Explaining CCS

 The Australian Government provides a number of subsidies and programs to help families with the cost of child care. The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is the main type of assistance that most families will use.


To be eligible for the CCS you must meet certain requirements, some of which are:

  • Be a Family Tax Benefit Child or Regular Care Child
  • Be 13 years of age or under, and not attending secondary school
  • Meet immunisation requirements

The person claiming the CCS or their partner must:

  • Meet residency requirements
  • Be liable to pay for care provided under a Complying Written Arrangement issued by the child care provider (in this case, Nought to Five).

Child care must be provided by an approved provider (Nought to Five is an approved provider).


The amount of subsidy you receive will depend on your combined family income, what activities you and your partner undertake (e.g. Fulltime work, studying, etc), and the type of approved child care service you use, for example Centre Based Day Care (Nought to Five ECC is a Centre Based Day Care).

If a family earns more than the Government set maximum combined family income amount, they will not be entitled to receive CCS. They may however be entitled to receive a ‘Preschool Exemption’ of 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight to support their preschool-aged child attending a preschool program at a Centre Based Day Care service.

Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will be paid directly to your child care provider, to pass on to you as a fee reduction. You will pay the child care provider the difference between your subsidy amount and the fees charged.


In an attempt to avoid or minimise debts at the end of financial year reconciliation, the Government will withhold approximately five (5) percent of all families’ CCS. If at the end of financial year reconciliation, you have under-estimated your combined income, you may owe money to the Government and they may make adjustments to the CCS previously paid to your child care provider. This means you may have a debt to not only the Government but also your child care provider. If at the end of financial year reconciliation, you have over-estimated your combined income, the Government may owe you money. This will be reimbursed directly to you (not through the child care provider or your fee account).


Under the CCS, families are allowed 42 absence days per child, per financial year.  These 42 allowable absences can be taken for any reason, including Public Holidays and when children are sick, without the need for documentation. Any days over the 42 allowable absences may not incur CCS unless appropriate documentation can be provided. For example: Doctor's certificate, letter from employer stating office closed due to an emergency, etc.


If you notice a change in the amount of CCS paid on your behalf to your child care provider, this may mean your CCS rate has changed, the amount withheld by the Government (approximately 5%) has changed, you have started repaying an overpayment of CCS, or you are no longer eligible for the CCS. Lodgment of a tax return or an update to your estimated income can result in your CCS amount changing.


The easiest way to claim is online. You will need a myGov account linked to Centrelink. If you do not have either of these, you will need to set them up. There is also a Centrelink app that is supposed to be quite user-friendly.

You will need supporting documents ready to help answer some of the questions in the claim.

You will need to complete a new claim for each child when they start childcare.

  1. Sign in to myGov and go to Centrelink.
  2. Select Payment and Claims from the menu, then Claims, then Make a Claim.
  3. Under Families, select Get Started.
  4. Answer all the questions. Each screen has information to help complete the claim. This will include how to submit your supporting documents.
  5. Submit your claim.

If you have completed your claim however your child’s enrolment details have not been confirmed, you must take action. Ask your child care provider to submit your child’s enrolment. Once your child care provider has submitted your child’s enrolment, you will need to check the details in your Centrelink online account  and  CONFIRM them.

Correspondence from the Government regarding your CCS will be sent to your myGov inbox or in the post.

You can also view your claim results in your Centrelink online account or Centrelink mobile app. Select Child Care Subsidy from the menu, the Child Care Subsidy Summary to view.


If your child is given a start date at the centre but is away for more than seven days (including weekends) before starting, NO CCS will be paid for any of those absent days. Full fees will have to be paid for these absent days. CCS will then only commence once your child has physically attended their first day at the centre.

If you have provided us with a date your child will be leaving and your child is away on their last day and more than seven days (including weekends) immediately preceding this day, NO CCS will be paid for any of those absent days. Full fees will then have to be paid for these absent days.