What Are The Residence Rules For The Child Care Subsidy?

Blog Image for article What Are The Residence Rules For The Child Care Subsidy?

Before you can receive the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), you and your family must meet certain eligibility requirements. As part of these eligibility requirements, you also need to satisfy the residence rules.

Read on to learn more about how the Child Care Subsidy eligibility requirements work and how the residence rules apply.

What is the Child Care Subsidy?

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is the largest government payment designed to help families with the cost of childcare. The CCS is paid by Centrelink directly to your childcare provider. This benefit is then passed onto you in the form of reduced childcare fees.  

Child Care Subsidy eligibility requirements

You may be able to receive the CCS if you and your partner meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Care for your child at least 2 nights per fortnight, or have 14% care,
  • Are liable for fees for care provided at an approved child care service, and 
  • Meet the residence rules.

Your child must also:

The CCS residence rules

To be eligible for the CCS, you must meet certain residence rules.

On the day you claim, you or your partner must be living in Australia. That means Australia is your usual place of residence, including:

  • The Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands,
  • The Territory of Christmas Island,
  • Norfolk Island, or
  • Lord Howe Island.

You must also have one of the following:

You may also meet the residence rules if any of the following apply:

  • You or your partner are a student from overseas and are receiving financial assistance from the Australian Government to study in Australia,
  • You’re in hardship, or
  • Special circumstances apply.

An overview of the residence descriptions

When it comes to the CCS residence rules, there are a few different descriptions used to describe your residence status in Australia. Here’s a quick overview of the different terms and what they mean.

Australian resident

You’re considered an Australian resident if you live in Australia and are either:

  • An Australian citizen,
  • A permanent residence visa holder, or
  • A protected Special Category visa (SCV) holder from New Zealand.

Permanent residence visa

A permanent residence visa lets you stay in Australia indefinitely and allows you to claim all Centrelink payments and concession cards as an Australian resident if you’re living in Australia.


Special Category visa (SCV)

You’ll generally get a Special Category visa (SCV) if you came to Australia on a New Zealand passport, and you didn’t apply for a visa first. The type of SCV you get depends on when you first arrived in Australia.

Protected SCV holders

You’re generally a protected SCV holder if you arrived in Australia on a New Zealand passport, and were either:

  • In Australia on 26 February 2001,
  • In Australia for 12 months in the 2 years immediately before this date, or
  • Assessed as a protected SCV holder before 26 February 2004.

If you live in Australia and have a protected SCV, you can claim all Centrelink payments and concession cards.

Non-protected SCV holders

You’re generally a non-protected SCV holder if you’re a New Zealand citizen who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001. This means you’re not an Australian resident and generally can’t claim income support payments.

There are other payments and concession cards you may be able to claim, such as Family Tax Benefit and Australian Government natural disaster payments. You can read more about New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia here.

If you’re wondering whether you can claim the CCS as a New Zealand citizen, you can read our blog on claiming the CCS as a New Zealand citizen.

Temporary visas

Temporary protection type visas

You might be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy on a temporary visa. Temporary protection type visas include:

  • Subclass 060 - Bridging F,
  • Subclass 070 - Bridging (Removal Pending),
  • Subclass 449 - Humanitarian Stay,
  • Subclass 785 - Temporary Protection,
  • Subclass 786 - Temporary (Humanitarian Concern),
  • Subclass 790 - Safe Haven Enterprise, and
  • Subclass ZB 951 – Criminal Justice Stay (only when granted for certain purposes).

Partner provisional visas

If you hold a partner provisional visa, you can claim some payments and concession cards. Partner provisional visas include:

  • Subclass 820 - Partner (temporary), or
  • Subclass 309 - Partner (provisional).

Use our Child Care Subsidy calculator to find out how much you could save with the CCS. In less than 30 seconds you can calculate how much CCS your family could claim and how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket for childcare. For more information on the cost of childcare, explore our dedicated collection of resources and articles.  

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