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Child Care Subsidy Info Hub.

Providing families with all they need to know about the Australian Government's Child Care Subsidy Program.

The Child Care Subsidy is Returning July 13.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Australian Government introduced the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package to support early learning services and to provide workers with access to quality childcare during the pandemic. This relief package is scheduled to conclude at midnight 12 July 2020, and therefore will see the return of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) from 13 July 2020.

In preparation for its return, we’ve put together this info hub to provide families with a single source of information relating to the Child Care Subsidy, helping you all understand your eligibility and entitlements.

What is the Child Care Subsidy?

Helping Families Access Quality Childcare.

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) makes early learning more affordable for families with the Australian Government subsidising (paying for) a portion of your child care fees.

The amount of subsidy you will receive will depend on the following three factors:

1. The amount of income your family earns,

2. The type of childcare your child attends (for Sunkids Families, this will be centre-based care, or outside hours care for our vacation care programs), and

3. The amount of work-related activity you and your partner undertake each fortnight.

The Child Care Subsidy is paid directly to your chosen child care service to be passed on to you as a fee reduction. Families are then required to pay the difference between the fee charged and the subsidy amount.

Additional information on the Child Care Subsidy can be found on the Education Department website by clicking here.

Eligibility Criteria.

Am I eligible for Child Care Subsidy?

Some basic requirements must be met to be eligible to receive Child Care Subsidy for a child. These include:

1. The age of the child (must be aged 13 or under and not attending secondary school, expect in certain circumstances)

2. The child meeting immunisation requirements

3. The individual, or their partner, meeting the residency requirements listed in the legislation

Additional information on the eligibility for Child Care Subsidy can be found on the Services Australia website by clicking here.

Subsidy Amounts.

How Much Subsidy Will I Receive?

The amount of Child Care Subsidy you can get depends on your individual circumstances. The subsidy amount is calculated based on;

1. The amount of income your family earns – calculates the percentage of subsidy you will receive.

2. The type of childcare your child attends – calculates the dollar amount your subsidy percentage applies to.

3. The amount of work-related activity you do – calculates the number of hours of subsidised care you can receive each fortnight.

Additional information on the calculations can be found below…

Note: Activity level requirements have been temporarily relaxed between July 13 and October 4, 2020.

This means that some families will now be eligible for up to 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight. See “Relaxed Activity Levels (Jul 13 – 4 Oct)” for more information.

1. Family Income.

Your Child Care Subsidy percentage is calculated based on the total income your family earns each financial year.

Your family income

Child Care Subsidy percentage

$0 to $69,390

85%

More than $69,390 to below $174,390

Between 85% and 50%
The percentage goes down by 1% for every $3,000 of income your family earns

$174,390 to below $253,680

50%

$253,680 to below $343,680

Between 50% and 20%
The percentage goes down by 1% for every $3,000 of income your family earns

$343,680 to below $353,680

20%

$353,680 or more

0%

Annual Cap.

If your family earns $189,390 or less, you won’t have an annual cap on your subsidy.

If your family earns between $189,390 and $353,680 Centrelink will cap your subsidy. This means Centrelink will subsidise your fees up to the annual cap of $10,560 per child each financial year.

Withholding Amount.

Centrelink will 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 using your Centrelink online account through myGov. If you’d like to change it more than this, call Centrelink.

As Centrelink uses your family income estimate to work out how much subsidy you’ll get, at the end of each financial year they will balance your payments against your actual adjusted taxable income. This is done to make sure Centrelink have 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. Centrelink uses the amount they withheld to help reduce the debt.

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

^Amounts quoted within this website are correct from 13 July 2020.

2. Type of Child Care.

Your Child Care Subsidy percentage will apply to the lowest of either:

  • the hourly rate cap, or
  • the hourly fee you’re charged by your child care service (if below the hourly rate cap).

Hourly Rate Caps.

The hourly rate cap differs depending on the type of child care you use…

Centre Based Day Care – $12.20 (for children below school-age) $10.67 (school-age children)
Family Day Care – $11.30
Outside School Hours Care – $12.20 (for children below school-age) $10.67 (school-age children)
In-Home Care – $32.58 per family

For Sunkids families, the type of care would be Centre Based Day Care.
For our Maryborough Central Early Learning Centre, Outside School Hours Care would apply where applicable.
For Sunkids centres that offer Vacation Care during school holidays, Outside School Hours Care would apply where applicable.

