What is the Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS)?
Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) is an additional payment on top of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) (100% of actual fee charged up to 120% of hourly rate cap). Subsidies are paid to child care providers or servicesand passed along through fee reductions. The cost of child care or early childhood education is usually covered in full.
ACCS for Child Wellbeing
ACCS child wellbeing helps families who need assistance to support their children or child’s safety and wellbeing including the cost of child care. ACCS child wellbeing helps families and children facing barriers so that children can enter early childhood care and education services or ensure continuity in child care.
Children at risk of violence, serious abuse or neglect may be qualified for ACCS child wellbeing. Child care subsidy ACCS child wellbeing gives a family a higher rate of subsidy and more hours of child care subsidised.
To qualify for the ACCS, the parent or carer must be eligible for Child Care Subsidy (CCS), and care for a child who is considered at risk of serious abuse or neglect.
For the purposes of ACCS (child wellbeing), children are at risk of serious abuse or neglect if they are exposed to serious physical, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, domestic or family violence, or neglect.
Children are also considered at risk if they are likely to experience any of the above in the future, or if they are in a foster care arrangement recognised in a decision of a court or tribunal under relevant state/territory law.
ACCS for Grandparents
The ACCS for grandparents provide care subsidy or extra help with the cost of child care for grandparents or elders who are also the principal carer of their grandchild .
Grandparents who are entitled to Child Care Subsidy can also apply for ACCS at the same time. Other qualifications include receiving income support payments, being the grandparent of the child, having at least 65% care of the child, and making the day-to-day decisions about the child’s care, welfare and development.
A grandparent is a child’s biological grandparent or great grandparent. This also includes if you’re related to the child through adoption, step parents (including former step parents), artificial conception, de facto relationships, or surrogacy arrangements.
Grandparents who are not eligible for ACCS (grandparent) may still be eligible to receive CCS based on their income and hours of recognised activity.
ACCS for Temporary Financial Hardship
The Australian Government provides Additional Child Care Subsidy for temporary financial hardship to families experiencing significant financial strain because of childcare costs. By receiving this child care benefit, families will have access to continuity of childcare and support when they are most in need.
The ACCS temporary financial hardship may help pay for childcare cost in approved child care providers or child care services if you are eligible.
Families can apply for the temporary financial hardship subsidy together with the childcare subsidy. Families and children experiencing temporary financial hardship causing them struggle to pay cost of childcare due to an unexpected loss of employment or the loss of a partner, other than resignation or retirement, are eligible for this program.
To receive fee assistance to families, they must apply for ACCS temporary financial hardship assistance within six months from the date of the event by providing evidence to support the application.
An employer’s letter may serve as proof that family is experiencing temporary financial hardship, along with a statutory declaration detailing the nature of the temporary hardship, and evidence demonstrating how the event has resulted in a substantial reduction in the ability to pay childcare fees within six months of the application date.
ACCS for Transition to Work
The additional child care subsidy ACCS transition to work is given to families who are transitioning to work from income support by engaging in work, study or training activities.
ACCS transition to work is available to individuals and/or families who are eligible for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and they can apply for both at the same time. Families with income under $72,466 are eligible for this support.
They must also be receiving one of the following income support payments: Parenting Payment, JobSeeker Payment, Disability Support Pension, Youth Allowance and a payment prescribed by the Minister’s rules.
The families applying for the ACCS for transition to work need to be engaged in a recognised work, study or training activity and need to meet the requirements of the activity test.
The activity level of a family determines number of hours of subsidised care they will be receiving. If the individual has a partner, the person with less amount of activity will be considered for the activity test result.
The family will receive either 95% of the fee charged where it is equal to or below the hourly rate cap or up to 95% of the hourly rate cap where the fee charged is above the hourly rate cap. If a family’s circumstances change they need to inform Services Australia.
How to apply
In order to apply for the subsidy, families, carers or grandparents can either access their Centrelink online account via myGov or go to a Centrelink office.
How ACCS is paid
The Additional Childcare Subsidy (temporary financial hardship) is paid directly to childcare providers or childcare services to reduce the cost of childcare fees.