2.6.1 CCS Eligibility
- CCS eligibility criteria:
- salary sacrificing the cost of child care,
- limitations on eligibility,
- cessation of eligibility.
CCS eligibility criteria
Individuals' eligibility for CCS is determined in relation to each session of care delivered by an approved child care service (1.1.A.90). An individual is eligible for CCS for a session of care provided by an approved child care service to a child if, at the time the session is provided:
- the child is a FTB or regular care child (1.1.R.21) of the individual or their partner (1.1.P.30), and
- the child is 13 years of age or under and does not attend secondary school (unless the child is a member of a class prescribed by the Minister who can be eligible despite not meeting this criteria (22.214.171.124)), and
- the child meets immunisation requirements (1.1.I.10), and
- the individual, or their partner, meets the residency requirements.
These eligibility criteria are tested when an individual makes a claim (1.1.C.27) for CCS. Individuals who meet these criteria receive a determination of initial eligibility. This is not an assurance of eligibility for any reported sessions of care, but establishes an individual as someone for whom entitlement (1.1.E.30) determinations can be made.
An individual is eligible for CCS for a session of care if, in addition to meeting the 4 criteria above:
- the individual, or their partner, has a genuine liability to pay for the care under a CWA, and
- the session of care:
- is provided in Australia (1.1.A.120), and
- is not provided as part of the compulsory education program in the state or territory where the care is provided, and
- is not provided in circumstances outlined in the CCSMinRules section 8.
Act reference: FAAct section 85BA Eligibility for CCS
CCSMinRules section 8 Prescribed circumstances where no eligibility for a session of care
Policy reference: FA Guide 126.96.36.199 Regular Care Child, 188.8.131.52 CCS - Eligibility for Children Aged 13 & Under & Attending Secondary School or Aged 14 or Above, 184.108.40.206 CCS - Australian Residency Exceptions, 220.127.116.11 CCS - Immunisation Approved Exemptions, 2.6.3 CCS Eligibility - Attending Secondary School, 2.6.5 CCS - Requirements Relating to CWA
Liability to pay for child care under a CWA
To be eligible for CCS for a session of care an individual, or their partner, must have incurred a liability to pay for the session under a CWA. This eligibility requirement will be established when the approved provider creates the enrolment and the individual confirms the details. Once a provider and individual enter into a CWA, the provider must submit relevant details of the arrangement in an enrolment notice, including who is liable to pay the fees. These details will be passed on to the individual for confirmation (through Centrelink online).
It is possible for 1 member of a couple (1.1.M.50) to incur the liability for fees (enrol the child under a CWA), and the other member of the couple to be the CCS claimant and still meet this eligibility requirement, though their partner is incurring the liability.
Act reference: FAAct section 85BA Eligibility for CCS
Policy reference: FA Guide 2.6.5 CCS - Requirements Relating to CWA
Where there is no eligibility for a session of care
There are circumstances where there is no eligibility for a session of care. In addition to the requirements outlined above, for an individual to be eligible for CCS for a session of care, the session of care must not be provided in the following circumstances:
- where care is provided aboard a transport vehicle, including on a bus for example (unless the transport is incidental to the session of care),
- except for care provided by an IHC service, where care is provided in a domestic living arrangement such as the child's own home or where the parent remains present,
- where care is provided by an individual required to hold a working with children card, but the individual does not hold a card by the time the session of care is provided or the details of the card have not been provided within the time required by the rule,
- where the child attends school (including home school or distance education program) during any part of the session,
- where the session of care is provided by an approved FDC child care service to a child who is a FTB child or regular care child of an FDC educator, or their partner, and the session occurs on a day the FDC educator provides care at an FDC service, unless 1 of the circumstances outlined in the CCSMinRules section 8 apply,
- where the session of care is provided by an approved IHC child care service to a child who is a FTB child or regular care child of an IHC educator, or their partner, and the session occurs on a day the IHC educator provides care at an IHC service,
- where the session of care is provided to children who are in relationships with an FDC or IHC educator of the FDC or IHC service, or their partner, outlined in the CCSMinRules section 8,
- where the session of care provided breaches the condition for continued approval in relation to the number of children who can be cared for by an IHC educator.
These circumstances will be established using information in session reports (1.1.S.35), or through compliance reviews.
Act reference: CCSMinRules section 8 Prescribed circumstances where no eligibility for a session of care
Salary sacrificing the cost of child care
Individual employers may allow employees to salary sacrifice the cost of child care services. The employer may be liable to pay fringe benefits tax on the reportable fringe benefits provided. This is an area of legislation administered by the ATO.
Policy reference: FA Guide 1.1.S.05 Salary sacrificing (CCS)
Limitations on eligibility
In addition to the eligibility criteria outlined above, there are some circumstances where an individual will not be able to be eligible for CCS:
- Only 1 individual can be eligible for the same session of care provided to a child (18.104.22.168).
- Only 1 individual can be eligible in substitution for an individual who has died.
- There is no eligibility for a child who is in the care of a state or territory, other than where a child is in the care of a foster parent (1.1.P.10).
- There is no eligibility for a session of care provided by an IHC service, where more than 1 child in a group of 5 children is the nominated child for that session of care.
- An individual who is the CCS claimant cannot remain eligible for CCS (or ACCS) if they are overseas for in excess of 6 weeks, however the Secretary may extend the 6 week period to a period of no more than 3 years in some circumstances.
Further to the above limitation on eligibility, the CCS hourly rate cap for approved child care (1.1.A.90) provided by an IHC child care service is per family, not per child as is the case for all other approved child care service types. To give effect to the family rate and family rate cap, an individual is eligible for CCS or ACCS for only 1 child (the nominated child) among any group of 5 children being cared for in the same session of care in the same home (22.214.171.124).
Act reference: FAAct section 85BA Eligibility for CCS, section 85EA Only one individual eligible at a time, section 85EC Only one individual eligible in substitution for individual who has died, section 85ED No eligibility for child who is in care of State or Territory or member of prescribed class, section 85EE Maximum period of eligibility for individual who is absent from Australia
Policy reference: FA Guide 126.96.36.199 CCS - Australian Residency Exceptions, 2.1.2 Australian Residence & Portability, 2.6.4 CCS Eligibility - Death of an Eligible Child or Recipient, 188.8.131.52 CCS - Only 1 Individual Eligible for the Same Session of Care, 184.108.40.206 CCS - Individual only eligible for session of care for nominated child
Cessation of eligibility
If an individual does not meet any of the eligibility criteria at the time a session of care is provided they will not be eligible to receive CCS in respect of a child for that session of care, and a determination of no entitlement for that session of care will be made.
Example: If a child who attends approved care every week day exceeds the immunisation grace period on the Wednesday, they would meet eligibility criteria for sessions of care delivered on Monday and Tuesday, but would not be eligible for CCS for sessions of care on and from Wednesday until they start meeting immunisation requirements again. Determinations of no entitlement would be made from Wednesday until the first session the child attends after they have started meeting immunisation requirements again (unless the individual's claim for this child ceases before the child starts meeting immunisation requirements again).
If the individual notifies Centrelink of a change in their circumstances relating to their eligibility after the change has occurred, or new information about an individual's eligibility is identified through other means, the family's entitlement will be reviewed.
An individual can make a request to Centrelink for their eligibility to be ceased.