This guide provides explanatory notes to a range of application form sections and questions for the 2020 round Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program. The guide offers examples of the type of information that could be included to support applications.
How to use this application guide
This guide is designed to support the process of completing the application form. We strongly encourage applicants to have this resource on hand as they start completing their applications.
To provide clarity and guidance we have included explanatory notes to specific sections of the application form, as follows:
- information on preschool places
- project information
- project budget – income and expenditure
This guide also provides a glossary of commonly used terms.
Applicants are encouraged to provide information that is specific to their proposed capital works project, using the program guidelines for eligibility and application requirements.
Information on preschool places
3.1 Please indicate your current approved preschool places.
This is the maximum number of children at any one time that the currently operating service is approved to educate and care for. This number can be found in NQAITS.
For new services not yet operational, this will be zero.
3.2 Please indicate how many new preschool places will be created as a result of this capital works project.
This is the number of additional preschool places that will be created as a result of the proposed capital works project. Once the capital works project is completed you will be required to apply for the increase in preschool places through the NQAITS portal.
3.3 Please indicate your expected total preschool places after the proposed project is completed.
For new services not yet operational this will be the same as Q3.2. For services that are currently operating, this number will be the current number of approved preschool places (3.1) plus the number of additional preschool places once the project is completed (3.2).
3.4 Please describe the process used to assess and determine your expected increase in preschool places in relation to space and planning guidelines.
This question seeks information on how you determined the number of new preschool places to be delivered through the capital works project. For example, you need to describe how the size of a proposed new preschool room (floor space) relates to or links to the projected increase in preschool places. You may describe your process and upload any relevant documents that you used to assess this requirement. This question relates to the overall program objective of increasing preschool places through the delivery of the capital works project.
3.5 Please provide a description of the need and demand for preschool places in your area.
This question asks you to provide information and/or evidence of a current need and/or future projected demand for preschool places and how the capital works project will provide a substantial increase in preschool places (including as many 600 hour enrolments as possible) to meet that need and demand in your community or locality.
Your evidence on need and demand may 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 or expected 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 or reasons 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 (you will need to include an overview of this situation to support your capital works application)
- There may be an identified shortage of early childhood education and care places available in the area (you will need to include an overview of this situation to support your capital works application)
- An overview of relevant or related 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 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 or information about your 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 capital works project
- reports of community consultation or contact with the community that highlight or show the demand for preschool places in the area.
4.1 How will the capital works project improve the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for Aboriginal children
Information should include how your project responds/answers, or aims to respond/answer, to the needs of Aboriginal children in your area in relation to maintaining their culture and having access to an 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 capital works project or minutes of meetings.
Evidence might include, but is not limited to, the following information:
- An overview of consultation/contact 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.
- Aboriginal members on the preschool’s board or management committee.
- Aboriginal specific programs, for example, Aboriginal pedagogy, language program, Aboriginal playgroup, and Aboriginal parent or Elders programs.
- Staff training that helps support the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for Aboriginal children.
4.2 How will the capital works project improve the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for equity children and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds?
In this question, you are asked how ‘equity children’ will benefit from the proposed capital works project. Equity children is defined as children with a disability or additional needs, and children from low income families. You are also asked to provide information on how you propose to improve access for children of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD).
Evidence might include, but is not limited to, the following information:
- examples of how the service will promote or improve access to the preschool’s physical environment
- information about equity children and/or CALD children on the service’s waiting list.
- consultation with local CALD community services or other referral agencies
- publicly available and accessible information about the preschool service translated into community languages.
5.2 Please provide a brief description of your proposed capital works project.
Your description/evidence might include, but is not limited to, the following information:
- Provide brief information to describe your capital works project.
- How you estimated the projected increase in places. For example, using the service floor plans to work out how many extra children can be accommodated based on the Children’s services Law and Regulation. (For example, floor plans referencing floor space ratios).
