How can child care be provided at home?


Child care is used by many families to allow parents to work or complete other tasks without constantly caring for the child, and to give children the opportunity to learn in a different environment. For some children with disability or serious illness though, standard child care at a centre is not a viable option and this is where In Home Care may be an alternative.

Key points

  • For some children with disability attending a child care centre is not the best way for them to learn

  • In Home Care is an approved child care service which is provided at home

  • It is funded by the Australian Government through the Child Care Subsidy

In Home Care is a form of early childhood education and is essentially child care provided to a child at their home, rather than at a centre.

Who can receive In Home Care?

In Home Care is provided to a capped number of children across Australia – limited to 3,200 places at a time.

The places are allocated based on recommendations by service providers to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and you must be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy to access In Home Care.

A family with a challenging situation or complex needs can access In Home Care, including if they have:

  • A child with additional needs which can’t be met by another form of child care, Government run or community based service

  • A parent undergoing treatment for a serious illness

  • Another complex family situation

It is not only for families with complex needs but also those in which parents or carers work non-standard hours such as nightshift, or families which live in a geographically isolated home away from standard child care.

How much care is available?

Up to 100 hours of care can be subsidised each fortnight per child and the hourly rate is capped at $32.58.

In Home Care is not limited to only one child in your family and an educator may provide family sessions for up to five children from the same family.

As well as funding through the Child Care Subsidy, the Additional Child Care Subsidy may be available to help you cover the costs of In Home Care.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has an estimator tool which you can use to find out how much assistance you might be able to receive to cover the costs of In Home Care.

Who provides In Home Care?

A qualified educator delivers the child care in your home and is subject to both the National Quality Framework as well as the In Home Care Standards, but they will tailor their program to each child’s knowledge, ideas, culture, abilities and interests.

The educator works for a service provider, who is overseen by an In Home Care Support Agency.

The Support Agency is the main path through which families and services connect, and ensures quality care is provided.

The best place to start looking into In Home Care is by contacting a Support Agency, which can be found here.

Benefits of In Home Care

  • Education tailored to your child/children
  • Culturally appropriate care

  • Abilities and interests based learning

  • More focus on your child/children than in mainstream child care settings

  • Educators may have more qualifications than in mainstream child care

  • Child care and learning is provided in your child’s home environment where they may be more comfortable, settled and ready to learn

Aspects to be aware of

As In Home Care is designed to be provided to only the families which need it the most, you can’t start these services without being approved for In Home Care. If your child is enrolled in mainstream child care but you’re interested in accessing In Home Care, make sure you’re eligible before taking your child out of their current child care environment. 

Mainstream child care provides children with the opportunity to socially interact and learn with their peers, while In Home Care is only provided to your child or children and doesn’t involve them necessarily meeting other children.

What does your child learn from child care? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:

How preschool can support your child with disability

What to look for in early intervention supports

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