Kindergarten Fees FAQs | C&K - childcare and kindergarten

Kindergarten Fees FAQs

What is the Queensland Kindergarten Funding Program?

The Queensland Government will introduce a new kindergarten funding program on 1 January 2023, making kindergarten more affordable and easing cost-of-living pressures. The program includes two subsidies – Kindy Plus Subsidy and Family Tax Benefit Subsidy. 

What are the eligibility requirements?

Families who meet the eligibility requirements for these subsidies will save money on their kindergarten fees, making it free for some. Children must be at least 4 years of age, by 30 June, in the year they start kindergarten, to be eligible for the subsidies.

The subsidies are only available for eligible-aged children to attend kindergarten for up to 600-hours per year, which is an average of 15-hours per week for a sessional kindergarten centre operating 40 weeks a year. If your child attends kindergarten for more than 600-hours per year, you may have an out-of-pocket fee to pay.

What is Kindy Plus?

The Kindy Plus Subsidy is available if you or your child:

  • hold a current Australian Government Health Care Card (HCC) or have formal communication, such as a letter from Services Australia, stating you will be issued one 
  • hold a current Australian Government Pensioner Concession Card (automatic HCC entitlements)
  • hold a Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card or White Card
  • have evidence of formal foster or kinship care arrangements
  • identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander 
  • have three or more children, of the same age, enrolled in the same year
  • have a child who is identified as living in a formal child protection, out-of-home-care arrangement
  • are a family and child who have entered Australia, under the Australian Government’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program, or is in the process of seeking asylum and holds a temporary visa.

Kindy Plus also includes a Temporary Financial Hardship category, which families can apply for if unforeseen circumstances impact them financially. More information on this category is below. 

What proof do I need to show to get Kindy Plus? 

The type of proof you require depends on which category you are eligible for. You will need to show this proof when you enrol, or when you become eligible, if it is after you enrol.

Australian Government Health Care Card

A current Health Care Card, that has not expired, or a letter from Services Australia stating you will receive one.

 

If your card is due to expire during the term, you will receive the funding for that term only. You will need to show a new card to receive the subsidy in the following term. If your card expires in Term 4, and your child is starting Prep in the following year, you won’t need to show a new card. 

Australian Government Pensioner Concession Card

A current Pensioner Concession Card, that has not expired. 

Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card or White Card

A current Gold or White card, that has not expired. 

A formal foster or kinship care arrangement or a child who is identified as living in a formal child protection, out-of-home-care arrangement

A copy of the Authority to Care form showing the Order start and end dates. 

Identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

No evidence is required. 

A family and child who have entered Australia, under the Australian Government’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program, or is in the process of seeking asylum and holds a temporary visa.

A copy of a current applicable visa, immigrant document or ImmiCard.

How much will I save with Kindy Plus?

The amount you receive for the Kindy Plus subsidy depends on the type of centre your child attends. 

Sessional kindergarten centres - If your child attends kindergarten at one of our sessional kindergarten centres (those that only provide a kindergarten program), the Queensland Government will cover your out-of-pocket fees, making kindergarten free for you.

Childcare and full Child Care Subsidy (CCS) at kindergarten with extended hours centres – If your child attends a kindergarten program at one of our childcare centres (provides education and care for children from 6 weeks to 5 years), or a kindergarten with extended hours centre, the Queensland Government will reduce your out-of-pocket fees by $1,409.50 per year. This may make kindergarten free for you, depending on your centre’s fees. This saving is in addition to any CCS you may receive.

Kindergarten with extended hours (hybrid) centres – If your child attends one of our hybrid centres (those that provide the CCS and Kindergarten funding models), your subsidy will depend on the funding model you receive. If you claim the CCS, you will receive the same Kindy Plus subsidy as childcare centres. If you don’t claim the CCS, you will receive the same Kindy Plus subsidy as sessional kindergarten centres.   

How can I apply for Temporary Financial Hardship?

The Temporary Financial Hardship subsidy supports families experiencing an unforeseen event that has a major financial impact on their ability to pay kindergarten fees. You will need to complete an application form to apply, and your C&K centre Director will approve it.

If approved, you are only eligible to receive the subsidy for one semester and your application will be reviewed at the start of the next semester.

No evidence is required to apply, however, you may be asked to provide some, depending on the unforeseen event you detail in your application.

Unforeseen events include:

  • the death of a parent/carer or serious illness that impacts the financial well-being of the family
  • temporary or general homelessness of a longer-term nature
  • involuntary unemployment resulting in significant loss of family income
  • loss of income as a result of a natural disaster
  • loss or failure of a family-owned business, resulting in the significant reduction in family income and ability to pay kindergarten fees
  • destruction of the family home (for example, fire or flood) that requires the family to relocate
  • parent/carer is a victim of domestic and/or family violence and is accessing temporary accommodation/support services.

What is the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) subsidy? 

The FTB subsidy is available if you qualified for Family Tax Benefit A or B in the 2021-2022 financial year.

How much will I save with the FTB subsidy?

