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CCS News

Child care discount for early childhood workforce

From 24 January 2022, child care providers can choose to offer a discounted fee to employees with children enrolled at one of their services.

The discount will not affect the employee’s Child Care Subsidy (CCS) entitlement. This measure will support providers to attract and retain their early childhood workforce.

Who can get a discount?

Providers can offer discounts to employees who:

  • are employed, contracted or engaged as an educator or early childhood teacher, and
  • are working at a Centre Based Day Care or Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) service, and
  • have a child enrolled in an early childhood education and care service where they work or is owned by their provider.

A centre director or OSHC coordinator who has an early childhood education and care qualification and is working at a service would be considered an educator or early childhood teacher and be eligible for a discount.

How much can a provider discount?

It’s up to a provider how much they want to discount. The employee must still pay at least 5% of the gap fee.

What is the gap fee?

Families who get CCS must make a co-contribution to their child care fees. They do this by paying the difference between the provider’s fee and the CCS amount. This is known as the gap fee.

CCS is usually calculated on the actual fee a family is charged, after any discounts are applied. This change allows discounts to be applied for employees after CCS has been applied.

Do providers have to offer discounts?

Providers do not have to offer discounts. The measure is optional.

What do providers have to do?

Usually, if a provider offers a family a discount, the provider must report the discounted fee in session reports. The family’s CCS is then calculated based on the discounted fee.

From 24 January 2022, providers can offer a discount to employees and report the full fee. This will ensure the employee’s CCS entitlement is not affected.

Example – how it works

Katherine is an educator at a Centre Based Day Care service. Her average family income is $110,000 and her family’s CCS rate is 71.67%.

Katherine’s child attends 3 days at the same service. The service charges a daily fee of $106.50 for a 10-hour session.

Katherine’s total weekly fee comes to $319.50 ($106.50 x 3). After CCS is applied, the service charges her a gap fee of $90.51 ($319.50 – $319.50 x 71.67%) per week.

From 24 January 2022, the service can offer Katherine a discount on her gap fee. She must pay at least 5% of the gap fee.

If the service offers a discount of $20 per session of care, Katherine’s gap fee would be $30.51 per week.

If the service offers a discount of $30 per session of care, Katherine’s gap fee would be $4.53 ($90.51 x 5%) per week instead of $0.51 ($90.51 – $30×3) as she must pay at least 5% of the gap fee.

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CCS News

Breaking News: Higher CCS for multiple children and removal of annual cap brought forward

From 10 December 2021, the annual cap will be removed for all families who get CCS.

From 7 March 2022, families with more than one child in care will get a higher subsidy.

Annual cap

Families earning more than $190,015 (2021–22 terms) have an annual subsidy cap of $10,655 per child each financial year.

From 10 December 2021, this annual cap will be removed for all families who get CCS.

Families with more than one child in care

From 7 March 2022, families with children aged five or under in care will get a higher subsidy for their second child and younger children.

Who will be eligible?

Families may be eligible if they:

  • earn less than $354,305
  • have more than one child aged five or under in child care.

Who gets the higher subsidy?

Services Australia will work out which children get the higher subsidy by:

  • assessing all children in the family unit
  • identifying the standard rate child
  • identifying the higher rate children.

The standard rate child will get the standard CCS subsidy. Younger children will get a higher subsidy.

The standard rate child is the eldest child in the family unit aged five or under who is eligible for CCS and attending care.

How much do higher rate children get?

Eligible higher rate children will receive a 30% higher subsidy, up to a maximum 95%.

Children eligible for the higher CCS rate will have the increase automatically included in their CCS percentage reported to services.

Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS)

Children who are entitled to both the higher CCS rate and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) will be paid the ACCS rate.

In Home Care

Sessions of In Home Care do not attract the higher subsidy for younger children. This is because In Home Care is subsidised on a family rather than per child basis.

However, children aged five or under in In Home Care are included in the family unit when determining the standard rate child.

A family with their standard rate child in In Home Care will get the higher subsidy for younger children who attend care.

What do families need to do?

Families already getting CCS don’t need to do anything. Services Australia will automatically increase the CCS for eligible second and younger children.

Families will be eligible for the higher rate from 7 March 2022.

For families new to CCS, a child must receive a session of care before they can be considered the standard rate child.

All CCS-eligible children aged five or under are counted in a family unit when determining the standard rate child, and the higher rate child/children.

For families with children born on the same date, Services Australia will automatically determine which child is the standard rate and apply the higher rate to other children.

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CCS Important Date

Confirm income by 30 June 2021 or risk losing Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS)

Families need to confirm their 2018–19 income and 2019–20 income with Services Australia by 30 June 2021 or risk losing Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS).

Confirming income is part of the annual balancing process to ensure families are paid the right amount of CCS and ACCS.

Two important balancing deadlines fall on 30 June 2021.

Confirming 2018–19 income

Families who missed the first deadline must confirm their 2018–19 income by 30 June 2021.

If they don’t, they may need to pay back all the CCS they got in 2018–19.

They will also lose their eligibility for both CCS and ACCS from 12 July 2021.

Confirming 2019–20 income

All families must confirm their 2019–20 income before the first deadline on 30 June.

If they don’t their CCS and ACCS payments will stop. This means they’ll need to pay full fees when they use child care.

Services Australia can start their CCS and ACCS payments again but only after families have confirmed their income.

This means families may miss out on payments they may have otherwise got.

How to confirm income

Families can confirm their income for those two financial years by:

  • lodging their tax return, or
  • telling Services Australia they don’t need to lodge a tax return.

If you have any questions please visit Services Australia website.