Learn More About the
Child Care Subsidy
How can parents/guardians get help with the costs of early childhood education?
Child care, including early education, can be expensive. However, with the new increase to Child Care Subsidy, it has become more affordable for families. Please see our “fee estimator“
Fortunately, the Australian Government has a number of programs to help parents afford the costs. The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is the primary scheme for families requiring aid in child care fees at approved centres.
Starting 10 July 2023, certain changes will become available, including the additional 5% subsidy (from 85% to 90%) to eligible families. CCS payments will apply for approved child care, including family day care, in-home care, centre-based care, and outside school hours care.
What are the requirements for Child Care Subsidy?
In order to qualify for CCS, families must meet specific eligibility criteria laid out by Services Australia. The Government agency will look at your family’s income and the number of children in your care. Their ages and the type of care your family uses, and each member’s activity level will also be checked. Parents should reside in Australia with a 14% share of care or at least two nights each fortnight.
Children must meet all required immunisations and be no more than 13 years old. Special exemptions may apply to those already attending secondary school and over 13.
One more important thing to remember is that children should not miss care sessions for 26 consecutive weeks; otherwise, their subsidy will be revoked.
How much are you entitled to under the Child Care Subsidy program?
The subsidy amount will depend on your family’s income, hours of activity, number of children, and other criteria. The Payment and Service Finder can give you an estimate of how much you may get.
From 10 July 2023, CCS will increase from 85% to 90% for families with up to $80,000 income. The income limit will also increase to $530,000 from the current $356,756. If you have children aged five or under, you can get a higher rate for the younger ones. This YouTube video gives you the details on the changes to the program.
What is the Additional Child Care Subsidy?
Some families may be eligible for the Additional Child Care Subsidy, another program that offers extra help to cover the costs of approved child care. In order to qualify, you must first be a recipient of the CCS program. You also have to meet one of the following conditions:
- You are an eligible grandparent with support payment income.
- You’re transitioning to work.
- One or more children are vulnerable or at harm’s risk.
- You’re in financial hardship for the time being.
For more information on the requirements, please head to this page.
We Answer Your FAQs About
Early Learning & Care
How many hours are too many hours of daycare for children?
The recommended number of hours for children to spend in daycare depends on a wide variety of factors, including the child’s age and family circumstances. The type of care, such as family day care, centre-based care, or outside school hours care, also dictates the number of hours for each child.
The National Quality Framework (NQF) sets early childhood education and care standards in Australia. NQF recommends that children not be in care for more than 10 hours daily.
The recommended maximum hours in care for infants under 12 months old are usually around 8-9 hours per day. Meanwhile, toddlers and preschoolers should spend at most 10 hours daily.
Each child is different. Therefore, parents and educators must consider the young learner’s needs and temperament when determining the appropriate time for them to spend in daycare.
What age is best for daycare?
Australia has no specific age for children to start attending daycare. It generally depends on certain factors, including the child’s developmental requirements and temperament.
However, the National Quality Framework (NQF) recommends that children should be at least six weeks old for early childhood education and care providers. Some experts agree that childcare should begin at 12 months. Remember that babies (0-18 months) thrive when they receive one-on-one attention from home-based care and single-caregiver services.
Toddlers (18 months to 3 years) respond better to the small carer-to-child ratios. Carers must have lots of energy and patience when dealing with children at this stage. Preschoolers (3-5 years) thrive better in centre-based care to practise language and social skills.
What is most important when choosing a daycare/early learning centre?
The perfect daycare or early learning centre can be challenging to find. Consider the location, price, and overall vibe of the environment. Asking a lot of questions can surely help. The right centre for you will provide all the answers you need and put your mind at ease.
Some critical questions to ask include:
- What does the centre offer? What are the learning opportunities and programs?
- Can the centre support you when life gets busy?
- Do they offer nutritious meals and flexible or extended hours?
- How qualified are the staff and educators?
Check the centre’s rating or book a tour to get a feel of how the facilities are run. The health and safety of the children whilst in that environment are crucial, as they will spend most of their time in that location.
What is the carer-to-child ratio?
At Tribe Early Learning, we abide by the child-to-carer or educator ratios recommended by the National Quality Framework (NQF). Carer-to-child ratios are as follows:
- 1:4 educator-to-child ratio for 24 months and under
- 1:5 for children over 24 months to 36 months
- 1:10 for children over 36 months up to preschool age
- 1:13 over preschool age
- 1:10 for kindergarten children
The above ratios apply to WA. Some states and territories may have varying recommendations.
We Explain the Advantages of
Early Learning Centres
What are the advantages of an early learning centre?
The right early learning centre for your child can provide several benefits. One is early education, which gives children a head-start to learn essential skills, such as numeracy, socialisation, and literacy. Early education helps set a foundation for a child’s future success, not only in school but later in life, as well.
Other advantages include:
- The opportunities to interact with their peers and develop social skills, such as cooperation, communication, and sharing
- A range of learning experiences, including exploration and creativity-enhancing and problem-solving activities, for cognitive development
- A supportive and nurturing environment to develop emotional control and resilience
Early learning centres also help parents by providing resources and support on children’s development and other useful parenting strategies. They also help prepare kids as they transition to school, arming them with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a classroom setting.
Read this blog to learn more about early learning and how it helps them in the long run.
What is the difference between childcare and an early learning centre?
Both childcare and early learning centres provide care for young kids. However, that’s where the similarity stops.
In general, childcare (or daycare) is focused on providing fundamental care and supervision for children whilst parents are unavailable. Childcare or daycare centres offer a nurturing environment where children can nap, eat, and play. They may also have learning activities but are usually without educational components or curriculum.
On the other hand, early learning centres provide both care and education for children. Unlike childcare, early learning centres have structured learning programs with an age-appropriate curriculum supporting the learners’ cognitive, social, and emotional development.
Early learning centres also employ qualified educators with early childhood education and care training. Meanwhile, childcare centres often have less stringent qualification requirements for the staff.
Do the children get time outside at an early learning centre?
Yes! At Tribe Early Learning, we value outdoor play for children, as it supports improving their physical health and well-being. Plus, it’s fun! Outdoor activities can include ball play and nature walks. Exploring nature helps young kids develop essential motor skills, such as agility, dexterity, balance, and coordination.
Our outdoor activities are designed to put children’s abilities to the test, which also allows them to acquire new skills. Read this blog to learn why outdoor play is essential for your child’s development.
Have a Question?
If you have a question or want to book a tour at one of our early learning centres, please fill out the form below.
One of our friendly staff members will get back to you shortly.