What is the role of an In Home Care Educator?
The Educator will provide education and care and will be responsible for ensuring the quality of the early learning program.
The Educator should consider the Family Management Plan (FMP) in preparing the early learning program.
Where the Educator provides wrap-around services including In Home Care, then only the sessions of care that have a focus on early childhood education and care as outlined in the Family Management Plan would be eligible for CCS.
In some circumstances, Educators may be required to board with the family, for example, if the family home is in a remote area.
An In Home Care Educator must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident or have a relevant visa to allow employment on a continuous basis for 12 months or more.
- Educators must provide to the IHC Service evidence of all requirements, including proof of identity
- Be engaged by an approved IHC Service and may be engaged either as an employee or a contractor (Further information about the employment arrangements is available from the Australian Taxation Office and Fair Work Ombudsman websites)
- Have attained (or be working towards), as a minimum, a Certificate III qualification in Early Childhood Education, and have a sound understanding of early childhood development and the child’s education and care and other support needs
- Hold a current First Aid Certificate, and store medications and a First Aid Kit appropriately
- Administer medications as prescribed in the medication schedule authorised by a medical practitioner, and maintain a record of the administration of the medication
- Hold a current Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check and Working with Children Check acceptable in the State or Territory in which they work
- Participate in professional development activities offered by the approved IHC Service and participate in the Communities of Practice hosted by the IHC Support Agency
- Nurture children’s health and safety
- Be aware of each child’s symptoms, allergies and medical issues and procedures to be followed in these circumstances:
- Develop a suitable learning program for each of the children receiving IHC, and record each child’s progress against the program and discuss the progress with the family
- The written program should reflect the education and care requirements outlined in the Family Management Plan
- The educational program should be designed to help develop the child’s social, emotional, physical and creative abilities, and should promote each child’s engagement in self-directed learning/play and independence
- Follow all safety procedures during excursions and travel
- Maintain the necessary checks
- Seek the necessary support from the In Home Care Service, particularly where working conditions are not satisfactory or there are concerns about child safety and personal safety
The In Home Care Educator must NOT:
- Be engaged for the purpose of educating school-aged children, however, child care may be provided for eligible school aged children before and after school hours, provided there is no FDC or OSHC available during these hours.
- Undertake household chores such as cleaning, shopping, meal preparation or other household duties for the family unless they are undertaken as part of child care, and during the agreed hours for which they are being paid to provide subsidised child care. Should there be any dispute about the nature of services requested by the family, the Educator must consult with the service.
- Be engaged for the purpose of educating school-aged children
- Be a family member of the children in the IHC session of care
Notification of Incidents
If there is an incident or something of concern the Educator should raise this with the Service Provider as it may be a notifiable incident.
It is the Educators responsibility to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of the child/ren they are caring for
- The IHC Educator must notify the relevant state or territory authorities and the In Home Care Service of any notifiable incident within 24 hours.
- The In Home Care Service must notify the department of any notifiable incident within 24 hours of the incident occurring.
- The IHC Serious Incident Report form can be found on the Department’s website
IHC Educators are required to have a minimum Certificate III level qualification in a relevant course or be working towards a relevant qualification and provide documentary evidence. This requirement reflects the IHC program focus on education and care and the findings of the IHC review that indicated families’ support for IHC Educators to have education and care qualifications.
A Certificate III, a diploma or a degree in Early Childhood Education or equivalent qualifications that have a major focus on Early Childhood Education are acceptable qualifications.
The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), established under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 to guide the implementation of the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (NQF), sets out acceptable qualifications for IHC Educators. ACECQA maintains a current list of qualifications approved under the NQF on its website.
Qualifications approved under the NQF are deemed acceptable qualifications for IHC Educators. It is important to note that the qualifications for working with school age children listed on the ACECQA website are not acceptable qualifications for IHC Educators.
ACECQA also publishes a list of approved first aid, emergency asthma and anaphylaxis qualifications, which are also acceptable additional requirements for IHC Educators.
The primary school teaching qualifications of Educators registered with the state and territory education boards / state-based Teacher Regulatory Authorities are also deemed as acceptable qualifications for IHC Educators.
ACECQA also sets out the criteria for an Educator to be considered as ‘actively working towards’ a Certificate III course. This criterion requires the Educator to provide documentary evidence from the course provider to the service indicating that the Educator is:
- enrolled in a course and has started study
- making satisfactory progress towards completing the course
- meeting the requirements to maintain the enrolment.
Further information on other qualifications that are considered acceptable for IHC is provided in the IHC Handbook.
Transitional provisions for IHC Educators working in Remote and Very Remote areas
In recognition that IHC Educators working in remote and very remote areas may experience difficulties in meeting the qualification requirements for IHC (a Certificate III or evidence of actively working towards this qualification), the following transitional provisions will apply until 31 December 2023.
- An IHC Educator providing services in a remote or a very remote area will meet the qualification requirements for the IHC Educators if the IHC Educator has access to and utilises the expertise of an Educator with at least a Certificate III in early childhood education and care for at least 20 per cent of the time care is provided to a family. This may be by means of information and communication technology
- If the Educator has been continuously employed at an early childhood education and care service located in a remote or a very remote area for a period of at least 15 years, then the Educator does not need to hold or be actively working towards a Certificate III level education and care qualification.
These transitional provisions mirror the transitional regulations under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 that seek to address the difficulties in attracting and retaining Early Childhood Educators in remote and very remote areas.
The IHC Educator must not be a family member, as detailed in the Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules 2017. However, there is a limited exemption for IHC Educators in very remote areas. More information on this requirement can be found in the IHC Handbook.
IHC Educators must be willing to have the information they provide to the IHC Service to be shared with the provider, department and families (where relevant). IHC Educators must also agree to their information being shared with the third party engaged by the department to conduct the evaluation of IHC and the broader child care package.
IHC Educators can apply to work with more than one IHC Service, and they can be employees of other types of approved child care services.
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