Hourly Fees.

The hourly fee is the amount your child care service charges you for each hour of care.
Some centres charge per session, therefore the hourly fee is the cost per session, divided by the number of hours.

If it costs $100 for a 10-hour session, the hourly fee would be $10 ($100 / 10 hours)

^Amounts quoted within this website are correct from 13 July 2020.

3. Activity Levels.

Note: Activity level requirements have been temporarily relaxed between July 13 and October 4, 2020.
See section ‘Relaxed Activity Levels (July 13 – 4 Oct)’ for more info.

The number of hours of subsidised care is dependant on how much a family contributes to the Australian economy through activity.

If you have a partner, Centrelink will use the lower of you or your partner’s activity level to work out your hours of subsidised care.

Hours of recognised activities each fortnight

Hours of subsidised care each fortnight

Less than 8 hours

0 hours if you earn above $68,163
24 hours if you earn $68,163 or below

More than 8 to 16 hours

36 hours

More than 16 to 48 hours

72 hours

More than 48 hours

100 hours

Recognised Activities.

Recognised activities can include any of the following:

  • paid work including being self-employed
  • paid or unpaid leave, including paid or unpaid parental or maternity leave
  • unpaid work in a family business
  • unpaid work experience or unpaid internship
  • actively setting up a business.

They can also include any of these:

  • doing an approved course of education or study
  • doing training to improve work skills or employment prospects
  • actively looking for work
  • volunteering
  • other activities on a case by case basis.

We’ll only recognise some of these activities for a certain amount of time. We’ll only count:

  • periods of unpaid leave for up to 6 months, this doesn’t apply to unpaid parental leave
  • setting up a business for 6 months out of every 12 months.

If you’re setting up a business and then start working in the business, you need to update your activity details. You need to update your activity from setting up a business to paid work.

Relaxed Activity Levels (Jul 13 - 4 Oct).

Families who have had their hours of activity reduced as a result of COVID-19, will be able to advise Centrelink they meet the requirements to access 100 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight, for up to 12 weeks.

This only applies to those families where…

1. all partners had an activity test result of more than zero before the COVID-19 crisis,

2. either partner can no longer engage in the same number of hours of activity as they did before the COVID-19 crisis, and

3. one or both parents are still engaging in at least 8 hours of activity per fortnight.

Otherwise, the existing requirement remains where the hours of subsidised care the partner/couple is entitled to is determined by the person with the lowest number of hours of activity per fortnight.

How do I apply for this?

Families will need to apply to Services Australia via their Centrelink online account through myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Further Examples.

Example 1) Reduction in activity…

Prior to COVID-19, a single person worked 30 hours per fortnight, entitling them to 72 hours per fortnight of subsidised care. Now this person works 15 hours per fortnight which would usually entitle them to 36 hours of care per fortnight.
This person can now apply to Services Australia and be entitled to 100 hours of subsided care per fortnight.

Example 2) No change in activity…

Prior to COVID-19, a single person worked 48 hours per fortnight, entitling them to 72 hours per fortnight of subsidised care. This person now continues to work the same 48 hours per fortnight.

This person is not eligible for 100 hours of care and will continue to receive their normal 72 hours of subsided care.

Additional Child Care Subsidies.

Help For Those Who Need It Most.

If you’re eligible for Child Care Subsidy you may be able to get extra help with the cost of approved child care. 

The Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) provides a higher rate of financial assistance than the Child Care Subsidy and is designed to apply in special circumstances (e.g. if there is a risk to the child’s wellbeing).

To receive ACCS, an individual needs to be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy and meet one of the following criteria:

Temporary Financial Hardship – Families that are suffering financial hardship due to an eligible exceptional situation which occurred within the last 6 months.

Transition to Work – This subsidy is available for a family with an income of less than $66, 958, in possession of a mandatory or voluntary Job Plan, and currently receiving one of several approved income support payments.

Child Wellbeing – A child has been identified to be at serious risk of abuse or neglect.

