Start Strong Capital Works Program application guide

This guide aims to assist services in the preparation of grant applications for the Start Strong Capital Works Program. The guide provides examples of the types of information that could be included to support applications for this program.

This guide relates to the following sections of the application form:

  • Evidence of demand
  • Project information
  • Services for equity children
  • Project budget

The guide is not exhaustive and applicants are encouraged to provide information that is specific to their proposed capital works project, using the program guidelines for eligibility and application requirements.

Preparing for your application

The application form for this program has prompts to upload documents to support the proposed capital works project.

This includes (but is not limited to) providing the following:

  • Three quotes detailing the cost of the capital works project
  • Evidence of land ownership or formal lease (minimum 10 years)
  • Evidence that the proposed capital works project can proceed on the site
  • Evidence of consultation with the local Aboriginal community
  • A project plan including timeline
  • Evidence of Provider and Service approval or application
  • Evidence of funds to contribute to the capital works project

These and other requirements are outlined further in the program guidelines

Evidence of demand

This section assists the department to determine how the project will contribute to the overall aim of the program to increase the number of 600 hour preschool places available in areas of need and demand. It will also help inform the department’s value for money assessment in terms of the cost per preschool place created.

The department encourages applications describing capital works projects that will provide a substantial increase in 600 hour preschool places in areas of need and demand. A substantial increase is defined as a large increase in the number of approved places per day compared to the current service capacity.

As outlined in the program guidelines, the department will prioritise applications that are in areas of need and demand as part of the assessment. The department will refer to available data to determine priority areas, including population projections and Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) data.

3.1 What is the current number of approved preschool places at the service?

This means the maximum number of children at any one time that the service is approved to care for. For services that are currently operating, this number can be found in Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS) and/or in the National Quality Agenda IT System (NQAITS). For new services, this is not applicable, so this would be zero.

3.2 What would be the new total of approved preschool places at the service as a result of the proposed capital works project?

This means the maximum number of children that the service anticipates it will have the capacity to care for at any one time, as a result of the proposed capital works project. For services currently operating, this number would be the current number of approved preschool places (as above) plus the number of additional preschool places once the capital works project is completed.

3.3 What is the current number of 600 hour preschool places at the service?

This question is not applicable for new services (enter zero in this section). For services that are currently operating, please enter the number of 600 hour places at the service.

3.4 What is the expected number of 600 hour preschool places that will be created at the service as a result of this capital works project?

This relates to the capacity for children participating for 600 hours in a quality early childhood education program at the service. For services currently operating, this number would be the current number of approved 600 hour preschool places (as above) plus the number of additional 600 hour preschool places once the capital works project is completed.

3.5 Please provide a description of the need and demand for preschool places in your area. For crisis situations, also describe the nature of the crisis situation, including how the situation meets the requirements of this category.

In this section, you are asked to describe the current need for additional preschool places in your area. This will assist the department to understand the need for preschool places in the area.

This description might include, but is not limited to, the following information:

  • An overview of the current situation that led to the application, for example that there is an increase or anticipated increase of children accessing 600 hours of preschool. This might include the current or anticipated demand for preschool places for equity children.
  • The service may currently be at capacity with a waiting list that may include equity children.
  • Factors that have influenced why the service is at capacity might include significant growth in the number of children and families in the area, or potential growth with recent developments in the area (supported by an overview and evidence of this situation to support the application).
  • There may be an identified shortage of early childhood education and care places available in the area (supported by an overview and evidence of this situation to support the application).
  • An overview of relevant programs for equity children that have influenced demand for the service.
  • An overview of community engagement activity and findings to support evidence for demand.

The evidence you attach as proof of need and demand for preschool places might include:

  • Population and census information that supports the reports of the increase of children in the area.
  • An overview of waiting lists.
  • Published reports that provide evidence that there is a shortage of early childhood education and care places available in the area.
  • Local news articles to support the need for the proposed project.
  • Reports of community consultation to highlight the demand for preschool places in the area.

Project Information

4.1 Please provide a description of the capital works project you are applying for in order to address the need and demand for preschool places in your area.

In this section, you are asked to provide an overview of the project you are applying for, including how the proposed project would provide a solution to the need and demand that was outlined in the last section.

