Child Care Subsidy

Assistance from the Australian Government

The Australian Government understands that high quality child care is important for many Australian families. High quality child care plays an important role in improving children’s educational and developmental outcomes. Child care also enables parents to participate in the workforce and the broader community. To help you with the cost of your child care, the Australian Government provides the following assistance.

How much Child Care Subsidy (CCS) should I receive?

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is the main way the Australian Government helps families with child care fees. Providers must be approved by the department to receive CCS on behalf of families.

Three factors determine how much CCS a family receives: 


Extra help is available for vulnerable and disadvantaged families through the Child Care Safety Net.

Families can get an estimate of what they may be entitled to on Services Australia’s Payment and Service Finder.

1. CCS Family Income Bracket

The Australian Government will subsidise a percentage of a family’s child care fees or the hourly rate cap, whichever is lower. The amount the government subsidises is based on a family’s combined annual income.

The following are the CCS family income thresholds for 2020–21:

CCS family income thresholds^
Subsidy %
$353,680 or more
0 %
$343,680 to below $353,680
20 %
$253,680 to below $343,680
Decreasing to 20 %
$174,390 to below $253,680
50 %
More than $69,390 to below $174,390
Decreasing to 50 %
Up to $69,390

^ These amounts are correct for 2020–21 and maybe adjusted through indexation in subsequent years.
*Subsidy gradually decreases by 1 percent for each $3000 of family income.

Families can get an estimate of what they may be entitled to on Services Australia’s Payment and Service Finder.

2. Annual Cap

Families earning more than $189,390 (2020-21) and under $353,680 have a subsidy cap of $10,560 per year, per child.

Families earning $189,390 or less per year do not have their CCS capped.

From July 2022, we’re removing this annual cap.

Find out more about the removal of the annual cap.

3. Activity Level

The Australian Government uses a family’s activity level to work out the number of hours of subsidised child care it can get each fortnight. 

We look at both parents’ activity and use the parent with the lower hours to determine the level.

Parents can include travel time between their child care service and place of work, training, study, or other recognised activity.

Activity hours do not need to coincide with child care hours. For example, an individual working on the weekend can get CCS for care during the week


Recognised activities

Families need to do a recognised activity to get CCS. 

The broad range of activities include:

  • paid work, including being self-employed 

  • paid or unpaid leave, including parental or maternity leave

  • unpaid work in a family business

  • training to improve work skills or employment prospects

  • an approved course of education or study

  • volunteering

  • unpaid work experience or internship

  • actively setting up a business

  • actively looking for work.


Recognised activities can be combined to determine the maximum hours of CCS a family can get. 



Exemptions apply for parents who cannot meet activity test requirements.


An individual may be eligible for 100 hours of subsidised care per child per fortnight if they:

  • are temporarily outside Australia, for a maximum of 6 weeks

  • have a disability or medical condition that stops them from working

  • get a carer payment

  • provide constant care for a child or an adult with a disability or medical condition, or 

  • are in prison or psychiatric confinement.


There are other exemptions: 

  • Grandparents who are the principal carer of a grandchild or great grandchild may be eligible for 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight.

  • Parents with a preschool aged child who attends a preschool program at a Centre Based Day Care may be entitled to 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight. This        exemption only applies to the preschool aged child in the family.

  • Parents facing exceptional circumstances that impact their ability to do recognised activities or care for their child may be exempt. 


These are assessed on a case-by- case basis. Families need to call the families line to discuss their circumstances.

Learn more about activity test exemptions

4. Child care fees

To discuss the fee please contact EKM Administration at (07) 3341-5888.


Department of Education Skills and Employment, Enhanced Child care subsidy, accessed 09-June-2021 < >, 

Child Care Subsidy, 4-05-2021, accessed 09-June-2021 <>, 

Happy Family

Your activity level
affects it

The hours of subsidised care a family can get each fortnight depends on its activity level. The higher the level of activity, the more hours of subsidised care families can get.

Moms and Babies

Guide to claim


Complete the following steps to apply for Child Care Subsidy (CCS). Before you start, check if you can get it.

Family Maternity

Enhanced Child Care Subsidy

From July 2022, families will receive more support from the Australian Government with the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) set to be increased for families with multiple children under the age of 6, and the annual cap removed.

Read More