2022-23 Crisis Fund Application Guide

This application guide will help you complete a grant application for the Crisis Fund of the 2022-23 Start Strong Capital Works Grant Program.

As part of your application, you will be required to prove you meet the eligibility criteria under the Crisis Fund and address the six assessment criteria as per the Crisis Fund Guidelines.

Start Strong Capital Works grants under the Crisis Fund consider the merits of each application and alignment with the application criteria. Eligibility to apply for a grant does not guarantee the success of an application.

Eligible applicants under the Crisis Fund may be able to access direct one-to-one support to scope applications with reasonable project estimates and broker a set of reliable documents for submission. Applicants interested in accessing this service must submit an Expression of Interest for the department’s consideration and accept the Terms of Use. Please refer to the Application Support Guidelines for further information.

Section 1: Eligibility criteria

Refer to Section 4 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines

Not-for-profit status

To be eligible for the Crisis Fund, the applicant must be a Not-For-Profit (NFP) organisation/association, or a local government entity.

To meet this requirement, your organisation may be registered on the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission (ACNC)’s Charity Register or you may be an incorporated association registered in NSW under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009.

If neither of these options apply to you, other evidence may be submitted to substantiate your Not-For-Profit status (e.g. constitutional documents and/or articles of association that demonstrate the Not-For-Profit character of the organisation).

Crisis circumstances

Refer to Section 1 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines

The Crisis category supports the maintenance and/or creation of preschool places where there is an immediate and/or urgent need for capital works in at least one of the eligible crisis circumstances outlined on the Crisis Fund Guidelines.

You will be required to submit evidence to substantiate the crisis scenario that applies to you as part of the application process.

An existing centre-based long day care or community preschool service is facing closure or relocation due to exceptional or unforeseen circumstances, for example compulsory acquisition of premises or a natural disaster, which would result in children being unable to access preschool education in reasonable proximity to their community.

If this scenario best describes your circumstances, you will be required to demonstrate that you are facing closure or relocation due to exceptional circumstances, or are impacted by a natural disaster, with evidence including but not limited to:

  • a notice to vacate your premises; or

  • formal correspondence regarding a break of lease; or

  • compulsory acquisition of your premises; or

  • photos of the structural damage due to natural disasters; or

  • reports made by tradespeople or builders explaining that a natural disaster caused the damage and that capital works are required to avoid service disruption; or

  • evidence that your proposed capital works are not related to any routine, quality improvements or maintenance repairs, or those required to comply with regulatory requirements as these cannot be funded under the Start Strong Capital Works Program; or

  • evidence that you have made an insurance claim for the damages caused by a natural disaster, if applicable, and said claim was either rejected or resulted in insufficient funds being provided to you. This is mandatory for applicants impacted by a natural disaster or state if emergency.

Please note that Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services (MACS) type cannot apply for Start Strong Capital Works funding under this crisis scenario. MACS applicants in these circumstances should consider Federal Government Funding options that may be available to address these issues.

Under the Crisis Fund of the Start Strong Capital Works Program, MACS may be eligible to apply for funding to expand their existing preschool operations if the service has an assessment and rating, or apply to create a new centre-based community preschool or long day care service that delivers preschool education program to preschool-aged children.

An eligible organisation wants to expand an existing, or operate a new, centre-based long day care or community preschool in a remote or very remote area as per the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ARIA Index) where access to preschool education is limited or non-existent.

If this scenario best describes your circumstances, you will be required to confirm that the local areas you intend to service and the proposed capital works address are classified as Remote or Very Remote as per the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

To confirm this, you may enter your capital works address and all relevant suburbs or localities on the ABS website, click on the green icon that reads “Identify Regions and ASGS classification”, and refer to the 2016 Remoteness Area (RA) classification. Please note that local areas or addresses classified as Inner or Outer Regional or Major Cities will not be eligible under this crisis subcategory. If you encounter difficulties navigating the ABS map to determine your 2016 Remoteness Area (RA) classification, please contact us on capital.works@det.nsw.edu.au for assistance.

