At some point, you’ll likely need to send your little ones to childcare when you or your partner return to work. While this can be quite a financial strain on working families, the Australian Government hopes to ease the costs for eligible families with the Child Care Subsidy (CCS). But with so many elements to factor in, it can be tricky to understand exactly how to apply for the Child Care Subsidy and hard to figure out how much childcare is for your family.
To help you wrap your head around the CCS so you can plan work, life and the balance between the two, we’re detailing the process here, explaining how it all works. We’ll also outline how to use our Child Care Subsidy Calculator.
But first, roughly how much is childcare per day? In Australia, it’s about $70-$180 per day, depending on various circumstances such as the location of the childcare, the age of your child, and the type of childcare service you choose. To help you whittle down how much childcare is for you, let’s go through all the moving parts of the CCS below.
Do I Qualify for the Child Care Subsidy?
To access the Child Care Subsidy, your family will need to be eligible, meaning your child will need to meet the following requirements:
- Be under 13 and not attending secondary school, unless there’s an exemption in place.
- Be attending an approved childcare service.
- Meet residency and necessary immunisation requirements.
When these eligibility requirements are met, you can apply for the CCS on behalf of your family. Through your myGov account or by filling out the forms through the Department of Human Services, you’ll understand how to add a child to Centrelink for the Child Care Subsidy.
How Do I use the Child Care Subsidy Calculator
As mentioned, the amount of the subsidy will vary depending on a few factors, which include the family’s income, the total hours of work or study, and the type of childcare service you’re accessing for your little one. Our Child Care Subsidy Calculator will help you estimate your out-of-pocket childcare costs so you can best plan your working family’s situation.
The following steps will help you get an idea of your expenses:
- Enter your annual family income before tax.
- Select whether you’re a single parent or a couple.
- Enter the age of the child plus the number of hours they’ll attend childcare each week.
- Choose the type of service you plan to use, whether it’s centre-based care, family day care, or in-home care.
- Enter the estimated weekly fee for the childcare service.
Our calculator will then give you an estimate of the CCS you’re eligible for, and it’ll show you the weekly fee you’ll need to pay so you can calculate your out-of-pocket childcare expenses. While the calculations are fairly accurate, it’s important to note the results are an estimate.
Do Child Care Subsidies Differ From State to State
The national program for Child Care Subsidy provides a consistent level of subsidy across Australia. However, the cost of childcare can differ from state to state, particularly in regional and remote areas depending on the accessibility of childcare services. A 2019 report titled “Child Care in Australia” by the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Skills and Employment covers a range of topics related to childcare to provide insight into policy decisions and program reform. It includes statistics on working families, average weekly hours, and childcare usage across the states and territories.
Childcare Costs in Sydney
As mentioned, the availability and accessibility of childcare services vary with each location, impacting costs. Childcare costs in Sydney can be quite high, with the average fee being higher than the national average.
Is Childcare Tax Deductible?
The short answer is no. According to the Australian Tax Office’s (ATO) website: “You can’t claim a deduction for the cost of childcare (including school holidays and before and after school care) when you’re working. It’s a private expense, and the expenses have no direct connection to earning your income”.
So while the expenses are not tax deductible, there are a few ways the government offers support to assist working families, including the Child Care Subsidy, the family tax benefit, and the parenting payment.
How Much is Childcare Per Day
According to the December 2019 Child Care in Australia report, the cost can vary each day. The average hourly fee was $9.79, but the cost can be as low as $5.09 and as high as $20.24 per hour. But again, this all depends on the type of childcare service and the location. Here are a few more examples of factors that may change day-to-day childcare expenses:
- The type of childcare service. Childcare costs can vary depending on the type of care provided. For instance, centre-based care and in-home care tend to be pricier than family day care, but this ultimately depends on factors such as the staff-to-child ratio, available resources, and facilities.
- Location. Childcare services in major cities, or areas with higher demand, may be more expensive than services in regional or remote areas.
- Your child’s age. This can also change costs. For example, some services may charge a different rate for an infant as opposed to a preschool-aged child.
- Days of the week. Childcare costs may vary depending on the day of the week, as many charge more on weekends and public holidays.
- Length of care. A full-day rate may differ from a part-time care rate, and childcare outside of regular business hours may change the cost of childcare, too.
Enquire about Childcare Today
As you can see, there’s no simple answer when you’re considering how much childcare is per day in Australia. Reach out to understand more about the costs and factors involved in our childcare services and any other details that may affect your daily childcare costs.
Your child’s well-being is our priority, so we want you to make an informed decision that’s best for your child and your family. Contact us today to start the conversation.