In home care remains at risk
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > While ECEC welcomes funding boost, in home care remains at risk, peak body says

While ECEC welcomes funding boost, in home care remains at risk, peak body says

by Freya Lucas

May 16, 2024

While the broader early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector has responded well to Tuesday evening’s Budget announcement, the Australian Home Childcare Association has expressed concern that the wage boost “may not be enough to save In Home Care (IHC).”


Australian Home Childcare Association President Nicole Morgan said that while the wage increases are ‘much welcomed’, on their own they are no remedy for the critical position IHC providers face.


50 per cent of IHC providers have exited the sector since 2018, primarily due to cost of delivery and long-term lack of profitability, she explained.


Ms Morgan said the Association was concerned that increasing educator wages is “not a sustainable solution” for the larger problems IHC service providers face.


“We know that reform is coming, but the reality is that for the families accessing IHC and the providers delivering the program  simply can’t wait that long”, Ms Morgan said.


“We certainly want those who deliver much needed childcare (sic.) support to be paid fairly for their work and we’re so pleased to see this recognised and supported through this year’s Budget, however, without additional relief in the short term, the viability of IHC remains in jeopardy.”


“We are concerned about the on flow for providers who will face additional operating costs such as workcover, insurances and payroll tax implications, in addition to increased wage expenses.”


“These costs will inevitably be passed on to families through increased fees impacting affordability even further.”


“Despite high demand for places, In Home Care Service Provider operational viability is dangerously unstable. The situation is critical,” she continued. 


“As confirmed in the ACCC Childcare Inquiry Final Report the Child Care Subsidy rate cap for IHC is insufficient to adequately support the sector.”


To ensure the survival of IHC, Ms Morgan said ‘emergency change’ is needed to fix the affordability, accessibility, and equitability issues that families who live remotely, have complex or challenging circumstances, or work non-standard hours currently face.


For a comprehensive analysis of the 2024 Budget specific to ECEC please see here

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