A new In Home Care option for children with challenging and complex needs

Library Home  >  Nanny, Au Pairs & In Home Care
  Published on Wednesday, 21 April 2021

A new In Home Care option for children with challenging and complex needs

Library Home  >  Nanny, Au Pairs & In Home Care
  Published on Wednesday, 21 April 2021
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In Home Care (IHC) opens up a world of opportunity for children with disabilities or additional needs and others who are unable to access mainstream child care for logistical or personal reasons.

As its name suggests, the IHC program provides government-subsidised child care in the family home, and although there are limited places and strict eligibility criteria, this type of child care has far-reaching benefits.

For children with challenging and complex needs, the Leor model of IHC provides access to the Early Intervention programs that will help them reach their potential and make positive gains in their lives.

To learn more about the education and care being provided in Australian homes, we spoke with the Founder and Managing Director of Leor, Andrea Christie-David.

Leor provides child care and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support to Australian families, so let’s see how they’re delivering learning that shapes lives.

There are various reasons why a family might need IHC. Could you tell us what kinds of families you support?

Leor provides In Home Education and Care services to families who come from diverse circumstances. We support families who have no other option of accessing quality early childhood education by bringing education to them in the comfort of their own home.

This can include:

  • Families on remote cattle stations,
  • Families who have a family member who has a compromised immune system, or
  • Children with disabilities who need tailored support to achieve their learning and development outcomes.

We also support families who choose not to use child care, and support children before they start school by providing them with a tailored school readiness program at home.

Leor recently received approval to be an official provider under the NDIS. What does this NDIS accreditation mean for families with complex needs?

Our NDIS approval allows families to access early childhood early intervention or disability support in their home in a way that meets each family’s needs, whilst also being designed around their child’s individual needs.

This can include the delivery of early learning and care programs, or the provision of support workers to families.

We also have an allied health team who can conduct assessments for families, after our Educator completes a set of tasks with the child.

Our allied health team reviews the written and visual reports to complete an initial assessment, and provides the educator with guidance for incorporating therapies into the child’s learning program.

This allows children to achieve their goals faster, without sitting on long wait lists for allied health appointments.

You’ve said that early intervention is key to supporting the development of children with complex needs, and that it lays the foundation for future learning and development success.

How do your Early Intervention programs help children progress towards mainstream child care or school?

In Home Early Intervention incorporates the child’s NDIS goals, their therapeutic recommendations, and the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), to provide the child with a holistic model of support.

We find that incorporating all these aspects of therapies and EYLF goals into the child’s learning program and routine activities results in the child retaining this knowledge for a longer period of time, which ensures they have a better chance of engaging in mainstream child care or schooling sooner.

When families access two to three sessions a week, we see significant progress in their child within a matter of months, when their parents can start considering a move to child care or school.

How much does IHC cost, and what financial support is available for families?

For Early Intervention support, our fees work out to be almost one third of the cost of accessing a single allied health appointment.

Our IHC services can be accessed in a variety of ways, by accessing the Child Care Subsidy or by establishing a Family Co-op. The Co-op model allows two families to join together and access care for their child at a rate comparable to long day care rates.

Where can parents get advice and support if they have a child with complex needs and are unsure about the best path forward?

Our team comprises qualified educators and allied health professionals. They can provide families with guidance about how we can support them, as well as directing them to other services who can meet their families’ needs.

I’d suggest that families start by phoning or emailing the Leor team and we can help from there.

You’re passionate about social justice and equality, Andrea. As a human rights lawyer and early learning expert, what changes would you like to see in early childhood education and care over the next decade?

I would love to see greater recognition of the work performed by educators, which is highly technical, requires vast amounts of patience and love, and is tiresome work.

Our educators love what they do, and we do everything we can to make them feel valued and appreciated.

I would like this attitude to transfer to the wider community, where educators are respected and valued just as much as people like nurses and doctors.

Educators are nurturing our future generation, and their work is crucial to creating a positive future for us all.

This is so true, Andrea, and thank you for your insights.

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Monday, 19 April 2021

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