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Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) Child Wellbeing

The ACCS Child Wellbeing helps eligible families by providing access to 100 hours of subsidised childcare per fortnight. The ACCS Child Wellbeing is for children identified at risk of serious abuse or neglect and children who live in formal Out of Home Care (OoHC) arrangement including foster or kinship care. The ACCS Child Wellbeing provides assistance to ensure the cost of childcare is not a barrier to supporting a child ‘at risk’.


The ACCS Child Wellbeing provides 100 hours/fortnight of free or low-cost childcare for children who meet Centrelink’s eligibility requirements, including being subject to, or exposed to, one or more of the following:

  • serious physical, emotional or psychological abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • domestic or family violence, or
  • neglect.

Children may be also eligible for this subsidy if they are living in situations where they are likely to experience these circumstances in the future or have experienced these circumstances in the past.

Children are also eligible for the ACCS Child Wellbeing if they are living in formal Out of Home Care (OoHC) arrangements including:

  • Foster care
  • Kinship care and
  • Children on Permanent Care orders up to 12 months.

What you can get

  • The ACCS Child Wellbeing is paid directly to the ECEC service on top of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and allows a child to access up to 100 hours per fortnight of free or low-cost childcare.
  • It is important to consider the family’s needs and discuss what sustainable attendance looks like in the best interests of the child. This may mean the child attends part-time, even if the subsidy provides access to full-time hours.  
  • To prevent debt accruing, the CCS must be in place first before the ACCS: Child Wellbeing can be applied so support parents/carers to submit the CCS application as a matter of priority when discussing childcare access.
  • The ECEC service can make an initial short-term ACCS application on behalf of the family for up to six weeks, however will request supporting documentation to apply for ongoing ACCS Child Wellbeing funding. As of October 2023, where there are exceptional circumstances such as homelessness or family violence, this can be backdated for up to 13 weeks.
  • Typically, the ACCS Child Wellbeing subsidy provides access to 13 weeks of subsided child care. Ask the service for the ACCS end date, record it with the family and make a financial plan with the family and service beyond this time.
  • A service can re-apply for a subsequent ACCS Child Wellbeing subsidy if the child continues to meet the eligibility criteria. Supporting documentation for subsequent ACCS Child Wellbeing applications needs to be provided to the ECEC service at least four weeks in advance to allow enough time for processing. If the approval process extends beyond the end date of the current ACCS, a debt will accrue.
  • Childcare centres that charge for a 12-hour day will typically accrue a cost even when Early Start Kindergarten (ESK) grant, CCS and ACCS subsidies have been applied. Confirm with the childcare at enrolment the number of hours charged each week, and that there are no outstanding fees due at the end of each fortnight.
  • For children in formal foster care arrangements or the subject of a long-term protection order, a determination (access to ACCS) can be in place for up to 52 weeks. This means the provider does not have to apply for a new determination every 13 weeks.

How to access

  • The Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) service makes the application on behalf of the family and will request written evidence from supporting professionals evidencing the risk of serious abuse or neglect to the child as part of the application process.
  • Discuss the ACCS Child Wellbeing application directly with the ECEC service and seek support form your team leader about what to include in the supporting documentation.
  • When family services is closing the case, advise the ECEC service and discuss with the family and service the implications for ongoing ACCS access. Make a plan with the family and service for sustainable ongoing childcare attendance beyond family services involvement. Consider the Early Start Kindergarten (ESK) grant, which provides eligible children with access to 15 hours a week of free or low cost kinder as a sustainable alternative to childcare.

For more information, including evidence requirements for the supporting documentation, see the ACCS Child Wellbeing Practice Guide.


More information about ACCS Child Wellbeing on the Services Australia and Federal Department of Education websites.

  • Starting Blocks has some helpful information for families about accessing childcare.
  • Centrelink Families Line - 136 150 - provides help with Centrelink family payments, including the ACCS.

Reviewed 05 March 2024