Grandparents – Grandparents that are principle careers for 65% or more of the time and receive some form of income support. 

Families can only receive one type of Additional Child Care Subsidy at a time.

Additional information on the Additional Child Care Subsidy can be found below…
Additional Child Care Subsidy (Temporary Financial Hardship)

What is it?

Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship) is designed to provide short-term support to families who are experiencing significant financial stress due to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. This will help ensure continuity of care for the child and ensure that families are provided with support when they need it most.

How does it work?

Eligible families will receive a subsidy equal to the actual fee charged, up to 120% of the Child Care Subsidy hourly rate cap, for up to 100 hours per fortnight. This support will be provided for a maximum of 13 weeks per event in which during this time the family will not have to meet activity test requirements. In short, this means all Child Care Fees will be covered by Centrelink.

What documentation do I have to provide?

  • independent documentation such as a letter from an employer (for loss of job) or from an independent professional
  • a statutory declaration from the individual outlining the nature of the temporary hardship event
  • a formal declaration of a natural disaster event where the families concerned would be eligible for disaster assistance
  • medical or death certificates.

How do I apply?

All applications can be submitted through your MyGov Account as seen below:

1. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
2. Select My Family from the menu.
3. Select Child Care then Temporary Financial Hardship.
4. Select Yes to confirm that you have read and understood the criteria you must meet to get Additional Child Care Subsidy.
5. Answer all the questions. Each screen has information to help you complete the application. This includes how to submit your supporting documents and any other forms you need to complete.
6. Review and submit your application.

After you submit your claim online, you will get a receipt telling you the ID number of your application. This receipt will tell you what other documents you need to provide for Centrelink to assess your application.

Additional Child Care Subsidy (Transition to Work)

What is it?

Additional Child Care Subsidy (transition to work) is designed to provide short-term support to families who are transitioning to work from income support by engaging in work, study or training activities. This will help ensure continuity of care for the child and ensure that families are provided with support when they need it most.

To be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy (transition to work) an individual must:

  • be eligible for Child Care Subsidy
  • be in receipt of an eligible income support or transition to work payment, including any of the following
    • ABSTUDY
    • Austudy
    • Carer Payment
    • Disability Support Pension
    • Farm Household Allowance
    • Newstart Allowance
    • Parenting Payment
    • Special Benefit (not residentially qualified)
    • Youth Allowance
  • have a family income lower than the Child Care Subsidy lower income threshold
  • have a Job Plan in effect
  • meet the Additional Child Care Subsidy (transition to work) activity requirements
  • not have exceeded the time limit for which Additional Child Care Subsidy (transition to work) can be paid for their activity.

How does it work?

Eligible families will receive a subsidy equal to 95 per cent of the actual fee charged(up to 95 per cent of the hourly rate cap). The length of time you can get this depends on whether you are studying, looking for a job, working or training. Click here to view all the time frames.

How do I apply?

All applications can be submitted through your MyGov Account as seen below:

1. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
2. Select My Family from the menu.
3. Select Child Care then Transition to Work.
4. Answer all the questions. Each screen has information to help you complete the application.
6. Review and submit your application.

After you submit your claim online, you will get a receipt telling you the ID number of your application. This receipt will tell you what other documents you need to provide for Centrelink to assess your application.

Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent)

What is it?

Additional Child Care Subsidy (transition to work) is designed to provide increased child care fee assistance to grandparents on income support who are the principal carers of their grandchildren.

To be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent) an individual must:

  • be eligible for Child Care Subsidy
  • get an income support payment
  • be the grandparent of the child
  • have 65% or more care of the child
  • make the day to day decisions about the child’s care, welfare and development

A grandparent is a child’s biological grandparent or great grandparent. This includes if you’re related to the child through any of the following:

  • adoption
  • step-parents, including former step-parents
  • artificial conception
  • de facto relationships
  • surrogacy arrangements.

How does it work?

Eligible families will receive a subsidy equal to 100 per cent of the actual fee charged (up to 95 per cent of the hourly rate cap), or up to 120% of the hourly rate cap (where the fee charged is above the hourly rate cap). There’s no time limit on how long you can get this additional subsidy as long as you stay eligible.

What documentation do I have to provide?

