Do You Pay for Absent Days at Daycare?

Absent days at daycare

When your child falls ill and can’t attend daycare, do you still need to pay for the days they aren’t at the childcare centre?

Most Australian parents assume that absent days are automatically covered by the child care subsidy; however, this is only half true. The reality is that there is a limit on the number of absent days that can be covered by childcare subsidy. 

To help you understand the allowances and limitations regarding your child’s absent days from childcare, here’s a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about how to claim your absent days, and what circumstances are applicable for additional absent days from childcare. 

Table of Contents

  • Are child care fees payable for absences?
  • How many absences are allowed in childcare?
  • Obtaining additional absence days 
  • How to claim absence days

Are Childcare Fees Payable for Absences?

Each child care centre has its own policies regarding the fees for absent days, so whether or not you’ll need to pay for “sick days” entirely depends on your child care provider. 

Most providers will charge for illness-related absences and public holidays, while some offer a lowered rate for holiday periods throughout each financial year. The best way to find out is to check directly with the childcare provider for confirmation. 

Absences in Childcare

How Many Absences are Allowed in Childcare?

In cases where payment must be made for absences, families can benefit from Child Care Subsidy (CCS) for up to 42 absence days per child each financial year. 

In shared care setups, the 42 allowable absences are assigned to the child, not each parent separately. For situations involving multiple daily care sessions, like before and after-school care, a child’s absence from one session is tallied as a single absence day.

You are allowed to use these absence days as you like, whether in the case of your child falling ill or for any other reason. It’s important to note that claiming or using these absence days can be done without needing to provide any evidence. 

Absence days can even be claimed for the purpose of short overseas trips, although the limit for CCS eligibility stops after 6 weeks abroad. 

Obtaining Additional Absence Days 

Once these 42 absence days have been used up, CCS will typically not apply to the cost of any other days that your child does not attend childcare. However, if required, families can obtain additional absence days for their children beyond this limit. 

Such special circumstances include instances where the child or a household member is ill, supported by a medical certificate or a positive COVID-19 test result from a government agency or pathology service, or if the child is spending time with a person other than their usual carer as required by a court order or parenting plan. 

You can view a complete list of the applicable circumstances on the Department of Education’s website.  

In cases of emergency such as bushfires, storms, or floods, families won’t consume their annual allowable absences, and those in affected regions may receive extra absences automatically. After the emergency, additional absences may be granted if the annual allocation is exhausted.

How to Claim Absence Days

how to claim absence days

To claim absence days for daycare, it’s important to note a few key details. 

First, you should make sure your child was enrolled in a session but didn’t attend, and that a gap fee was charged for that session. Keep in mind that absences during general service closures aren’t typically claimable unless they fall on a public holiday or during a genuine emergency.

It’s a good idea to keep a detailed and accurate record of these absences so that you can supply supporting information if needed. You can easily track your child’s year-to-date absence count through the Centrelink online account on the myGov platform or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Final Thoughts 

With the 42-day allowance for absences, most families should have more than enough allotment for sick days or even vacation breaks with their children. At Eikoh Seminar, we understand that illnesses and family emergencies can happen, which is why we encourage parents to communicate any absences with us. That way, we can continue to provide reasonably priced, high-quality education and care to all children in our care across our centres in Roseville, Normanhurst, St Ives, and West Ryde. Contact our friendly team today to find out more about our services!