In Home Childcare is provided by the Australian Government and provides subsidised care for families who are not able to access other forms of child care.
In Home Childcare began in 2018 and is a government initiative to ensure that more families have access to appropriate child care. The government provides 3,200 places. Families who receive the Child Care Subsidy can use this to help pay for In home child care when they are unable to use regular approved child care setting for reasons such as lack of suitable child care where they live, their working hours, or the special needs of their child. The Child Care Subsidy goes directly to the In Home Child Care providers and the family pays the remainder. Families can apply through the In Home Child Care Support Agency.
What is In home Childcare in Australia?
The Australian Government provides the In Home Child Care (IHC) service for families that have difficulty accessing other forms of government subsidised child care due to their family circumstances. This child care package started in July 2018. Currently, there are 3,200 places available throughout Australia. Families who are eligible for IHC will be able to choose from one of the service providers in their area. All of the educators who are part of the IHC are highly skilled and qualified, so parents can be sure that they are getting the best possible care for their child or children. You can find more information and contact details for In Home Care Support Agencies for each state here.
Who is eligible for In Home Childcare?
Not everyone is eligible for In Home Child Care. Eligibility criteria involves being an Australian citizen or having one of the visas that are accepted for this program. Services Australia has information about who is eligible for the Child Care Subsidy. You must already be paying fees at an early childhood education facility to be eligible for IHC. Even if you do not always have your children with you, you may still be eligible if you care for your child at least two nights per fortnight. Eligible children should be under the age of 13, but it may still be possible to access this program for older children up until the age of 18 if the child has a disability.
Lastly, you must qualify for the Child Care Subsidy and you must be able to show that the other types of approved child care are either not available or not appropriate. The reasons for not being able to access normal child care are:
· The parents work hours which are outside normal child care service hours, such as at night.
· The family is geographically isolated from other types of approved Child Care.
· The family has challenging or complex needs and other approved child care services are not able to meet the needs of the child or the family. For example, the child has special needs or one of the parents is undergoing treatment for a serious illness.
For more details about eligibility for IHC program, see the In Home Care Support Agency.
How much does In home Childcare cost?
It is difficult to know how much IHC costs, since each service provider sets their own IHC rates. The cost to you will be the cost of the provider less the amount of Child Care Subsidy that you receive. The Child Care Subsidy will be paid directly to the service provider and will reduce the amount of fees you have to pay. The government provides an In Home Care Estimator where you can work out how much fee assistance you may be eligible to receive. After that you will have to contact your IHC provider to find out how much you should pay.
The IHC program provides a maximum of 100 hours of subsidised care per child per fortnight with an hourly rate cap of $33.17 per family. This means that if your service provider charges more than $33.17 per hour, then you will have to pay for that amount. The hourly rate cap will be increased the consumer price index (CPI) each year. For more information about the hourly rate cap, see Guides to Social Policy Law: Family Assistance Guide.
For more details about the costs, see How much does Child Care cost?.
Can you receive Child Care Subsidy for In home Child Care?
IHC is only available for those people receiving the Child Care Subsidy and the amount of CCS that you can claim will depend on a number of factors, such as:
· age of the child/children
· type of child care
· number of hours of recognised activity
How do you apply for In home Childcare?
In order to apply for IHC, you will need to contact In Home Care Support Agency. They will ask you some questions to check that you are eligible for the program. They will also arrange a time to call you and to get information about what you need from the program. Once you have provided the evidence that shows that you are eligible, they will connect you to an IHC service in your area.
What are the pros of In home Childcare?
- In Home Child Care is subsidised by the government, making it more affordable for families.
- Allows families in rural or remote locations to access education and care.
- In Home Child Care allows families with special needs to access Child Care.
- If you are eligible for the IHC program, then the IHC Support Agency will provide you with a list of service providers. You do not need to do the research yourself.
- All of the educators providing the In Home Child Care are fully qualified and highly skilled. You can be sure that the service that you choose will give the best possible care.
What are the cons of In home Childcare?
- You cannot access the IHC Service directly. Even if you know which IHC service provider you want to use, you have to apply through the IHC Support Agency.
- Because you apply for the Child Care Subsidy through Centrelink, you will have let them know if there are any changes to your circumstances. Any changes that happen could affect the amount you receive or your eligibility, so you may have to pay more or even lose your eligibility for IHC.
- IHC cannot be used to supervise distance education programs such as School of the Air.
Families that are eligible for the Child Care Subsidy and who have trouble finding appropriate child care may also be eligible for the In Home Child Care program. The In Home Child Care program provides child care in circumstances where the family does not have access to other child care services. All of the In Home educators are fully qualified. Families can access up to 100 hours of in home child care per fortnight. The cost will depend on the service that provides the child care. The government will provide up to $33.17 per hour, but the service provider may charge more. As each provider has its own rates for IHC, you will need to do some research to find out how much it costs.