Nowadays in Australia, many parents opt to enrol their child or children in an early education centre. One reason is, so their kids get a head start on learning before commencing school.
Another common reason is that child care facilities offer a safe and secure place for parents to leave their children during the day while they are at work.
In order to determine how much the fees for child care will be after the subsidy has been applied, many early education centres’ websites have a handy child care subsidy calculator you can use. While it’s an estimate, it will give you a fair idea of how much child care will cost at the facility with the subsidy applied.
Let’s learn more about this Child Care Subsidy and how you can apply for it. With the subsidy secured, you’ll be able to send your kids off to a quality early education centre every day of the week.
Table of Contents
- Child Care Subsidy Explained
- Are You Eligible For the Child Care Subsidy?
- How To Apply For Child Care Subsidy
- The Takeaway
Child Care Subsidy Explained
Obviously, quality child care and early education cost money. While it’s certainly affordable, it can also drain family finances. For this reason and to encourage parents to enrol their children in early education, the Australian Government is offering a Child Care Subsidy for eligible parents.
Often abbreviated as CSS, the government’s Child Care Subsidy is a support initiative that is designed to make child care affordable for all parents and caregivers in Australia. While the subsidy is available for children aged 13 or younger, the amount of the subsidy is higher for parents who have children aged 5 or younger.
The Child Care Subsidy is one of the many schemes available for parents., However, it is considered the main support scheme to enrol children into early education prior to starting the school years. Obsolete schemes are the Child Care Rebate and the Child Care Benefit, which have been replaced with the current Child Care Subsidy.
The Child Care Subsidy doesn’t cover the fees entirely, but rather a portion of the fees. It’s enough to make child care more affordable, even for parents on a tight budget.
In some instances, parents may be entitled to an additional subsidy from the Federal Government. You can learn more about that through an Additional Child Care Subsidy.
Are You Eligible For the Child Care Subsidy?
To receive assistance under the government’s subsidy scheme, you first have to prove that you’re eligible for receiving CSS. The first criterion is your residency status. Applicants need to be Australian citizens, or currently be on a permanent visa or a special category visa.
If shared custody is your scenario, then the child needs to be in your care at least 14% of the time, or at least 2 nights per fortnight. There are also child immunisation requirements to be able to attend a child care facility and to be eligible for the subsidy.
Another vital consideration is the early education centre itself. You need to choose a facility that has been approved for the scheme by the Federal Government. You can find out this information by browsing the centre’s website or by giving them a call and simply enquiring about it.
How To Apply For Child Care Subsidy
The Child Care Subsidy is provided to Australian families through Centrelink. You can either visit your local Centrelink branch to inquire and apply or, if you have Centrelink linked to a MyGov account, you can complete the application online from home.
Before you apply, research CSS and visit government websites related to CSS. You’ll want to know that you’re eligible first before spending time filling out an application. If you’re unsure, talk about your situation with your chosen child care centre or with Centrelink.
With CSS available to everyday Australians, more parents are able to give their children a better start in life by enrolling them in a quality early education facility. Enrol your child ASAP, as enrollments for 2023 are filling up fast.