5.3 Please provide a detailed project plan and timeline for the capital works project.
This question relates to the capital works project and how you plan to deliver it should you be awarded the grant. The more complex your project and the higher the value of the grant award, the greater the need for detail and information on breakdown of costs for the build. All proposed projects that are over $1 million should submit relevant information to show how they plan to manage the critical timeline during the project build as well as any unforeseen events and risks. The type of information you may submit in support of this question include the following examples:
- evidence of appropriate governance mechanisms and sound financial management (how are decisions made, constitution, audited financial report)
- a detailed project plan, milestones, timelines and quotes
- 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 and managing risks
- for mobile preschools applying for motor vehicles, milestones might include ordering, purchasing and registering the vehicle
- a project description, concept plans/building design plans and scope of works (for category 1, 2, 3, 5)
- a photo of the proposed capital works project site, including of any buildings that are part of this grant application (for category 1, 2, 3, 5)
- a detailed project budget, including the applicant’s contribution, procurement approaches and additional sources of funding for the project
- total number of weeks for the project to be completed (critical construction timeline)
- any other project management information that will help describe or support your project approach
Project budget - income and expenditure
6.1 What is the total capital works funding amount requested (ex GST)?
This is the total capital works funding amount that the service is requesting from the NSW Department of Education.
6.9 Please complete the table with the proposed funding amount and expenditure details for this capital works project.
Applicants are asked to provide a breakdown of their funding sources for the capital works project on the left hand side of the table, which includes funding provided by the service provider, the funding requested as part of this application and any other funding sources, such as council contribution.
The total of the funding amount column should equal the amount provided in response to question 6.6.
Applicants are also asked to provide a breakdown of the expenditure for the capital works project on the right side of the table.
The total funding less total expenditure must be equal to zero. See example below.
An example of an income and expenditure table
|Funding source||Funding amount $||Project Elements||Expenditure $|
Service provider contribution
Building costs to expand preschool
Final electrical, plumbing Landscaping exterior access and signage /plaque
Capital works grant funding request for preschool extension
Sign/plaque installed to front entry
- 2020 Round Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program – The primary objective of this program is to increase preschool places through the delivery of capital works projects in areas of need and growing demand.
- 600 hour enrolments – A 600 hour enrolment refers to children enrolled in a quality early childhood education program for at least 600 hours per year. Applicants do not need to separately report the number of 600 hour enrolments that will be made available. Following the completion of a capital works project the Department expects successful applicants to enable as many 600 hour enrolments as possible following the increase in preschool places.
- ACNC – Australian Charities & Not-for-profits Commission. Regulatory body for charities and not for profit entities.
- Capital works – in the context of this grant funding program, the term refers to construction related additions or improvements to existing premises or, new build construction activities to deliver a centre based preschool service. The capital works activity either directly contributes to the delivery of a new asset or to the expansion of an existing asset - this being the preschool premises. The construction works relate to structural elements of the premises rather than design-related ‘soft’ fit outs of interior spaces. An application may incorporate a range of activities that would deliver a completed project-asset, whether it is lodged under a renovation, extension (addition to existing) or a new build project category.
- Concept plan – this may include preliminary architectural drawings of the proposed build or extension for the preschool.
- Equity children – Aboriginal children, children with a disability or additional needs, children from low income families.
- Funding Agreement – legal documents that confirm terms and conditions of the grant award.
- Milestone – this signifies a point in time in which planned project elements are completed during the construction phase. For example ‘approval of development application’.
- NQAITS – National Quality Agenda IT System. Online administrative system for the implementation of the National Quality Framework (NQF).
- ORIC – Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations. Regulatory body for Indigenous Corporations.
- Procurement – the process of obtaining a product or service to deliver the capital works project. For example, the process of deciding and selecting a contractor, builder or project manager for the design and construction of your project.
- Security Instrument – a security instrument is a form of guarantee that is in place for a period of ten years from the date the project is completed. It provides security to the Department against the value of the grant should the grantee in any way fail to complete the project or meet the terms and conditions of the funding agreement.
- Service Contribution – the service must contribute at least 5% of the total capital works project cost and must supply proof that the service can provide this contribution.