Tools to help you prepare for the new Child Care Subsidy

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  Published on Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Tools to help you prepare for the new Child Care Subsidy

Library Home  >  Cost of Child Care
  Published on Wednesday, 16 May 2018
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Not long now - on 2 July, the government's new Jobs for Families Package comes into effect and this heralds the arrival of the single Child Care Subsidy payment.

There are several tools available to help your family make a smooth transition, so let's look at how you can stay informed and ensure you are up-to-date when the new system clicks into effect.

1. Go to the Department of Education and Training website

The new Child Care Subsidy will replace both the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate to help families with the cost of centre-based day care services, in-home care, family day care and outside school hours care.

It will be paid directly to early education and care services on behalf of families. And how much – or how little – you get will depend on three factors:

  1. Your combined family income
  2. The activity level of parents
  3. The type of child care service you're using

There are sliding scales when it comes to calculating your family's subsidy rate, activity types and levels vary and there are different hourly rate caps too.

On the face of it, this simplified system might seem a bit complicated, but the Department of Education and Training website is a great place to learn about the new Subsidy. On the website you can access:

2. Log on to myGov

The myGov website is an important tool when it comes to transitioning to the new Child Care Subsidy.

From April 2018, Centrelink will have been in touch with your family via letter, email or text message asking you to head online and:

  • Provide an activity and income estimate for the 2018-2019 financial year
  • Confirm other details via your Centrelink account on myGov
  • Complete a new claim form (only if you are a new family using child care for the first time)

The government will use this information to calculate your new Child Care Subsidy, so log on to myGov to access your Centrelink account. And if you don't have a myGov account, you're encouraged to create one and link it to your Centrelink account.

In terms of timing, the government says, 'You should complete a Child Care Subsidy assessment or claim before 2 July 2018 to ensure you don't miss out on child care fee assistance from 2 July 2018. The new subsidy cannot be paid to your service on your behalf if you do not take action.'

It's important to get that information back to them asap and myGov is the easiest way to do it.

3. Use the Payment and Service Finder

Provided by Centrelink, this online portal is a useful way to estimate the fortnightly Child Care Subsidy you'll receive.

To access the Payment and Service Finder, click here and prepare to answer questions about your family circumstances, including the hourly rate of your early childhood education and care service.

To work this out, just look at your weekly or fortnightly billing statement and find the full daily fee before the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate payment. Then divide this amount by the number of hours that the service is open. This is often 12 hours, but it's best to check with your service and confirm the length of their daily session.

4. Call the Family and Parent Line

If you don't find the information you need online, then another option is to call Centrelink's Family and Parent line on 136 150. It operates Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm, meaning you can speak with an expert outside the usual working hours.

5. Speak with your Early Education and Care Service

Your child's early education and care service will also be able to provide information and guidance. If you have questions or concerns, speak with them directly ahead of 2 July 2018.


Child Care Alliance
Department of Education and Training

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2020

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