Supporting families needing In Home Care in NSW & SA

Refer a family

Are you a health or family professional working with families in special situations? If you know a family whose circumstances mean that existing education and care (child care) services cannot meet their needs, In Home Care may be the solution.

Maybe the family:

  • has a child who has an illness or disability?
  • has an adult member who has an illness or disability which affects their ability to care for their child?
  • lives in an area that is too far from other education and care services?
  • works hours that are outside normal childcare hours?

To be eligible for In Home Care, a family must be eligible for Child Care Subsidy, and able to demonstrate that the other types of approved child care are not suitable or available and where:

  • 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, particularly in rural or remote locations
  • the family has challenging or complex needs, including where families are experiencing challenging situations, and other approved child care services are not able to meet the needs of the child or the family.

Challenging or complex needs mean:

  • 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.

For more information about how families can apply please visit the Department of Education’s In Home Care Eligibility Page

Referrers can not send in an application for a family, the family will need to lodge the applications for it to be valid.

For families wishing to test their eligibility for IHC, please return the completed Eligibility Application Form and all supporting documentation to

Referral Process

  • If you have a family that may eligible for the program, you can either assist them with the application process or call us to discuss the family.
  • To determine eligibility, the family will need to fill in an Eligibility Application Form and provide all documentation to support the application. A Family and Service Facilitator will be in contact with  the family to discuss the application. The types of support documentation is explained in the application form and will help demonstrate the families eligibility to the program .
  • If a family is eligible for the In Home Care program a Family Management Plan is created to explain in more detail the Education and Care needs required. A Family Management Plan can help to identify the range of services, both in terms of In Home Care and other support services, required by the family.
  • The In Home Care Support Agency will refer the family to In Home Care service providers with a suitable educators to meet the family’s needs.
  • Care commences once an In Home Care educator has been placed with the family.
  • This process will be completed as quickly as possible but it can sometimes take time to find and match a suitable educator with a family.
  • The family will need to have a myGov account and ensure they are eligible for the new Child Care Subsidy. For more information about this click here.


What is In Home Care?

In Home care is early education and care. It provides access to Government subsidised child care in the family home and is targeted to assist parents or carers who are unable to access other approved child care options. The focus of the educator working in the family home will always be delivering education and care for the children of the family.

Which families are eligible for In Home Care?

Families who are unable to access other approved child care options such as those who work non-standard hours, are geographically isolated or have families with challenging and complex needs, could be eligible for In Home Care.

Who can refer a family to the In Home Care Support Agency?
Any professional worker who is connected to or is in contact with a family in need can refer – social workers, support group volunteers, early childhood nurses, hospital staff, GPs, teachers or other professionals working for family support agencies.

Is In Home Care full time or part time or both?

In Home Care hours are based on the families need and their working hours. Generally educators would work a full day and they can be there for any number of days a week, depending on the families eligibility.

Will the family be eligible for government childcare subsidies?

Being eligible for the  Child Care Subsidy is a prerequisite for entering the In Home Care program. To check on eligibility requirements click here.
The new Child Care Subsidy combines the previous child care benefits and rebates into one subsidy. Families are eligible for a Subsidy rate based on their family’s income, the hourly rate cap of $33.17 per hour for In Home Care and the hours of ‘activity’ (work/study/volunteering) the family undertakes. If the family earns under around $69,390 they may receive a subsidy of 85% of the hourly rate cap of $33.17. If they earn under $250,000 per annum they may receive a subsidy between 85% to 50% of the rate cap. For full details check here.

How much does In Home Care cost per family?

The cost of In Home Care is set by the IHC Services. Generally it is somewhere between $25 and $55 per hour. The Child Care Subsidy that a family is eligible for is given directly to the service to reduce the ‘gap fee’ the family pays.

Are there any extra subsidies available?
Families may also be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidies in special situations. These are top up payments in addition to the Child Care Subsidy. Find out more here.

How soon can an educator start with a family?

When a family has been referred and the family accepted into the In Home Care Program care can start in a matter of weeks as long as an appropriate educator is available. There is however, a limited number of places (3200 nationally) in the In Home Care program.

Will there be on-going support once a family has begun to receive care?
Initially, the educator is placed with the family for a three-month period. After this time the family is further assessed and the care can be extended. There will be an assessment to ensure a family remains eligible for In Home Care every quarter and the Family Management Plan will be updated at this stage.

Can the In Home Care Support Agency liaise with other professionals helping the family?
Yes. Our role is to advocate for the family. The In Home Care service provider and the educator working with the family can also liaise with all other professionals as required.


In Home Care Guidelines

The guidelines that govern the IHC program.

In Home Care Handbook

The operational policy for the IHC program.

Referral agencies Brochure

Could In Home Child Care be a solution for families you work with?

Other questions?

Call us toll free on:

1800 IHCARE (1800 442273)

The In Home Care Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we sit, The Wangal and Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

We acknowledge their ongoing connection to land, sea, sky and waterways and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

We acknowledge the First Nations People have been caring and educating the children of this land for tens of thousands of years