Under this crisis scenario you are also expected to provide:

  • Evidence of the limited or non-existent access to preschool education in the local area you intend to service, demonstrating a need for preschool education due to a gap in service provision. This can include references to the limited number of centre- based or mobile services in the local area, whether they are at capacity or not, and issues regarding access to these services;

  • Evidence of the current and future demand for early childhood services in your area for the 10 year compliance period. This may include letters from parents, waitlists or enquiries, data showing demographic or employment changes that are expected to boost demand for preschool in your area, among others.

  • You are also required to explain how the gap in the provision of preschool education you have identified impacts the community and how you intend to address this with your proposal.

An Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation wants to expand an existing, or operate a new, centre-based long day care or community preschool service within NSW.

To be eligible under this crisis scenario, you are required to provide evidence of your status as an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) under three distinct categories:

i.) You are an independent, not-for-profit organisation, that’s incorporated as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander organisation and/or is a registered community service. Evidence in this regard includes:

  • registration with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC)

  • organisation’s Certificate of Incorporation

  • organisation’s Certificate of Constitution (this document should confirm your Not-For-Profit status)

  • have a registered local business address.

If you are not registered on ORIC, you must demonstrate that your organisation is initiated, based, governed and operated by the local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Community. Evidence can include:

  • organisation’s Certificate of constitution

  • organisation’s list of membership and board of governance. The list should compromise of majority Aboriginal membership.

  • documents such as Terms of Reference listing requirement for membership. The membership and eligibility rules for membership are required to be compliant with CATSI (Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander)) Act 2006.

ii.) You are accountable to your local community, and facilitate local Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples to have input into service delivery and performance. Evidence includes:

  • organisation’s business plans and annual service plan.

  • documents, project plans, correspondence or equivalent documents demonstrating the organisation has mechanisms in place to capture community needs. These may include surveys, consultation initiatives and outreach meetings.

iii.) You are endorsed by the local community leadership to deliver holistic and culturally appropriate services or activities that benefit Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Communities and people, including empowerment and building strength. Evidence in this regard includes:

  • Materials such as annual work plans, annual reports or other equivalent documents that show the organisation has a dedicated, reliable and consistent approach designed to suit the types of services required by communities and is responsive to the needs of those receiving services.

In addition to the above evidence required to substantiate your status as an ACCO, under this crisis scenario you are also asked to submit:

  • Evidence of the limited or non-existent access to culturally inclusive early childhood education for preschool-aged children in the local area you intend to service due to a gap of service provision. This can include references to the limited number of culturally inclusive early childhood education options for preschool-aged children in the local area, whether they are at capacity or not, and issues regarding access to these services;

  • Evidence of the current and future demand of culturally inclusive early childhood education for preschool-aged children for the 10-year compliance period. This can include letters from parents, waitlists or enquiries, data showing demographic or employment changes that are expected to boost demand for preschool in your area, etc.

  • You must also explain how the gap in the provision of culturally inclusive early childhood education for preschool-aged children you have identified impacts the community, and how you intend to address this with your proposal.

Section 2: Past performance

Refer to Section 5 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines

The department will review your past performance and assess whether it is likely to have an impact on successful delivery of your project. This will include a review of previous projects funded through the Start Strong Capital Works Grant Program, where applicable.

  • Start Strong Capital Works Project: Start Strong Capital Works Project refers to projects that have received grant funding under the Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program to undertake capital works to build, renovate or extend facilities to deliver a community preschool, respond to a crisis situation or to purchase a vehicle for mobile preschool.
  • Other grant funding: This refers to any other grants funding received from the department through other grant programs available. This may include any grants received under the following programs:
    • Community Grants Program
    • Disability and Inclusion Program - High Learning Support Needs (HLSN) funding
    • Disability and Inclusion Program - Minor Capital Works funding
    • Flood Recovery Grants Program
    • Ninganah No More Program
    • Preschool Disability Support Program (PDSP)
    • Quality Learning Environments Program
    • Other.

This does not include Start Strong Operational funding, such as Start Strong Free Preschool, Start Strong Preschool, Start Strong Long Day Care, Start Strong Pathways and the 2021 COVID-19 Free Preschool Funding Program.

