The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) is a not-for-profit, member-funded organisation advocating for the future of Australia's children.
We work on behalf of long day care owners and operators to ensure families and their children have an opportunity to access affordable, high quality early learning services throughout Australia.


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MyGov detailsA

As the new Child Care Subsidy will be means tested, it is vital that families have updated all their details correctly in MyGov by completing the Child Care Subsidy Assessment task.
 
This includes:
  • family income estimate (combined family income)
  • activity test
  • Child care/schooling details
  • Confirm Enrolment
  As the Activity Test will determine the number of hours of subsidised early learning services they are entitled to, it is imperative that families understand what sorts of activities are recognised and what the test entails. 
 
Understanding the activity test
The activity test  asks the partner doing the least for the number of hours of recognised activity in order to determine their level of financial support under the new system. 

It is vital that families have a clear understanding of the different types of activity that will be recognised, in order to maximise their child care subsidy.
In two parent families both parents, unless exempt, must meet the activity test. In the case where both parents meet different steps of the activity test, the parent with the lowest entitlement will determine the hours of subsidised care for the child.
There is a broad range of recognised activities that you can undertake to maximise your Child Care Subsidy.

These include: 

Paid work
This includes paid leave, paid or unpaid parental and maternity leave if this is a condition of employment, or being self-employed.

Study and training
This includes being enrolled in an approved course of education or study, or being enrolled in training courses for the purpose of improving the individual's work skills or employment prospects.

Unpaid work
This includes unpaid work in the family business which is owned by a member of the individual’s immediate family, actively setting up a business, or unpaid work experience or internships.

Actively looking for work
This includes looking for job vacancies, preparing résumés and job applications, contacting potential employers, or preparing for and attending job interviews.

Setting up a business
This includes obtaining finance, advice and support, attending and organising meetings and networking, developing business and marketing plans.

Volunteering
This includes voluntary work to improve work skills or employment prospects, voluntary work for a charitable, welfare or community organisation, voluntary work for a school, preschool or a centre-based day care service (if the work directly supports the learning and development of the children at the school, preschool or service e.g. reading to children). 

Note:
Being on the Parents and Citizens Committee, working in the school canteen, or coaching children’s soccer team are considered parental duties and would not be considered as a recognised volunteer activity.

Put simply the more activity a family undertakes, the more hours of subsidised care they can claim, so it’s important that families don’t underestimate their anticipated hours or activity.

If families are doing multiple activities, these can also be combined to meet the activity test. For example, if a parent works and studies, both activities will be included.
 
The travel time between the early learning service and the family member’s place of work, training, study, or other recognised activity will also be included.
 
The hours of activity a family undertakes do not need to coincide with the hours they use early learning services. For example, if a family works over the weekend, they can still use those hours to calculate how many hours of the Child Care Subsidy they are entitled to during the week.

If a family member is on paid or unpaid maternity or parental leave and this is a condition of their employment, this also classifies as recognised activity. The hours of activity will be the same as what they were immediately prior to commencing parental leave.
This means that if a parent was working full time then he/she is still considered to be a full-time employee while on parental leave.
People who run small businesses or work irregular hours are able to estimate their activity over a three month period.  The estimate should be for the highest number of hours anticipated, even if that number of hours isn’t required every day. This provides the flexibility to pick up additional hours of work and know that care will be available.
 
If those irregular hours change, parents can update them online as required via their myGov account.
 
How can families prove how many hours they work, study or volunteer?
Families are responsible for updating their activity via their myGov account or Centrelink.
No evidence is required at the time they self-declare. 
 
What if their activities don’t meet the activity test?
Other activities that do not fall into the recognised activity categories will be assessed by the Government on a case-by-case basis.
Families will need to contact Centrelink directly to find out if the activity is supported under the Child Care Subsidy.
 
If the family earns $66,958 or less a year, and does not meet the activity test, they will be able to access up to 24 hours of subsided care per child per fortnight.
 
Kindergarten/Preschool programs are exempt from the activity test
Families are entitled to 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if the child attends a kindergarten or preschool program at a centre-based day care (ie. long day care) in the year before they start school (that is two years before grade one of school).
 
General overview of subsidised care for number of hours of activity
Below is an indication of the hours of subsidised care families can receive based on their amount of activity:
Families in recognised activity 8 – 16 hours per fortnight are eligible to receive 36 hours per fortnight of subsidised care
Families in recognised activity 16 – 48 hours per fortnight are eligible to receive 72 hours per fortnight of subsidised care
Families in recognised activity more than 48 hours per fortnight are eligible to receive 100 hours per fortnight of subsidised care.
 
Families are encouraged to register now for a myGov account if they don’t already have one, as this is how the government will communicate with them about the CCS.
 
The Child Care Subsidy can be backdated up to 28 days prior to the date the Child Care Subsidy claim was submitted or 2 July 2018, whichever is later. 
 
ACA has produced a blog article - FAMILIES: Make sure you’re ready for the new Child Care Subsidy - to assist existing and new families in adopting to the new system and making sure they are registered correctly. We encourage you to share this with your families.