This description might include, but is not limited to, the following information:

  • How the proposed need and demand for places will be met by the creation of preschool places (including for equity children) through the project.
  • A brief overview of what the project will involve. For example, the proposed project will be to build a new preschool that will have indoor and outdoor play spaces and increased car parking spaces. For an extension, the description might be the construction of a new building on the existing site to accommodate the children who currently do not have access to preschool in the area or at the service.
  • For crisis situations, include the nature of the situation, using the Program Guidelines to confirm it meets the eligibility criteria.
  • For mobile preschools applying for motor vehicles, this might include the process for acquiring and registering the vehicle.
  • A brief overview of design aspects that will enable a quality learning environment for all children, for example accessibility, sustainability, and how the space will be used.
  • How the project will demonstrate value for money in terms of cost per preschool place created.

4.2 Please provide a detailed project plan and timeline for the capital works project.

This section asks applicants to provide a detailed project plan that outlines the overview of the site, project outcome, scope of the capital works, milestones and timelines, approvals, procurement approaches, managing risks, and other project management information that will help describe the project approach.

Applicants are encouraged to attach their existing project plan in this section and supporting information about the security of the site for applications that relate to building (for example, confirmation of long term lease and support for development on the site, or approach for identifying potential sites for the preschool).

Applicants are also asked to provide a clear timeline which will illustrate the schedule of activities for your project and an estimated completion date. The timeline might include, but is not limited to, the following information:

  • Total number of weeks for the project to be completed.
  • Breakdown of each step or milestone with estimated number of weeks that each step is expected to take.
  • Building milestones for centre based preschools might include approvals required, appointing an architect and a breakdown of construction processes.
  • For mobile preschools applying for motor vehicles, milestones might include purchasing and registering the vehicle.

Services for Equity Children

5.1 How will the capital works project improve the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for Aboriginal children?

Information in this section should include how your project responds, or aims to respond, to the needs of Aboriginal children in your area to provide a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting. Applicants are asked to provide evidence of consultation with the local Aboriginal community, which might include a letter of support for the project or minutes of meetings.

This description might include, but is not limited to, the following information:

  • An overview of consultation with local Aboriginal community organisations or Local Aboriginal Land Council and Aboriginal families to inform the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting.
  • Actions the service has undertaken to contribute to an appropriate educational setting for Aboriginal children such as the development and implementation of a Reconciliation Action Plan or community engagement plan.
  • Employment of Aboriginal staff by the service.
  • Noting that there are Aboriginal members on the service’s board.
  • Aboriginal specific programs for example Aboriginal pedagogy, language program, Aboriginal playgroup, Aboriginal parent or Elders programs.
  • Staff training that helps support the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for Aboriginal children.

5.2 How will the capital works project improve the provision of an appropriate educational setting for ‘equity children’ (Aboriginal children, children with disability or additional needs, and children from low income families)?

In this section, you are asked how ‘equity children’ will benefit from the proposed capital works project.

This description might include, but is not limited to, the following information:

  • Relevant information in addition to that provided in the previous section to improve the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for Aboriginal children.
  • Examples of how the service will promote or improve access to the preschool’s physical environment.
  • Reference to equity children on the service’s waiting list.

Project Budget

6.5 What is the total income amount for your project?

This the total amount that the service is proposing to fund the project, comprised of the total funding requested as part of the application (question 6.1), plus the amount that the Service Provider will contribute, which will be at least 5% of the total amount of the funding requested, unless it is a crisis situation (question 6.3), plus the amount of any additional funding for the project from other sources (question 6.4).

6.6 Please complete the table with the proposed income and expenditure details for this capital works project.

Applicants are asked to provide a breakdown of the income for the project, which includes funding provided by the service provider, the funding request as part of this application and other funding sources, on the left side of the table. The total of the income should equal the amount provided in response to question 6.5. Applicants are asked to provide a breakdown of the expenditure for the capital works project on the right side of the table.

The total income less total expenditure must be equal to zero.

An example of an income and expenditure table is show below.

INCOME

$

EXPENDITURE

$

Service provider contribution

101,000

Building costs to expand preschool

256,000

Council Contribution

55,000

Landscaping and other costs

151,000

Funding request for preschool extension

250,000

Other costs as relevant
Return to top of page