  • Project Acquittal: This refers to the process of evaluating and reporting on the outcomes and expenditure of funds for the project. A successful acquittal implies that a Final Report has been submitted to the department to acquit the funding.
  • Open/overdue Projects not acquitted: This refers to open or overdue projects funded by the department that have not been evaluated or reported on their final outcomes. Please note that a completed project has not necessarily been acquitted. Depending on what grant you applied for, a report will be required for the department to acquit funding. All Early Childhood Education grants will need to complete a final acquittal which is released through ECCMS at a later stage.


Section 3: Funding conditions

Refer to Section 6 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines

To be eligible for funding, you must confirm you understand and agree to all funding conditions and obligations that would be in place if you are successful in receiving a Start Strong Capital Works grant offer from the department.

In this regard, you must review the Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions and Funding Acknowledgement Guidelines before submitting an application.

Please refer to Section 6 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines for further information on funding conditions.

Section 4: Project details

Project category

Please select the project category that best applies to your capital works project:

  • New Build: Capital works project that involves construction of a new centre based long day care or community preschool service building from scratch. This includes any existing long day care or community preschool centres to be demolished and replaced by a new building on an existing capital works address.

  • Expansion: Capital works project that involves any structural changes to an existing centre based long day care or community preschool service that increase the current footprint of the building.

  • Renovations: Capital works project that involves the modification of an existing centre based long day care or community preschool service building, such as removing internal walls or refurbishments. A renovation does not increase the existing footprint of the building.

Capital works site

The Capital Works address is the site where your proposed capital works project will take place. It is important for the department to understand what this address is, and whether a centre-based long day care or community preschool service is currently operating on the site:

  • Capital Works at the existing site your service is currently operating from
    Some applicants may be operating an existing centre-based long day care or community preschool service and need to undertake capital works at their current site due to a crisis situation. In this case, the service address will match the capital works address and you will be required to provide your current service approval ID (SE-XXXXXXX).

  • Relocating the service to a new site where the capital works takes place
    Applicants may currently be operating an existing centre-based long day care or community preschool service from a site, but due to unforeseen or exceptional circumstances be forced to relocate the service to a different location, where the capital works would take place. In this case, the capital works address will be the new site where you intend to relocate to and undertake your capital works. You will also have to provide the service approval ID (SE-XXXXX) and current location of your service.

  • Opening a new service on a new site
    The capital works address will be the address of the site where you intend to open a new centre-based long day care or community preschool. Applicants must confirm they understand Service Approval to operate a long day care or community preschool with the intended number of preschool places per day must be obtained within 12 months of project completion.

  • Capital works on a NSW Government Public School Site
    If you propose to build or upgrade a centre-based long day care or community preschool service on a Public School Site you must have a current licence agreement or lease to operate the service prior to applying for the grant. Please note that the Early Childhood Education Directorate does not manage the allocation of licences to operate preschools on public school sites. This process is independently managed by School Infrastructure NSW. For further information in relation to your current licence, please contact your current license agreement contract manager at Schools Infrastructure NSW: preschools.sinsw@det.nsw.edu.au.
    In addition, any proposed building works will need to be approved by School Infrastructure NSW’s Asset Management Unit (AMU), prior to application.

Assessment Criteria 1: Maintenance and/or increase in the provision of preschool education services

Refer to Section 5 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines

The broad objective of this Fund is to respond to a crisis with capital works to maintain and/or increase preschool places. Whether you will increase and/or maintain the number of places you offer per day will depend on your crisis scenario and the specifics of your project.

Some applicants may only maintain the current preschool places they offer while other applicants may both maintain and increase their preschool places as a direct result of the proposed crisis capital works.

For those in a community preschool setting, please note that all questions about preschool places refer to your licence or per day places as per NQAITS, and not 600-hour or “per week” places.

For those in a long day care or multipurpose setting, please note that references to preschool places refer to your licensed or per day places dedicated exclusively for the enrolment of preschool-aged children participating in a preschool program.

Please refer to the Crisis Fund Guidelines for further information regarding these definitions.

In the first place, it is important to note that the number of per day places you propose to maintain and/or increase with the project must be allocated exclusively to preschool:

  • If you are a multipurpose service, please note that this grant can only fund the portion of your build resulting in the maintenance and/or increase in licensed places allocated exclusively to preschool education.

