. If you meet the recognised activity test guidelines, you will be asked further questions, and the calculator will estimate what portion of child care subsidy you are eligible for.
Step2: Family Information: This second step asks how many children will be attending child care centres or other services. It also asks whether you know your percentage, and if you don’t, it will calculate it based on the activity test and your taxable income.
Step 3: Payment Amount: Once you have entered information about the type of child care your child attend, child care fees costs and hours spent in child care, the subsidy calculator will estimate your weekly, quarterly and yearly out of pocket costs.