The Australian Nanny Association (ANA) has called for the strict criteria for those seeking government-funded in home care to be relaxed, in order to allow a broader range of families to access non-centre based childcare.
The ANA made the call to Women’s Agenda after the Labor government yesterday released the names of the recipients of the additional 790 places for in home care, a 17% increase that was first slated in October last year.
In home care is a flexible form of child care where an approved carer provides care in the child’s home, while Occasional Care is a flexible, centre-based form of child care.
While the ANA expressed relief over the Government’s decision to make more places available for the program, ANA spokesperson Annemarie Sansom said they would like to see more places put into the in home care scheme, and emphasised the need for an expanded criteria.
“There is really strict criteria that needs [to be increased],” she said.
Currently, to be eligible for in home care, a child must have no access to existing child care services and/or their circumstances mean that an existing child-care service cannot meet their needs, which is subject to further criteria.
Yesterday, the Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis said the increase was made in recognition of the problems associated with centre-based care for many working parents.
“We recognise that centre-based care isn’t the answer for every family and from today, more Australian families who struggle to access care they need will be supported to have their child cared for in their home,” said Ellis.
The Government also announced the allocation of the first 300 “occasional care” places (centre-based child care), with further places still to be announced.