  • If you are a long day care service, consider that the grant can only fund the portion of your build that will maintain and/or increase licensed places for the delivery of a preschool program for preschool-aged children.

  • In any of these cases, you must identify the portion of the build and relevant unencumbered space that will not be used to deliver a preschool program for preschool-aged children and provide evidence to substantiate these calculations.

Further, the forecasted maintenance and/or increase in preschool places must align with the appropriate regulatory requirements for centre-based services:

  • Your forecast must be supported by professional plans and unencumbered space calculations prepared by a licensed building practitioner who holds adequate accreditation or registration with their relevant body – see Support for application page for more information.

  • You must demonstrate how you have calculated your proposed maintenance and/or increase in line with regulations 107 and 108 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations and that your design meets all relevant regulations applicable to childcare centres - see Support for application page for more information.

  • In addition, please note that the Regulatory Authority considers your compliance history when you apply for Service Approval to increase the number of approved places.

Community Preschool

Places maintained New places created Expected total places
Preschool Places The licensed community preschool places you will be able to continue offering as a result of your capital works. Any new licensed community preschool places you will be creating as a result of the capital works, on top of existing preschool places (if any). The total number of licensed community preschool places you intend to offer after completion of your Crisis capital works. This should be your places maintained (if any) + new places you create (if any). *

* This is the total number of preschool places being maintained and/or created that will be used to deliver an early childhood education program to preschool-aged children, for at least 600 hours per year, designed by a degree qualified early childhood teacher, in accordance with The Early Years Learning Framework.

Example: Brave Lions Preschool has a licence for 20 children a day at their current site. They are forced to relocate to a new site due to compulsory acquisition of the premises. It is expected that the new site will be able to obtain service approval for a total of 25 children a day after the capital works.

Licensed places to be maintained (Current places) New licened places to be created Total expected licensed places at project completion
Preschool places: 20 5 25

Long day care, Multipurpose, MACS

Places maintained New places created Expected total places

Preschool Places

Preschool places refer to places for preschool-aged children enrolled in a preschool education program*

The preschool places you will be able to continue offering as a result of your capital works. Any new preschool places you will be creating as a result of the capital works, on top of existing places (if any).

The total number of licensed preschool places you intend to offer after completion of your Crisis capital woks.

This should be your places maintained (if any) + new places you create (if any).*

Non-preschool places

Non-Preschool places refer to the places allocated to children who are not enrolled in a preschool program, such as babies and toddlers.*

The non-preschool places you will be able to continue offering as a result of your capital works. Any new non-preschool places you will be creating as a result of the capital works, on top of existing places (if any).

The total number of licensed non-preschool places you intend to offer after completion of your Crisis capital works.

This should be your places maintained (if any) + new places you created (if any).

* The Crisis Fund program will only fund the portion of your build that will lead to an increase and/or maintenance of places for preschool-aged children receiving a preschool education program. Any costs related to the maintenance and/or increase of non-preschool places must be funded through other sources.

Example: Happy Children is a long day care that has 50 licenced/per day places recorded in NQAITS. Of these 50, 20 places are allocated exclusively to the delivery of a preschool program for preschool-aged children, and the 30 are allocated to toddlers and babies. Therefore, this service has 20 existing preschool places. They must undertake urgent structural work due to bushfires and intend to maintain all their existing places, and create an additional 10. Of these new 10 places, only 5 will be allocated exclusively to preschool-aged children. Therefore, Happy Children is maintaining their existing 20 preschool places and creating an additional 5. They expect to have 25 preschool places as a result of the capital works and 60 places per day as per NQAITS.

When asked about the expected total number of places, this applicant should respond 25, as this is the expected total number of places allocated exclusively to preschool.

Licensed places to be maintained (Current places) New licensed places to be created Total expected licensed places at project completion
Preschool places: 20 5 25 (these can be funded by the grant)
Non-preschool places: 30 5 35 (these cannot be funded by the grant)
TOTAL: 50 10 60

Assessment Criteria 2: Capability and capacity for delivery

Refer to Section 5 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines

You are asked to demonstrate your capacity and capability to deliver your project within the expected timeframes and with reasonable or tolerable risks. Some of the elements that are assessed under this parameter are:

As per the Program Guidelines, construction works must start within 12 months of receipt of a successful Outcome Letter and projects must be completed and acquitted within 24 months of the Funding Agreement being executed. Applicants must provide a project plan and timeline for their project and demonstrate their ability to meet these timeframes to show readiness to proceed. The project plan and timeline should include your expected start and finish dates, timeframes to achieve milestones and the estimated opening date of the service once capital works are completed.

