In Home Child Care is an education funded by the Australian Government Department of Education.
It is designed to help families who have no access to existing childcare services or families whose circumstances mean that existing childcare cannot meet their needs.
How Does In Home Child Care Work?
In Home Care (IHC) was introduced in June 2001 as a flexible form of child care designed to accommodate the needs of families for whom other forms of Australian Government approved child care is not suitable. Unlike other child care types, IHC is only available to a child who meets certain eligibility criteria as prescribed by law.
To be eligible for In Home Child Care families must meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Parents or carers are working non-standard or variable hours, outside normal child care service hours.
- Parents or carers are geographically isolated from other types of approved childcare, are particularly in rural or remote locations.
- The family has challenging or complex needs, including where families are experiencing challenging situations, and other approved childcare services are not able to meet the needs of the child or the family.
The Benefits Of In Home Childcare
If you have no access to any other childcare services, and you meet an eligibility criteria for In Home Childcare, your child(ren) can receive childcare provided by an approved Educator in their own home.
Helpful Information For Parents
In Home Care (IHC) was introduced in June 2001 as a flexible form of child care designed to accommodate the needs of families unable to access mainstream child care. Childcare is provided by Educators in the child’s own home. Our IHC Educators are dedicated professionals. IHC Educators have a great responsibility, and so our selection and training procedure must also be very professional. All IHC Educators are required to hold a current Child Care Qualification, WWCC and Federal Police Clearance, Medical Clearance, Current Child Protection, First Aid Certificate, with annual CPR renewal, and Public Liability Insurance. All our Educators undertake the necessary IHC training to become registered Educators with our Service. All Educators have had appropriate screening and clearance.
What Is The Eligibility Criteria?
Subsidised care under the IHC program must be provided only for children of individuals eligible for the Child Care Subsidy who can demonstrate that other types of approved child care are not available or appropriate and where one or more of the following eligibility criteria apply:
- parents or carers are working non-standard or variable hours, outside normal child care service hours
- parents or carers are geographically isolated from other types of approved child care, including because they reside in a rural or remote location
- the family has challenging or complex needs.
Challenging or complex needs may include one or more of the following:
- a child with additional needs or a disability whose early childhood education and care requirements cannot be catered for in another approved child care setting, or through other government funded or community-based services
- a family where a parent is undergoing treatment for a serious illness
- other complex family situations that prevent families from accessing other approved child care types.
IHC Support Agencies assess families against the IHC eligibility criteria to determine if they are eligible for IHC.
Continued eligibility for In Home Care is assessed every three months through the In Home Care Support Agency. This is a requirement of the funding agreement with Department of Education Skills and Employment – In Home Care.
What Areas Are Covered?
We currently have In Home Care Educators throughout the Northern Rivers area from Tweed Heads to Lismore, Queensland and Gold Coast.
What Types Of Care Are Available?
Part time, full time, casual, occasional, before and or after school care, overnight, roster or shifts, and evenings or weekends; dependant on the availability of an IHC Educator.
Families may be able to access IHC for children receiving funding through the NDIS, however sessions of IHC must have a focus on early childhood education and care.
What Is The Application Procedure?
• Contact the In Home Care Support Agency 1800 442 273. NSW or 1800 993 737 QLD
• Once a Family Management Plan has been established with the Support Agency they will advise you or IHC Services you are able to contact.
• The IHC Service will send out Family Registration Forms for you to complete. You will be required to send your child’s immunisation records and a copy of your CCS Assessment Notice.
• Once a possible match between parent/guardian and an IHC Educator is made, the parent is contacted and details of needs are confirmed.
• The Educator and Parent (and children if possible) make contact and meet.
• If the placement is agreed upon, the parent is given the Home Safety Assessment checklist and an appointment is made for the assessment. Home Safety Assessment is conducted at the family home and areas to be modified are identified and discussed. Enrolment form is completed.
• Parent/Guardian applies for CCS and makes changes to comply with Home Safety Assessment requirements if necessary.
• IHC Educator visits family home again and completes Parent/Educator Contract forms.
• IHC Manager confirms Home Safety requirements are met.
• Care commences.
• IHC Manager will visit the enrolled family every six months to perform and manage IHC Safety Check and 3 monthly visits with the Educator in the Families home.
If you have any questions or need assistance with completing the online application form, please phone 07 5587 5313.
What Are The Fees?
In Home Care educators charge a family fee. This means that there is a set hourly fee regardless of whether all the children are in care.
The family hourly rate cap is $33.17 per hour and the Additional Child Care Subsidy rate is $39.80 per hour. Depending on family circumstances, Child Care Subsidy will subsidise this amount for families who are eligible. Note that the CCS percentage is based on the family’s taxable income. Educators can charge a higher hourly rate for travel incurred because of the child’s needs. For example, the educator may be required to collect a child from pre-school or drop them off to preschool. This is discussed and decided between the parent and educator prior to commencement of this service.
Click here for Priority of Access Guidelines for In Home Childcare Places
Click here for further Fee Information
Click here for Child Care Subsidy CCS
Click here for Additional Child Care Subsidy ACCS
Can IHC be used for the supervision of distance education?
No, families cannot receive Child Care Subsidies during the time a child is engaged in formal schooling, including for the purpose of supervising distance education programs such as School of the Air (on air and off air times). This includes the programs many schools provided to parents/carers to deliver to their children during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is longstanding policy, as the Commonwealth funds state and territory governments for the delivery of school education. Care provided while a child is completing homework does not constitute formal schooling.
Supervision of distance education programs may be provided in the family home by an IHC educator as a private arrangement between the family and the service, complementary to the provision of subsidised child care. Private arrangements do not attract Child Care Subsidy.
Will I be able to access IHC if my child accesses the National Disability Insurance Scheme?
IHC has a focus on education and care, and may complement disability support received through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). A child with additional needs may receive NDIS support and the family, if they are eligible for the Child Care Subsidy and meet the eligibility criteria for IHC, may also be able to receive IHC.
About Our Educators
Our IHC Educators are dedicated professionals who are caring for children in the children’s own homes, with the support of a large specialist team. IHC Educators have a great responsibility, and so our selection and training procedure must also be very professional. This is what all parents and guardians would expect.
Northern Rivers Children’s Services provide comprehensive initial training to IHC Educators. All training is done face to face individually, at the Tweed Heads Office. Northern Rivers Children’s Services believes in the provision of professional development opportunities. Up to date training has been shown to increase the quality of services provided, promote a professional attitude, and motivate change to compliment the growth of our organisation and the In Home Care Service.
All our In Home Care Educators are required to have the following qualifications:
Min. Certificate 111 in Children’s Services or higher
Hold a current First Aid and CPR Certificate
WWCC, Police Clearance and Blue Card
PRODA ID and ABN
Child Protection (refresher required every two years)
Two child care related references
Northern Rivers IHC does not charge new or existing IHC Educators any registration fees. However, we do provide Educators with outstanding support, with many services and materials free of charge, including:
All relevant and necessary information to fulfill their role as an IHC Educator.
Regular visits from an IHC Manager who is qualified to assist them with all aspects of the care and education of young children.
Newsletters, forms, checklists, policies, procedures and resource ideas to assist them in their role as an Educator.
Exciting and informative playgroup sessions as well as access to an extensive range of toys and resources from our free toy library.
Processing of weekly attendance records and deposit of CCS payments electronically into their bank account.
Harmony Web Training.