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Homecare Cost Toolkit and Guidance Download 

ARCC co-developed the Homecare Cost of Care Toolkit with the Care and Health Improvement Programme (CHIP). The Excel-based toolkit will help councils and partners obtain a shared understanding of the costs of providing home care. The toolkit is open access and so can be freely used by all councils and providers.

How has this toolkit been developed and tested?

In developing the toolkit, we utilised extensive experience of people from the sector, including home care provider organisations and council commissioners, and knowledge of how home care providers are structured and operate, the way council’s commission home care and the impact these factors have on the costs of delivering care.


The toolkit has since been tested and further developed with a wide range of council and provider colleagues and used as part of an end-to-end cost of care process in two council areas.

Below is a summary of the engagement, testing and development.

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Test version developed


In the spring and summer of 2021, CHIP engaged with various partners to demonstrate the Toolkit including home care providers and their representatives, Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Care Quality Commission (CQC) Market Oversight Team, Skills for Care and others such as developers of other cost of care tools, to make them aware of this toolkit and its purpose.

Test version demonstrated


From August 2021 to November 2021, the test version was demonstrated to each Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) region and individually to over 30 councils attended by over 300 commissioning and finance colleagues. Further sessions held exclusively for home care providers, with over 150 care provider colleagues attending. Also tested as part of a full cost of care process in two local authorities.

Final version approved


From December 2021 to January 2022, further developments were made as a result of helpful feedback from partners. The final version was approved and shared with all councils and partners.

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Cost of Care Context

Councils have responsibility for understanding the costs providers incur in delivering care in a local area and this should be considered within the fee setting approach and process. In most cases, a local authority will set specific fee rates and will decide how to do this and what these rates are.


In December 2021, DHSC shared information on the Market Sustainability and Fair Cost of Care Fund as part of the Local Government Financial Settlement. This has been described as the first stage of a move "towards a Fair Cost of Care". This information set out additional funding available to councils to support its programme of reform, requirements on councils in relation to cost of care and section 18(3) of the Care Act 2014 and conditions on councils to receive this funding.


They were that by October 2022, councils should have:

  1. Undertaken a cost of care exercise for home care (for people aged 18+)

  2. Undertaken a cost of care exercise for care homes (residential and nursing for people aged 65+).

  3. Completed a Market Sustainability Plan.

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