Child Care Subsidy Activity Test

So, you’ve calculated your Child Care Subsidy rebate percentage (see our estimator), showing how much you’ll receive with the new Child Care Subsidy (by using our online estimator). The second part to the Child Care Subsidy story is what’s known as the ‘Activity Test’ – how many hours of approved activity the parents or guardians of the children in care undertake.

So, you’ve calculated your Child Care Subsidy rebate percentage, showing how much you’ll receive with the new Child Care Subsidy (by using our online estimator). The second part to the Child Care Subsidy story is what’s known as the ‘Activity Test’ – how many hours of approved activity the parents or guardians of the children in care undertake.

Basically, the way the Activity Test works means the more activity you do, the more hours of subsidised child care you can access - up to 100 hours per fortnight per child. Importantly, the hours of subsidised care will be determined by the parent with the lowest hours of activity. Getting this information correct can have a large impact on the weekly fees you'll pay, so its important that you have all the information you need.

Not participating in paid work? What if you’re on maternity leave, or interested in pursuing a new training course, or even doing some charity work? Well the good news is that these are all recognised activities that count toward the activity test.

The broad range of recognised activities means you can maximise your child care subsidies by taking on extra shifts at work or giving back to your local community by volunteering. The list of activities will include, but is not limited to:

  • Paid work, including annual leave
  • Paid parental leave, including both maternity and paternity leave
  • Being self-employed in your own business
  • Doing unpaid work in the family business
  • Training courses to improve your work skills or employment prospects
  • An approved course of education or study
  • Volunteering
  • Actively looking for work

Below is an outline of the hours of subsidised care per fortnight you may be eligible to receive, based on your hours of recognised activity:

Activity Test

If you’re doing more than one activity – it all counts. Don’t underestimate how much activity you do!
We all know that modern parents wear many hats. In fact, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to be doing any number of these activities. So some more good news – the activities can be combined, so if you work part-time and study both will be recognised. The hours of activity you undertake don’t need to coincide with your child care hours, so if you work on the weekend, you’ll still able to access subsidised care during the week.

It is important that you take proper account of how many hours you’re spending in these activities as it can have a large impact on the fees you pay.

What if your 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. Contact Centrelink (136 150) directly to find out if activitites outside what is listed are supported under the Child Care Subsidy.

If your family earns $66,958^ or less a year, and you do not meet the activity test, you will be able to access up to 24 hours of subsided care per child per fortnight.

Preschool or Kindergarten
If you don’t meet the activity test and have a preschool aged child attending preschool, your child can still attend to ensure they’re school-ready. Children will be entitled to 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if the they attend a kindergarten or preschool program at a centre-based day care (like at any Mission Australia Early Learning Centre) in the year before they start school (that is, two years before grade one of school).

How do I prove how many hours I work, study or volunteer?
If you haven't completed your assessment, we suggest you do it as soon as possible. If you've already submitted your assessment, you can update your activity at any time. Remember, you'll be responsible for updating your activity via the myGov account or Centrelink and no evidence is required at the time you self-declare.

People who run small businesses or work casually with irregular hours are able to estimate their activity over a three-month period. A good way to do this is to look back at your previous three months and use the hours you worked in that period as an estimate. Your estimate should be for the highest number of hours you might require, even if you don't require those hours every day. This gives you the flexibility to pick up additional hours of work and know that care will be available. If your irregular hours change that's okay as you can update them whenever you need to. You will do this via your myGov account.

Need More information?
The Child Care Subsidy is a significant change, sometimes with a significant impact on the out of pocket expense of child care. With the above information, you may be surprised at how much you’re eligible for – giving your child more time in the quality learning environments at your local Mission Australia Early Learning Centre. More information about fees, and the Child Care Subsidy can be found on our fees page

Interested in chatting about options we have to care for and educate your child? Click here to complete our contact form or call us on 1800 757 343.