In addition, applicants must show that they have support from all parties involved in the project (e.g. your landlord, Council, Committee, Schools Infrastructure NSW) and approval to proceed with the capital works project on the proposed site. This may include preliminary minutes from discussions with your Board or Council, letters of support from your landlord, other funding bodies contributing to the project or partners, a Development Approval (DA) application lodged or approved, or any other related documents.

Applicants are required to provide a detailed description of their final project design and scope of works, and the number of preschool places to be created and/or maintained as a direct result of the proposed project.

Applicants will be required to provide a risk assessment for their project. We encourage you to think carefully about the risks that may impact your project and what strategies you can implement to mitigate them and deliver your project with minimal disruptions.

Risks Likelihood Impact Mitigation Strategies
Describe the risks identified in regards to your capital works project Indicate the likelihood of risk occurring: Rare, Unlikely, Possible, Likely, Certain Indicate impact the risk would have in your project: Low, Moderate, High, Extreme Outline mitigation strategies you will implement to prevent the risk from occurring and/or reduce the impact if it does occur.
EXAMPLE: When assessing the DA, the Council requests a change to the plans, which may lead to an increase in project costs Moderate High Contingency funding has been factored into budget.

Examples of risks

  • Cost overruns due to supply chain disruptions, increase in cost materials, unforeseen expenditure or other reasons. Note that, under the Funding Agreement, any cost overruns will be the Approved Provider’s responsibility. To mitigate the risk of cost overruns, you are encouraged to discuss financial risks with suppliers when obtaining quotes. You should also ensure your budget and quotes reflect the final scope of works with all design features you intend to deliver. You should also include contingency and escalations within your budget.

  • Project delays due to natural disasters, COVID-19, or any other unforeseen operational reasons

  • DA approval is not obtained or requires a change in design/scope to be compliant. To mitigate this risk, we encourage you and your suppliers to carefully review all relevant regulations that apply to your project, including but not limited to the Building Code of Australia and the regulations that apply to childcare-centres.

  • Service Approval is not obtained or is obtained for a lower number of licensed places per day. To mitigate this risk, you should engage a licensed building practitioner with accreditation or registration with their relevant body to provide you with plans and calculations of unencumbered space. These should support your forecasted increase/maintenance of licensed places and ensure your build will be compliant with all relevant regulations.

  • Difficulty in negotiating a security instrument based on special circumstances of your service affecting your land, which can result in delays and jeopardise the viability of your project. To mitigate this risk, we encourage you to discuss security requirements with all parties involved before submitting your application and communicate any issues or concerns regarding the security requirement on your application.

Risk likelihood

  • Rare – less than 10% chance of an event occurring over life of the project

  • Unlikely – 10% - 40% chance of an event occurring over life of the project

  • Possible – 41% - 60% chance of an event occurring over life of the project

  • Likely – 61% - 90% chance of an event occurring over like of the project

  • Certain – More than 90% chance of an event occurring over life of the project.

Risk impact

Impact refers to the consequence on your capital works project, if the risks occurs. Refer to the table below to assess the consequence and level of impact on project delivery.

Impact Change of scope or variation to project outcome (increase/maintenance of preschool places) Off track or delayed Project budget

Low

Insignificant/minor consequences

Very minor impact on project scope or project quality, or up to 5% of the intended places are not delivered/maintained Project is within expected timeframe Very minor variances to project budget (up to 5%), that do not impact project delivery

Moderate

Medium consequences

Moderate impact on project scope or project quality, which may impact service approval, or between 5-20% of the intended placces are not delivered/maintained Expected timeframe has exceeded up to 6 months Moderate variance to project budget (between 5-40%) that negatively impacts the provider or potentially affects project delivery

High

Major/substantial consequences

Major impact on project scope or project quality, which will impact service approval, or between 20-80% of the intended places are not delivered/maintained Expected timefrme has exceeded between 6 months to 1 year Major variance to project budget (between 40-80%), causing serious shortfall that negatively impacts the provider or affects project delivery