  • a child protection order made under the state or territory care and protection laws
  • a parenting order or consent order made under the Family Law Act 1975
  • birth and marriage certificates to prove relationship
  • third-party evidence such as a letter from child’s school, general practitioner or other third party (who has regular interactions with the family and can independently verify the circumstances) that supports the principal care arrangements
  • a statutory declaration confirming the relationship or principal care arrangements.

How do I apply?

All applications can be submitted through your MyGov Account as seen below:

1. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
2. Select My Family from the menu.
3. Select Child Care then Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent).
4. Answer all the questions. Each screen has information to help you complete the application.
6. Review and submit your application.

After you submit your claim online, you will get a receipt telling you the ID number of your application. This receipt will tell you what other documents you need to provide for Centrelink to assess your application.

How-to Guides.

Guides To Help You Claim CCS.

There are a number of actions required to be completed by families to ensure they can claim Child Care Subsidy, can continue to claim when circumstances might change, can claim Additional Child Care Subsidy when require, and to ensure they are receiving the correct amount of subsidy.

For these actions to be completed, you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink. If you don’t have a myGov account or a Centrelink Online account you’ll need to set them up.

The following How-to Guides have been put together to provide an overview on how families can complete certain tasks relating to CCS.

For more information or assistance on how to complete other tasks, please visit the Services Australia website by clicking here.
How to claim / apply for Child Care Subsidy.

To claim online, you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink. If you don’t have a myGov account or a Centrelink Online account you’ll need to set them up.

You’ll also need to get some supporting documents ready to help answer some of the questions in the claim.

The following guide has been sourced from Services Australia and is current as at 19 February 2020.

 

Step 1: get started

If you’re not already in your Centrelink online account, sign into myGov and access your account.

Select MENU from your homepage.

Select Payments and Claims, followed by Claims, and Make a claim.

On the Make a Claim page, select Get started in the Families category.

Select Apply for Family Assistance (including Paid Parental Leave).

We’ll ask you some questions to check if you’re eligible for the payment you’ve chosen.

This helps you decide if you should claim this type of payment.

Answer all the questions then select Next. You may need to work through more than 1 page.

If you need help, select the question mark icon.

Step 2: claim for Child Care Subsidy

The next page will show the different types of family assistance you can claim. Select Child Care Subsidy, followed by Claim now.

You can claim this subsidy and other family assistance payments at the same time. To do this, select any additional payments you want to claim before selecting Claim now.

We’ll prompt you to check your details in My Profile to make sure they’re up to date. Select My Profile to check your details.

From the My profile page, you can check and update your details. When you’ve finished, select return to your claim to go back to your claim.

Step 3: tell us about your situation and finances

We’ll give you a claim number which is your claim ID. Use your claim ID if you need to follow up with us about your claim. You can contact us over the on the Families line or in person at a service centre.

To begin your claim, select Get started in Confirm your basic details.

The next page will display tabs you need to work through. Answer all the questions, then select Next.

Once you complete a step, the word Completed will show on that tile.

Select:

  • Change, to edit the information you entered
  • Save and Exit, to save your claim and finish it later.

Work through the remaining steps until they all show as Completed.

Step 4: review claim

To review your claim, select Continue in Review your claim and submit.

On the Review your claim page, we’ll give you a summary of your claim. If you haven’t completed all required details, an Update required message will appear. You must complete these sections before moving on.

Select:

  • Expand section, to see the information you gave us
  • Update, to edit the details if they’re incorrect
  • Print, to print your claim summary.

If all the details are correct, select and read my obligations. If you understand and agree with your obligations, select I have read, understood and accept my obligations. Then select Next.

Step 5: submit supporting documents

Before you can submit your claim, there are tasks you must complete.

Tasks may include giving us documents to support your claim. If you don’t have your documents ready, you can submit them later.

To do this, use the Upload documents link on your online account homepage. For help submitting your documents, follow our Submit documents with your Centrelink online account guide.

You can also upload documents through the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. You can do this by taking photos of your documents and uploading them to the app. You have 14 days to submit your documents to support your claim.

Step 6: submit claim

Once you submit your claim, we’ll give you a receipt number to confirm that you’ve submitted it. There’s no need to call us.