The amount you receive for the FTB subsidy depends on the type of centre your child attends. 

Sessional kindergarten centres - If your child attends kindergarten at one of our sessional kindergarten centres (those that only provide a kindergarten program), the Queensland Government will reduce your out-of-pocket fees by $3,500 per year.

Childcare and full Child Care Subsidy (CCS) kindergarten with extended hours centres – If your child attends a kindergarten program at one of our childcare centres (provides education and care for children from 6 weeks to 5 years), or a kindergarten with extended hours centre, the Queensland Government will reduce your out-of-pocket fees by $500 per year. This saving is in addition to any CCS you may receive.

Kindergarten with extended hours (Hybrid) centres – If your child attends one of our hybrid centres (those that provide the CCS and Kindergarten funding models), your subsidy will depend on the funding model you receive. If you claim the CCS, you will receive the same FTB subsidy as childcare centres. If you don’t claim the CCS, you will receive the same FTB subsidy as sessional kindergarten centres.

How do I know if I’m eligible for Family Tax Benefit A or B?

You need to complete your 2021-2022 tax return to know if you are eligible. If you are, you would have received a letter from Services Australia confirming your eligibility for either FTB A or B. It will have the heading “About your Family Tax Benefit 2021-22” on it. You can get a copy of this letter from your MyGov account.

Please note – you have to show this letter to claim - your tax assessment or general Family Tax Benefit letter is not valid.

 

I’m eligible and have my letter, so how can I apply for the FTB subsidy?

You will need to show a paper or electronic copy of your FTB confirmation letter or allow the centre to scan the letter into their computer when you enrol.

What if I haven’t completed my tax return for the 2021-2022 financial year?

The deadline to submit your 2021-2022 tax return was 31 October 2022. However, if you use a registered tax accountant to complete your tax return, you have until 30 June 2023 to lodge your return. This means you may not be able to claim the FTB subsidy until Semester 2 in 2023. 

You can start to claim it as soon as you find out you are eligible. It will be backdated so you will receive a refund of the difference between the subsidised amount, and the higher fee you were paying, up to that date.

Centrelink usually reassesses families’ eligibility each financial year, once you lodge your tax return. If you’re not eligible when you complete your 2021-2022 tax return but are eligible when you complete your 2022-23 tax return, you cannot claim the subsidy for the 2023 calendar year.

I’m on a working visa/waiting for visa approval. Can I claim the FTB subsidy?

No – you won’t be eligible until your visa is approved and you will also need to be eligible to receive FTB A or B in the 2021-2022 financial year to receive the subsidy in 2023. However, refugee status is included as a Kindy Plus category so you may be able to apply under that category.  

I’m not an Australian resident so can I receive the FTB subsidy?

Yes – if your residency status meets the eligibility criteria and you were eligible for FTB A or B in the 2021-2022 financial year.

How do I claim my subsidy if my child goes to two different centres?  

You can only claim the subsidy at one centre, so will need to decide which centre you want to claim it at. You’ll be asked if you want to claim the subsidy when you enrol at the C&K centre. If you have already claimed it at another centre, we’ll ask you to provide the name of that centre.

You won’t be able to claim the subsidy at more than one centre as the government will collect subsidy data from all centres operating a kindergarten program in Queensland.  

Do I receive the subsidies directly?

No - the subsidies will be applied to the standard daily fee, reducing your out-of- pocket fees. Your reduced daily fee will be calculated when you enrol, based on the subsidy you’re eligible for. 

The Queensland Government will provide C&K with the funding, and we will pass it onto the centres. You will only pay your reduced out-of-pocket fee. 

Do the subsidies require my child/ren to be vaccinated?

No, vaccination is not a requirement to receive the kindergarten funding program subsidies. 

I don’t qualify for Kindy Plus or the FTB Subsidy. Do I receive any savings? 

Yes – all families will save $1,500 per year on their kindergarten fees, which will be applied to the daily fee. The Kindy Plus and FTB subsidies will be in addition to this $1,500 saving.

What’s the difference between Child Care Subsidy funding and the Queensland Government Kindergarten Funding Program? 

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is financial assistance provided by the Australian Government to support families with the cost of childcare. This funding applies to children from 6 weeks old to 13 years old, attending an approved childcare service. 

The Queensland Government Kindergarten Funding program is financial assistance provided by the Queensland Government to support families with the cost of attending an approved kindergarten program. It only applies to children, who are at least 4 years old by 30 June, in the year they start kindergarten. 

Families who attend a CCS-approved centre (childcare or kindergarten with extended hours centre) can receive both CCS and Kindergarten Funding program subsidies.

Am I better off on CCS or the Queensland Government Kindergarten Funding Program subsidies?

The amount of funding you could receive depends on your personal circumstances and eligibility as the funding programs have different eligibility criteria. If you attend a CCS-approved centre, you may be eligible to receive both CCS and Kindergarten Funding program subsidies. 

You can view the different eligibility requirements on the CCS web page and the Kindy Savings web page.