Crisis Fund

The Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program improves access to preschool by creating additional community preschool places in areas of need and demand across the state.

The Crisis Fund supports the maintenance and creation of community preschool places where there is an urgent need for capital works in at least one of the following circumstances:

  1. An existing service is facing closure or relocation due to exceptional or unforeseen circumstances, such as, compulsory acquisition of premises.
  2. An existing service is impacted by a natural disaster or state of emergency and is required to undertake urgent structural remediation work.
  3. An eligible organisation wants to operate a centre-based community preschool in a remote or very remote area (as per the ARIA index) where access to preschool education is limited or non-existent.

Requests for this grant are received all year round or until funds are exhausted.

Applications will be competitively assessed in two stages:

  • Stage 1 - Expression of interest (shortlisted applicants will be invited to progress to Stage 2)
  • Stage 2 - Invitation to apply.

Applications for both stages must be submitted via SmartyGrants by an authorised officer.

Expression of interest can be submitted all year round, or until funds are exhausted.

Expressions of interest are submitted online via SmartyGrants, and will be assessed progressively.

Applications will be assessed in two stages:

  • Stage 1 - Expression of interest (shortlisted applicants will be invited to progress to Stage 2)
  • Stage 2 – Invitation to apply

Where an expression of interest is deemed unable to proceed to Stage 2, the applicant is welcome to revise and resubmit their proposed project at any time during the funding period.

Applications for both stages must be submitted via SmartyGrants by an authorised officer.

Please read through the Fund Guidelines, Application Guide, and Frequently Asked Questions before submitting your expression of interest.

Stage 1 – EOI applicants will receive a formal EOI Outcome Letter advising if they have been invited to Stage 2 - Invitation to Apply (ITA).

ITA applications are assessed in rounds, and the round and ITA application deadline will be noted in the EOI Outcome Letter.

ITA applicants will also receive an email from SmartyGrants with a link to the online application, which must be submitted via SmartyGrants by an authorised officer.

Before submitting an ITA application, please read the Program Guidelines, ITA Application Guide, Frequently Asked Questions and Useful Information.

To assist applicants in managing the requirements of the Stage 2 – Invitation to Apply (ITA), the Department has engaged an independent supplier to offer prescribed support to ITA applicants on an opt-in basis.

The Department has engaged Community Connections Solutions Australia (CCSA) to provide up to 17 hours of prescribed support (funded by the Department) to ITA Applicants in accordance with these Terms of Use.

Prescribed support can include the review and provision of feedback on:

  • the number of licensed preschool places to be created or maintained by the project
  • project budgets and costings, and;
  • project schedule and timelines.

Use of this support by ITA applicants is strongly encouraged but it is not compulsory.

How to access the service

ITA applicants who wish to opt-in to this service must complete the following steps:

  1. sign and agree to the Terms of Use (must be signed by an authorised officer)
  2. email a copy of the signed Terms of Use to

    After returning a signed copy of the Terms of Use to the Department, ITA Applicants must then contact CCSA directly to commence the engagement by:

  3. emailing CCSA at, attaching a signed copy of the Terms of Use
  4. registering your details at

After completing the above steps, CCSA will contact ITA Applicants directly with further information and next steps.

ITA Applicants can also contact CCSA via phone on (02) 4782 1470 or 1800 991 602 and select Option 1.

If you do not agree to the Terms of Use and do not provide this document signed by an authorised officer as per the above steps, any advice you receive from the qualified professional will be at your own expense and out of scope for the purposes of this agreement.

Scope of service

The scope of services provided by CCSA that will be funded by the Department is limited, and are described in the Terms of Use.

Additional resources

For more resources to assist with an ITA application including pointers on engaging a building practitioners and updated planning guidelines, please refer to the Useful Information page.

Who is eligible

To be eligible for funding applicants must:

  • be registered or incorporated in NSW;
  • be a not for profit organisation or association, or a local government entity; and
  • operate or intend to operate a community preschool service as an Approved Provider with a valid Service Approval.

For-profit organisations cannot apply for a Crisis Fund grant.

Comprehensive information regarding eligibility and application requirements can be found in the Fund Guidelines.

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