Extreme

Critical/significnt consequnces

Significiant impact on project scope, or project quality, which will cause service approval to not be issued, or majority (over 80%) of the promised places are not delivered/maintained Expected tmeframe has exceeded by more than a year Significant variance to project budget (over 80%), causing severe shortfall and negative impact to the provider or project delivery

You must also provide evidence that indicates you have a suitable project site for the 10-year period following the completion of the capital works. To meet this requirement, you must own the land, or have a lease or licence for your desired site prior to applying for this grant:

  • If you own the land
    Suitable evidence includes a Certificate of Title.

  • If you have a current lease
    Suitable evidence includes a current 10-year lease or licence to operate on the site.

  • If you operate on a Public-School Site
    Suitable evidence includes a current licence and/or lease to operate on the public school site. Before applying for the grant, please discuss your licensing arrangements and your planned project with your current Contract Manager within the Early Childhood, Canteens and Uniforms, to obtain support from relevant stakeholders. You will be required to submit evidence in this regard, such as a formal correspondence noting that SINSW, AMU and the School Principal are supportive of your proposal, confirmation of the scope of works, and agreement to make the site available for a ten-year period for the operation of a preschool service.

Please note you must secure a site before applying for this grant.

If your current land arrangements are not valid for 10 years, you will be required to demonstrate how you and your landlord will meet the 10-year requirement. For example, you may provide a lease for a shorter tenure and a letter of support from your lessor indicating you are a longstanding tenant and that they intent to extend your lease upon the expiry of your current one.

For the Crisis Fund, the provision of a security instrument is a precondition for funding. Applicants are required to consent to this requirement should they be successful with their application:

  • If you own the land, you understand you will be required to enter into a mortgage.

  • If you have a 10-year lease, you and your landlord will be required to consent to a mortgage of lease.

  • If you have a license on a public-school site, you must discuss the planned project and licensing implications with your Contract Manager at School Infrastructure NSW.

  • If you have any other land arrangements or circumstances, you consent to an appropriate security instrument as advised by the department.

You are encouraged to submit evidence to confirm your consent, such as a letter from you and your landlord or SINSW. If you, your lessor or any parties have any concerns or restrictions in regards to the security instrument, please provide details on your application.

Please see the  security instrument information for further details.

Refer to Section 8 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines

For Capital Works project with a total project cost of $500,000 (ex GST) and above, you will be required to identify and appoint a suitable project manager within four weeks of Funding Agreement execution and demonstrate that the project manager is a suitably qualified professional. Please ensure you include this expense in your expenditure budget table and provide a quote in your application to substantiate this cost.

You will also be required to demonstrate the project manager has the appropriate qualifications and experience in the management of infrastructure projects. This can be addressed by providing a CV, a relevant certificate or transcript in the area of expertise, existing employment contract in the relevant field or reference letters from previous comparable engagements.

Details of your Project Manager will be confirmed, if you are successful, during the Funding Agreement execution of your project. Please note you should not enter into any contracts prior to being informed of a successful outcome and executing the Funding Agreement.

We will consider whether you are putting forward a mature, well-developed proposal that is ready to kick-off or whether you would benefit from further developing your plans prior to applying.

Assessment Criteria 3: Cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Refer to Section 5 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines

You must submit evidence that your Capital Works project will:

  1. Create and nurture a culturally safe and responsive education setting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and ECE staff.

    Evidence may include any culturally safe and inclusive Aboriginal programs and/or practices observed by the service, existing internal governance and/or standards that provide clear expectations and guidance to support your service to develop cultural safety, current and/or recent employment of Aboriginal staff, consultation and feedback sought from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities about the services being delivered and how these feedback and perspectives have been considered and incorporated into the governance/board decision making and letters of support from these groups

    You may also consider how your capital works project incorporates elements in the build that create and nurture a culturally safe and responsive environment for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children, such as specific targeted rooms or play areas, or existing recruitment strategies and Equal Employment policies for your workforce.
  2. Increase participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in ECE services.