We’ll notify you once we’ve assessed your claim. Please make a note of the Claim ID for your records. We’ll also give you an Estimated completion date of when we’ll process your claim.

Select:

  • Withdraw claim, to withdraw your claim if required
  • Notifications, to view any messages about your claim
  • Tasks, to view a list of your completed tasks and edit them if required
  • Review claim details, to view the information you’ve given us.

Select home page to return to your online account homepage.

You can track the progress of your claim from your homepage. Select My online claims from the menu at any time to see what stage your claim is at.

Step 7: sign out

From your homepage, you can complete other transactions or select the myGov icon to return to myGov.

For your privacy and security, sign out when you’ve finished using your myGov account.

How to report / update your family income estimate.

Instructions on how to update your family income estimate to make sure you’re not overpaid Child Care Subsidy.

Services Australia uses your income estimate to work out how much Child Care Subsidy you get.

The following guide has been sourced from Services Australia and is current as at 19 April 2020.

 

Step 1: get started

If you’re not already in your Centrelink online account, sign into my Gov and access your account.

Select MENU from your home page.

Select My Family, followed by Family Assistance, and Update Family Income Estimate.

Step 2: update your family income estimate

On the Family Income Estimate page you can view your current family income estimate.

From April to June each year, you can also update your family income estimate for the next financial year. Select the tab with the financial year you want to update.

Remember, updating your family’s annual income estimate for Child Care Subsidy will also update your income for FTB. However, this does not update your income for income support payments. You must report separately for payments such as Parenting Payment, JobSeeker Payment, Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment.

To update your income estimate, select Update Income.

If you have a partner, you’ll need to update their income estimate as well.

Type your estimated incomes into the boxes. If something doesn’t apply to you, leave that box as $0.

Alerts will appear at the top of the screen to help you.

Once you’ve entered your information, select Next.

If a figure you’ve entered doesn’t match our records, an information box will appear at the top of the screen. It lets you know if you need to do anything and when you need to do it by.

Step 3: confirm update to family income estimate

If your income has gone down by $10,000 or more, you need to tell us why. You can do this using the drop down menu. When you’ve selected a reason choose Next.

This will take you to a page that shows an overview of your income estimate. It’s important you read the changes and make sure everything is correct.

If all the details are correct, read the declaration. If you understand and agree with the declaration, select I accept this declaration then select Submit.

We’ll give you a receipt when you submit your update. The receipt will include a summary of your entitlements. Please make a note of the Receipt ID for your records. Select Return home.

Step 4: sign out

From your homepage, you can complete other transactions or Return to myGov.

For your privacy and security, sign out when you’ve finished using your myGov account.

How to report / update your activity level test.

Instructions on how to update your activity test to make sure you’re not overpaid Child Care Subsidy.

The hours of subsidised care you can get per fortnight depends on the hours of recognised activities you do. Find out how your activity level affects Child Care Subsidy.

The following guide has been sourced from Services Australia and is current as at 12 March 2020.

 

Step 1: get started

If you’re not already in your Centrelink online account, sign into myGov and access your account.

Select MENU from your home page.

Select My Family, followed by Child Care, and Activity Test.

Step 2: update your activity test

To update your activity, select Update Activity Test.

Select the activity you want to update by using the Actions icon. In this example we’re updating paid work details.

Select what has changed with your activity, then select Save.

Enter the changes for each activity. In this example we’re updating work hours per fortnight for the Paid Work activity. Once you enter the changes, select Save.

Step 3: confirm update to activity test

It’s important you read the changes and make sure everything is correct.

If all the details are correct, read the declaration. If you understand and agree with the declaration, select I accept this declaration, then select Submit.

We’ll give you a receipt when you submit your update. The receipt will include a summary of your entitlements. Please make a note of the Receipt ID for your records. Select Return to Home.

Step 4: sign out

From your homepage, you can complete other transactions or Return to myGov.

For your privacy and security, sign out when you’ve finished using your myGov account.

How to confirm your child's enrolment details.

Instructions on how to confirm your child’s enrolment details for Child Care Subsidy.

