30 Oct 2019

How Much Is the Child Care Rebate in Australia?

Breaking down the child care costs in Australia can feel confusing for families, especially when there is a multitude of services, costs, hourly rate caps and subsidy amounts to consider.

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) doesn’t have to be complicated.

It's easier to consider each component with your family’s requirements in mind. Below, we take a look at the average costs of childcare, as well as what the Child Care Subsidy is and how much rebate you can expect to receive.

How Much Does Child Care Cost per Week?

With so many child care options and services available in Australia, it’s difficult to identify the average cost of child care day fees per week. For example, one child may be in long day care (also known as centre-based care) five days a week, whereas another child may be in family day care three days a week. Your location should also be taken into account as a child care service on Sydney’s north shore will usually cost more than a service in greater Brisbane due to the real estate market. With these variable factors, the overall cost will inevitably vary.

However, the Early Childhood and Child Care Summary July 2018 Report provides you with a medium-cost summary of popular child care services, which means we can look at the average rate per hour.

In the table below, find your preferred child care service, take note of the average rate per hour and multiply this with your expected amount of weekly hours. It’s a rough estimate but it’s helpful to know when planning your child care finances.  

Child Care Service 

Average Rate Per Hour

Long Day Care

$9.60

Family Day Care

$8.95

Casual Care

$10.60

What Is Child Care Benefit?

Previously known as the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and the Child Care Rebate (CCR), the Australian Government significantly changed the early childhood and child care system back in 2018. 

Today, the Government can financially assist families with their child care fees through the Child Care Subsidy (CSS).
 

What Does CCS Do?

The Child Care Subsidy (CSS) is a regular payment designed to help with the costs of child care. The subsidy is designed to be simpler than the previous multi-payment system, make child care affordable for more families and to better target low and middle-income families.

To be eligible to receive the Child Care Subsidy for your child, some basic requirements must be satisfied first. 

  • Your child must be aged 13 or under and not attending secondary school. Certain circumstances may be exempt such as children with a disability or medical condition. 

  • Your child must meet the immunisation requirements.

  • You or your partner must live in Australia and meet the residency rules

  • The service must be an approved child care provider.

  • The service must not be part of a compulsory education program. 

At Lifelong Learning Centres, the CSS is paid directly to our child care centres which reduce your out of pocket fees.
 

How Much Child Care Rebate Will I Get?

The Child Care Subsidy (CSS) is a single, means-tested contribution. Each family’s financial and lifestyle circumstances are taken into account to correctly calculate your subsidised amount which can potentially pay up to 85% of your child care fees for up to 100 hours per fortnight.


The amount of Child Care Subsidy your family are entitled to depend on three key requirements:

  • Your combined family income: This decides what percentage of the hourly fee you’ll be subsidised. Find your annual combined family income in the table below to view what your approximate subsidy rate is. 

Annual Family Income Subsidy Rate %
Up to $68, 163 85%
$68, 163 —  $173, 163 Decreasing to 50%
$173, 163 —  $252, 453 50%
$252, 453 — $342, 453 Decreasing to 20%
$342, 453 — $352, 453 20%
Above $352, 453 0%









* The child care subsidy percentage is taken from the actual fee charged or the hourly rate cap — whichever is lower. This table is correct for 2019-20.
 
  • The activity level of both parents over a fortnight: This decides how many hours you can be subsidised for over a fortnight. Recognised activities include work, education, training courses and volunteering. Essentially, the more hours of activity parents do, the more subsidised hours they can access.
     

    Hours of Activity  Max No. Of Subsidy Hours Per Child, Per Fortnight
    8-16 hours 36 hours
    16 - 48 hours 72 hours
    More than 48 hours 100 hours
 




 
  • The child care centre fees you pay: What type of child care service do you want to use? This is important as the hourly rate cap for that service is also taken into account.

Child Care Service

 Hourly Rate Cap

Long Day Care

$11.98

Family Day Care

$11.10

Casual Care

$11.98


Don’t worry about working our your child care subsidy rate alone though as there is a useful Child Care Calculator to help you estimate a total based on your lifestyle and child care arrangements. For more information on how to use this, read our next article on Understanding the Child Care Cost Estimator.

The easiest way to apply for the Child Care Subsidy is online. You will need a myGov account linked to Centrelink. Get started here

If you would like to speak to a Lifelong Learning representative about the CCS, please call 1800 CHILD CARE and one of our Family Support Consultants will be glad to help you.

4 Aug 2020

When should I start introducing STEM concepts to my child?

Exploring science concepts from an early age is about fostering a love of exploration, discovery and imagination. 
3 Aug 2020

Early Learning Matters

More than 140 Lifelong Learning Centres across the country will recognise Early Learning Matters Week, an initiative aimed at raising awareness and understanding of the importance of early learning. 
14 Jul 2020

Supporting families in response to COVID-19 Coronavirus

Updated 14 July 2020: Across Australia, our child care centres remain open and operating in line with our COVID-19 Step Down Plan and have implemented extensive health and hygiene practices.