Daycare services are beneficial for both parents and children. A childcare centre helps a child to develop reading, communication, and socialisation skills, helps them appreciate the importance of a schedule and creates a sense of responsibility.
Since the government understands the importance of daycare, it provides subsidies to help parents with the cost of childcare. However, calculating what type and how much grant you’re entitled to can be confusing at first, especially if you’ve never done it before.
But don’t worry! You can use a CCS calculator to estimate the subsidy you are entitled to receive. However, even though it is helpful, the exact amount depends on your family’s situation and factors like income, hours of recognised activity etc.
In this article, you will find information related to the calculation of your childcare subsidy—from understanding its components to the factors affecting it.
Factors affecting your childcare subsidy
In order to calculate what childcare subsidy you might receive from the government, start with your combined family income and consider the following factors:
- Number of hours of approved activity needed each week
- Type of child care used (such as family daycare or in-home care)
- How much time your child spends in childcare
Your income is the amount you earn from work, investments and other sources. It includes wages or salaries (you get paid for your job), allowances (for example, car allowance), and profits from business or property (if you own a business or invest in property, such as shares
To calculate your activity level, you need to know how many hours you work. If your working hours are more than 30, then you are considered to be working full-time, and if it’s less than 30 hours, your activity level is part-time.
Hours of approved activity
For example, the Department of Human Services says that children aged between 0 and 6 years require 15 hours of approved activity each week. If you are claiming Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate for one child, you will be required to provide proof of an extra 10 hours per week for your child to attend kindergarten or preschool.
Type of childcare
Child care subsidy is only available for some types of child care. To be eligible for a childcare subsidy, you must use an approved childcare service, and your child must be under 6.
Besides being under six years of age, the child must be in an approved centre-based or out-of-school hours care service (e.g. preschool). The service should operate during standard school hours—8 am–4 pm, Monday to Friday—and be registered as such by the relevant government authority.
If you have a disabled child under 18 years old who receives a Disability Support Pension (DSP), then you may qualify for both subsidies if they attend approved centre-based or out-of-school hours care services as long as they meet specific requirements such as being physically present at least once per month while enrolled in these programs.
Your child’s age
Your child’s age will be a factor in how much you are eligible to receive. The more your child is older than two years old, the higher their care subsidy will be. Your eligibility for child care subsidy also depends on how many hours of care you receive each week.
If you have a toddler who spends all day at daycare, that will impact your eligibility more than if your preschooler only goes for an hour or two per day. There are no set rules about this, but it’s worth considering when choosing which type of care suits you and your family best.
Even though you can use a CCS calculator to estimate your childcare subsidy, the exact amount will depend on the factors mentioned above. Considering those will help you get a reliable estimate and know how much would be paid to your childcare provider.