If you’ve submitted a claim for Child Care Subsidy, you may still need to confirm your child’s enrolment details. If you need to do this, it will appear as an outstanding task in your Centrelink online account in myGov.

Services Australia will cancel your enrolment details in our system if your child has not attended child care for 8 continuous weeks. If they do this, they will stop paying your subsidy.

If your child attends the service again in the future, your provider will need to resubmit your child’s enrolment details. Once they’ve done this, you’ll need to confirm your child’s enrolment online. If the details are wrong or missing, you need to ask your provider to send this information to Services Australia. Once they’ve given these details, you will need to confirm them online.

Services Australia can only pay Child Care Subsidy to your child care provider if you’ve confirmed these details.

The following guide has been sourced from Services Australia and is current as at 10 April 2020.

 

Step 1: get started

 If you’re not already in your Centrelink online account, sign into myGov and access your account.

Select MENU From your homepage.

Select My Family,  followed by Child care, and Enrolments.

Step 2: view and confirm your child’s details

On the Child Care Subsidy Enrolments page you can view your child’s enrolment details. Under Enrolment status you can see if you’ve confirmed the details or not.

If the status is Pending Confirmation you must confirm or dispute the details. Select view details to do this.

This will take you to a new page. Check the information on this page carefully. If your child’s enrolment details are correct, select Yes. If they’re wrong, select No. Once you’ve done this, select Next.

If you select No you’ll need to speak to your child care service. They’ll need to submit the correct details. Once they do this you’ll need to start this process again from Step 1.

If you select Yes, go to Step 3 to review and submit.

Step 3: review and submit

Centrelink will give you a summary of your details.

Make sure all the information is correct.

If you understand and agree with the declaration, select I accept this declaration, then Submit.

Step 4: receipt

Centrelink will give you a receipt to let you know they’ve got your update. There’s no need to call them.

Centrelink will notify you once they’ve assessed your claim.

Please make a note of the Receipt ID for your records, then select Return to Home.

From the homepage you can check if you’ve confirmed your child’s enrolment details.

To do this select MENU, followed by My Family then Child care then Enrolments.

This will take you to a page that shows you an enrolment summary. If you’ve confirmed your child’s enrolment details, the enrolment status will show as Confirmed.

Step 5: sign out

From your homepage, you can complete other transactions or select the myGov icon to return to myGov.

For your privacy and security, sign out when you’ve finished using your myGov account.

How to claim / apply for Additional Child Care Subsidy.

You can apply for Additional Child Care Subsidy if you already get Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and meet certain criteria.

If you don’t already get CCS, you can still apply for an additional subsidy at the same time you claim CCS.

To apply online, you’ll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink. If you don’t have a myGov account or a Centrelink Online account you’ll need to set them up.

The following guide has been sourced from Services Australia and is current as at 25 February 2020.

Applying for ACCS (Temporary Financial Hardship)

1. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
2. Select My Family from the menu.
3. Select Child Care then Temporary Financial Hardship.
4. Select Yes to confirm that you have read and understood the criteria you must meet to get Additional Child Care Subsidy.
5. Answer all the questions. Each screen has information to help you complete the application. This includes how to submit your supporting documents and any other forms you need to complete.
6. Review and submit your application.

Applying for ACCS (Transition to Work)

1. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
2. Select My Family from the menu.
3. Select Child Care then Transition to Work.
4. Answer all the questions. Each screen has information to help you complete the application.
6. Review and submit your application.

Applying for ACCS (Grandparent)

1. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
2. Select My Family from the menu.
3. Select Child Care then Additional Child Care Subsidy (Grandparent).
4. Answer all the questions. Each screen has information to help you complete the application.
6. Review and submit your application.

Frequently Asked Questions.

What do I need to do when CCS starts again on July 13?

When the regular CCS arrangements resume from 13 July 2020, families will again need to pay the gap fee (the child care fee after Government subsidies).

Families who have received CCS before.

Families who were getting CCS before 6 April 2020, won’t need to do anything for their subsidy to start again, as long as they have remained eligible and enrolled. Their CCS will start again automatically on 13 July 2020.

To maximise the CCS you are eligible for, it is recommended that you update your family income estimate and activity levels before July 13.

