Child Care Subsidy: What Parents in Sydney Need to Know

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What is the Child Care Subsidy (CCS)?

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) stands as a Federal Government initiative, a financial lifeline for Australian families that helps with child care expenses. Rolled out on 2 July 2018, it replaced the Child Care Rebate, making it easier for families to access support.

Who Qualifies?

Making sure you're eligible involves simple checks. You or your partner need to be an Aussie citizen or permanent resident. Your child's age matters, and keeping up with vaccinations is a must. Picking an approved child care provider is also part of the deal.

Can I claim CCS on Wonder Years Fees?

Yes, you can! Wonder Years is an approved Child Care Service. Once you have an approved claim with Centrelink, you will just provide your and your child’s CRN in your enrolment form.

How does CSS work?

The mechanism is straightforward. The government pays the subsidy directly to your child care provider. This amount is then deducted from your total fees, requiring you to pay only the difference. However, the amount depends on your family's income.

A Child Care Subsidy Calculator aids in estimating your subsidy percentage. The subsidy depends on your family's combined annual income, often based on the previous year’s earnings. Year-end reconciliation occurs after lodging your tax return, ensuring accuracy in subsidy distribution.

How Do I Apply For CCS?

You can apply for CCS through Centrelink.

If you do not have your child’s Customer Reference Number (CRN), you need to contact Centrelink to update your family status and add your child.

If you already have your child's Customer Reference Number (CRN), you can submit a claim online through the MyGov portal. Once your claim is approved, the CRN you provided us on the enrolment form will automatically update our system with your entitlements.

The government pays Wonder Years directly, and you are responsible for the gap fee.
E.g If daily fees are $120 a day, and your CCS entitlement is 50%, the government pays us $60 a day, and you will only be billed for $60.

Centrelink is constantly adjusting entitlements based on your circumstances, which means that your entitlements might change week to week. To find out more information about CCS and eligibility, go to the Child Care Subsidy Information page on Services Australia or contact the Centrelink Families Line on 136 150

Health and CCS Integration

Health Check

Children's adherence to the National Immunisation Program Schedule is non-negotiable. A grace period exists for missed immunizations. A child's health, both physically and immunologically, is important for CCS eligibility.

Preschool Exemption

For parents seeking additional care hours, the Preschool Exemption program offers a potential solution. Meeting specific criteria and navigating a straightforward application process can unlock an extra 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight.

The Preschool Exemption Program

The Preschool Exemption Program is determined by the activity test, establishing the amount of subsidised care you qualify for your child.

If your eligibility falls within zero or 24 hours, you might have the opportunity to utilise the preschool exemption program. This could grant you access to 36 hours of subsidised care every fortnight, specifically for a preschool-aged child participating in a preschool program within a centre-based child care service.

To qualify for the preschool exemption, you must meet CCS eligibility requirements, including:

  • Having a preschool-aged child, meaning a child in the year before their first year of primary school. The exemption is only applicable to children within this age range.
  • Ensuring your preschool-aged child engages in an early educational program led by a qualified early childhood teacher.
  • Having a regular CCS subsidised care entitlement of less than 36 hours per fortnight.

Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS)

The Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) provides added support. Categories include Grandparent, Transition to Work, Temporary Financial Hardship, and Child Wellbeing subsidies.

The funding landscape varies based on individual circumstances. Importantly, there's no annual cap for certain ACCS categories, providing flexibility for families in need.

Applying for ACCS

Application for ACCS mirrors the CCS process, taking place through the myGov platform. Eligibility remains contingent on meeting CCS criteria.

How many absent days can you have for the CCS?

Families enjoy 42 allowable absences per child annually, accommodating illnesses, holidays, or unforeseen circumstances without documentation requirements.

Is there an annual cap on the Child Care Subsidy?

For families earning $190,015 or less, there is no annual cap. Beyond this threshold, a cap of $10,655 per child, per financial year applies. Individual assessment letters provide precise information.


Understanding the Child Care Subsidy is pivotal for Australian families navigating the complexities of childcare support. For personalised guidance tailored to your unique circumstances, consider reaching out to Wonder Years, an approved child care service. 

Keep in mind that subsidy details may vary based on individual circumstances; for precise information, consult the Department of Education.

Get in touch with our helpful staff by calling us at (02) 9484 2595 at and we'll gladly address any concerns you may have.

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