Information on early learning and child care
From 2 July 2018, the child care fee assistance your family receives will change.
Get ready for the new Child Care Subsidy
Complete your online form now through myGov.
Early learning and child care provides the foundation for children to develop in a safe environment while also having the opportunity to socialise with other children. In addition to benefiting a child's early years' development, early learning and child care also helps working families to return to work.
On this page you will find links to information to assist you make an informed choice on early learning and child care services as well as details of financial assistance to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
Frequently asked questions
There is so much information about early learning and child care available that you might not know where to start looking for answers. In this section, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions.
- What are my child care options?
- What is approved child care?
- What is registered child care?
- If there are waiting lists, will my child have priority for a child care place?
- Where can I find fact sheets about child care?
If you are still unsure where to get started, check our Where to Get Started page.
Child care fee assistance to 1 July 2018
The Australian Government provides assistance to eligible families to reduce the out-of-pocket costs of child care. Currently, there are different types of financial assistance to help with the cost of placing children in child care. The main payments families may be eligible for are:
- Child Care Benefit
- Child Care Rebate
- Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance
- Grandparent Child Care Benefit
- Special Child Care Benefit.
Note: These payments will be replaced on 2 July 2018 as part of the new child care package.
Estimating your child care costs to 1 July 2018
You can get an estimate of what your family may be eligible for by entering your details into the Department of Human Services Payment and Service Finder. The Payment and Service Finder will let you know what Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate you may receive until 1 July 2018.
New child care package from 2 July 2018
From 2 July 2018, there will be a new child care package. The package includes a new Child Care Subsidy, which replaces the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. It will be paid directly to services. There are three factors that will determine a family's level of Child Care Subsidy. These are:
- Combined Family Income – a family's income will determine the percentage of subsidy they are eligible for
- Activity test – the number of hours of subsidised care families can access will be determined by an activity test
- Service type – type of child care service
There are also changes to the annual cap which will make child care more affordable for most families. Families earning $186,958^ or less will have no cap on the amount of child care they can receive. Families earning over $186,958^ and under $351,248 will benefit from an increase in the current cap of $7,613 to $10,190^ per child, per year. Learn more about the new subsidy and how to transition.
^ These amounts are correct for 2018/19 and may be subject to adjustment through indexation in subsequent years.
Additional Child Care Subsidy
The Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) is a top up payment to the Child Care Subsidy which will provide targeted additional fee assistance to families and children facing barriers in accessing affordable child care.
You must meet the eligibility requirements for the Child Care Subsidy to be eligible for the ACCS.
The ACCS will provide the following targeted additional fee assistance to families and children:
- Additional Child Care Subsidy (child wellbeing) – to help children who are at risk of serious abuse or neglect
- Additional Child Care Subsidy (grandparent) – to help grandparents on income support who are the principal caregiver of their grandchildren
- Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship) – to help families experiencing short-term temporary financial hardship
- Additional Child Care Subsidy (transition to work) – to help low income families transitioning from income support to work.
You can see more information and the eligibility requirements on the Department of Human Services website.