If your family’s circumstances have changed (for example income level or contact information), you should update their details with Centrelink as soon as possible. This can be done through their Centrelink online account through myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Also, families who received CCS for 2018-19 and still haven’t confirmed their income for that financial year must do so by 30 June 2020 (This has now been extended to 31 March 2021, read more). If they don’t, their CCS and ACCS will not start again on 13 July 2020.

Families who have not received CCS before.

If a family was not previously accessing child care they should put in a claim for CCS as soon as possible. If families continue using child care from 13 July 2020 but aren’t receiving CCS, they will need to pay full fees. Claims for CCS can only be backdated for up to 28 days from the day the claim is lodged.

How do I know what my current CCS entitlements are?

When Centrelink has finalised your claim, they’ll send you a notice to let you know the outcome.

They’ll tell you:

  • if you’re eligible
  • the child care fee assistance you’ll get
  • the annual cap that applies to you
  • the withholding amount.

You can also view this information at any time by accessing your Centrelink online account through myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

 

What are the immunisation requirements?

In order to receive child care fee assistance, your child must meet the immunisation requirements.

To meet the requirements, all of your children younger than 20 need to do one of the following;

  • Meet the Childhood schedule on the Department of Health’s National Immunisation Program Schedule,
  • Be on a suitable catch-up schedule in line with the Department of Health’s current Australian Immunisation Handbook,
  • Have an approved medical exemption recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

If you are receiving the Child Care Subsidy and your child stops meeting these requirements, you have 63 days to start meeting them again, otherwise your subsidy will stop.

What if my child is absent from child care?

Families are entitled to 42 absence days per child, per financial year, and may be entitled to additional absence days in certain circumstances (including illness of the child, a parent or sibling).

In shared care arrangements, the allocation of 42 absences per financial year relates to the child, not each individual claimant.

What if the centre is closed due to COVID-19?

Any child care centre that is directed to shut down due to COVID-19, a flood, fire or other local emergencies will follow the standard processes of activating a ‘period of local emergency.’

In doing so, families will be allowed access to additional absences where children have already used their initial allowance of 42 absence days per child, per financial year.

Do I still receive CCS for public holidays if the centre is closed?

Yes. Families are entitled to receive Child Care Subsidy for up to 42 allowable absence days per child, per financial year.

How is the Child Care Subsidy paid?

The Child Care Subsidy is paid directly to your child care service fortnightly, based on the attendance records. You pay any difference between the actual fee you are charged and the Child Care Subsidy that is paid on your behalf.

What is the Gap Fee?

The Gap Fee is the difference between the actual fee for attending a child care service and the Child Care Subsidy that is paid on your behalf.

This amount is payable by you.

What will my Gap Fee be?

Please ask your Centre Manager for a quote, providing them with your CCS Entitlements. Your Weekly Fee will also be displayed on your Weekly Statement.

How do I pay my Gap Fees?

This will be different for each child care provider.

For Sunkids, we offer a range of flexible payment options to suit each family’s circumstances.
This includes flat-rate daily fees for each of our centres, flexible payment options (weekly, fortnightly or monthly), your choice of payment methods (direct debit, direct deposit, EFTPOS, Centre Pay), and generous holiday discounts (conditions & eligibility criteria apply).

How do I prove how many hours I work, study or volunteer?

Parents self-declare their activity to Services Australia and no evidence is required at the time you self-declare.

This is generally done just prior to a new financial year, when you provide your income estimate for the coming financial year.

Services Australia might ask some parents to provide evidence as part of their normal random spot checks. Evidence could include, for example, a copy of a payslip or a letter from the organisation where you volunteer. Parents can change or update their activity test details whenever they need to. This is done via your myGov account online or on your smartphone app.

What happens to CCS when I move to another centre during the year?

You should inform your child care centre of the date you intend to cease your child’s enrolment (note: some services have a minimum notice period to cease regular care bookings).

The child care service should advise Centrelink of the agreed enrolment end date. If not, the enrolment will automatically end after 14 weeks of non-attendance. The child care service must not report your child as being absent after the last day they physically attended care. You will receive a notification through myGov to confirm when the enrolment ends.

To continue to be eligible for Child Care Subsidy you will need to check that your new service is approved by the Department of Education to receive CCS payments on your behalf.

