2.6.7 Special Child Care Benefit (SCCB) - Eligibility Criteria

Note: From 2 July 2018 there will be a new Child Care Package. CCB, CCR, JETCCFA GCCB and SCCB will cease on 1 July 2018. The new Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy will start from 2 July 2018. To find out more, and to estimate what the new subsidy might be, please go to the Department of Education and Training's The New Child Care Package page.


This section contains one topic that explains the SCCB eligibility criteria. These are circumstances under which a higher rate of CCB can be granted to either:

  • an individual with children in an approved service (1.1.A.90), or
  • an approved service.

This section covers:

  • the circumstances under which SCCB is available,
  • higher CCB rate,
  • the period for which SCCB is available, and
  • SCCB - service limits.

SCCB circumstances

The following table shows the circumstances under which SCCB is available and who can apply for it in those circumstances.

If… SCCB is available to…
at the time of care, a service believes a child is at risk of:
  • serious abuse, or
  • neglect,
  • the individual, or
  • an approved service, if the individual is not eligible.

Explanation: The service makes itself eligible and pays SCCB to itself.

an individual:
  • has care of a child immediately before the care is provided, and
  • is experiencing short term hardship (1.1.S.50),
the individual.
an individual ceases to receive income support payments, the individual.

Explanation: This payment will be made under the SCCB hardship provisions. The individual is eligible for an initial period of 3 weeks.

In the case of an approved service applying, it must make a determination in writing, stating the:

  • reasons why they believe the child is at risk, and
  • time period for which SCCB is required.

Note: SCCB is not available to an individual who has been on a 12-week employment income nil rate period immediately before their social security pension or benefit is cancelled.

Higher CCB rate

A service can approve SCCB for amounts up to and equalling an individual's total weekly child care fees.

Period of access

A service cannot approve SCCB for any one event, across all services, for more than 13 weeks in any financial year. Approval must be sought from Centrelink for any periods of SCCB additional to the initial 13 weeks. Only Centrelink can approve additional 13 week periods. In respect of one hardship event the service and Centrelink approvals combined may not exceed 52 weeks. Access to SCCB in cases of individual hardship is usually not approved for more than 13 weeks, for any one hardship event. If the problem continues into the following financial year, an approved service cannot approve a further period of 13 weeks for the same event. Only Centrelink can approve an extension of the 13-week period.

Where a service has made itself eligible for SCCB for a child at risk because nobody else is eligible to receive CCB, Department of Education and Training (Education) must be notified when the service makes itself eligible and any periods of SCCB additional to the initial 13 weeks must also be approved by Education.

SCCB - service limits

The cost of the SCCB periods a service has already approved should not exceed 18% of total fee reductions in the acquitted statement (1.1.S.120) for the statement period before last. A service cannot access SCCB at the same time as CCB.

Act reference: FAAct section 52 Limit on eligibility for CCB relating to hours, section 53 Weekly limit of hours, section 54 Circumstances when a limit of 50 hours applies, section 55 Circumstances when a limit of more than 50 hours applies, section 76 to section 85 Fee reductions or CCB rate certified by an approved child care service

Policy reference: FA Guide Eligibility Requirements for More than 50 Hours CCB

SS Guide 3.1.12 Employment Income Nil Rate Period

Last reviewed: 2 January 2018