In order for you to receive Child Care Subsidy payments at the new child care service, the provider of the service is responsible for creating a Complying Written Arrangement (CWA) with you. This will set out the care arrangement such as when your child will attend care, and the fees you will be charged. The amount of Child Care Subsidy you receive may change depending on each child care service’s fees and length of sessions. It is important that you read the information in the CWA carefully, and ask the service to explain if anything is unclear.

The new service will submit an enrolment notice for your child to Centrelink. Centrelink will then send you a notification asking you to review the details of the new enrolment. Once you confirm the details in your enrolment, Child Care Subsidy will be payable once the provider submits session reports for sessions of care provided.

You do not need to contact Centrelink to advise of any changes to your child care provider.

What CCS do I get if I have more than one child in care?

The percentage of Child Care Subsidy a family is entitled to is based on combined annual family income and is applied on a per-child basis, regardless of the number of children in a family or their age.

I work full time but my partner doesn't do any paid work. What are we eligible for?

In a two-parent family, both parents must be undertaking activities, or have an exemption, to be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy.

How does shared care of my child affect CCS?

If you pay the fees on your own, then your subsidy is based on your income estimate and hours of activity.

If you have a shared custody arrangement and you share the child care fees, then each parent is assessed separately and both of you can claim up to your fortnightly limit of hours.

It is expected that you would only use the hours of subsidised care between you that you need, not the combined total of your separate assessments.

Is parental leave considered an activity?

If you undertake paid work, and paid or unpaid parental leave is a condition of your employment, then this is considered to be part of your paid work. The hours of activity will be the same as what they were immediately prior to you commencing parental leave. So, if you were working full time then you are still considered to be a full-time employee while you are on parental leave.

There is no time limit on the amount of time you can be on unpaid parental leave but there is an expectation that you will be returning to work at some point as a condition of your employment.

What happens if my child attends multiple child care centres?

If your child attends multiple child care services, you can choose the amount of hours Centrelink will pay to each service.

By default, Centrelink will pay each child care service in the order that they receive attendance reports for your child. This is done unless you allocate how many hours of Child Care Subsidy you want each service to get.

You can let Centrelink know how you want your hours allocated by contacting Centrelink.

Example where a family haven’t allocated their hours

Jim gets Child Care Subsidy for 36 hours a fortnight. His daughter, Lily, attends 2 different child care services each fortnight. She attends the first service for 24 hours a fortnight, and the second service for 18 hours a fortnight.

Because Jim hasn’t allocated his hours, we subsidise the full hours for the service that sends their session report first.

In this example, the second child care service submits their session report first. We’ll subsidise the 18 hours that Lily attended this service. We’ll then subsidise the remaining 18 hours for the first service when we get their session report.

Example where a family has allocated their hours

Susan gets Child Care Subsidy for 100 hours a fortnight. Her son, Jacob, attends 3 different child care services each fortnight. He attends the first child care service for 50 hours a fortnight. He attends the second and third services for 30 hours each per fortnight.

Susan asked us to allocate her hours so that the first service gets the full 50 hours subsidised. She asks for the second service to also be subsidised for the full 30 hours. We will pay the remaining hours to the third service. We pay it this way regardless of which service submits their session report first.

 

What does it mean if our entitlements are showing 0% at 0 hours?

This can be caused from several different reasons including change of income, change of activity test, a child not meeting the immunisation requirements, etc.

Only the account holder can contact Centrelink to receive the correct reason and to resolve this issue.

What if I have more questions about CCS or ACCS?

We’re here to assist you in any way we can, please feel free to speak to your Centre Manager or Sunkids Management directly.

You can find your Sunkids centre’s contact details here.

You can contact Sunkids management here

Alternatively, we encourage you to visit the Services Australia website, or Education Department website.

Note: The information provided on this page is correct at time of publishing. For the most up to date information, we encourage you to visit education.gov.au or servicesaustralia.gov.au

Have all your CCS Questions Answered in Person.

Arrange to speak to our friendly staff at any of our centres, and we’ll run you through all you need to know about the Child Care Subsidy program, your entitlements, and to answer all of your questions.

Contact your SunkidsArrange a Meeting

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