    Evidence may include any culturally safe and inclusive targeted programs or initiatives the service implements to increase engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and strategies to support and increase their participation in ECE services.

Assessment Criteria 4: Accessibility and inclusion

Refer to Section 5 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines

You must submit evidence that your Capital Works project will provide and/or improve the provision of a safe and appropriate educational setting for children with a disability, children with additional needs and children from low-income families.

This may include a description of the NSW Government Policies regarding diversity and inclusion that your service observes, any other internal policies or programs the preschool may have, consultation undertaken with these groups or letters of support from members of this cohort, amongst others.

Assessment Criteria 5: Value for money (budget)

As part of the Start Strong Capital Works Program, the NSW Government has committed $62.1 million in funding to deliver 7,100 additional preschool places across NSW. This budget is considered as part of grant assessment process and the value for money of your proposal is a key assessment criterion.

A number of elements are considered when assessing value for money, including the cost per place of your project. For the Crisis Fund, the cost per place is calculated by dividing the grant amount requested from the department excluding GST by the number of preschool places you will maintain and/or create.

The more funding a provider contributes, either directly or via other funding sources, the lower the cost per place will be and the better the value for money will be.

You must submit at least two quotes obtained in the past four months that reflect your project's final design and scope to substantiate your budget and confirm your income and expenditure.

Your budget breakdown is the total cost of all project elements. You will be asked to provide a detailed list of your project expenses, which clearly demonstrates what sources of funding will be used to cover them.

You must submit a minimum of two quotes obtained in the past four months that reflect the final design of your capital works project to substantiate your budget. There is an expectation that all expenses will be supported by a quote.

When preparing your budget and expenditure table, please ensure that:

  • Your quotes are recent, itemised and reflect the final scope of works and final design for your project (i.e. they are not estimates). Further funding will not be provided for any design additions or alterations not present on the proposed budget and quotes.

  • You are considering all relevant expenses related to your project, including administrative or professional fees, project management, etc.

  • You are nominating an adequate funding source to cover each expense. Please review the Crisis Fund Guidelines to understand which components can be funded by this grant.

  • If you identify elements that cannot be funded with this grant, such as portable equipment, maintenance works, rooms that will be used primarily for purposes other than the delivery of a preschool education program, please identify these costs on your expenditure table and nominate an appropriate funding source.

  • You are including both construction contingency and provider contingency in your budget as outlined on the Crisis Fund Guidelines. A reasonable allowance for contingency can be included in the project’s expenditure as part of the grant funding requested. It is recommended that you allocate around 10% of the total project cost towards contingency in total.

  • Your total expenditure (i.e. total cost of the project) matches your total income, demonstrating you have sourced enough funding to cover the costs of your project.

Please note that the department reserves the right to withhold any unspent contingency allowance or underspend in overall project expenditure at the conclusion of a capital works project.

Expenditure table

You will be asked to provide a breakdown of your budget expenses and the sources you will use to fund each item. For example:

Project Expense Amount ex GST Scource(s) of Funding
Site readiness and management $5,000 Provider Contribution
Site clearning and waste $5,000 Provider Contribution
Extension Capital Works - main build/extension cost $250,000
$230,000
Start Strong Capital Works Grant
Insurance claim
Plumbiing $20,800 Start Strong Capital Works Grant
Electricity $13,000 Start Strong Capital Works Grant
Fit out $5,000 Provider Contribution
Landscaping and roadworks $5,000 Provier Contribution
Frames and Trusses $10,000 Provider Contribution
Project Management $20,000 Provider Contribution
Professional Fees (i.e. legal fees) $0 In-Kind services
Professional Fees (i.e. architects and other specialists) $10,000 Insurance claim
Administrative expenses (e.g Council approvals, Development Approval) $10,000 Insurance claim
Builder/Construction contingency $33,100 Start Strong Capital Works Grant
Provider contingency $33,100 Start Strong Capital Works Grant
TOTAL COST OF PROJECT ex GST $650,000

What elements can be funded by the Start Strong Capital Works Grant?

Please refer to the Crisis Fund Guidelines for details on what elements of your budget can be funded by this grant.

When you are providing your budget breakdown on the expenditure table, ensure you are not nominating the Crisis Fund grant as the funding source for any ineligible elements, as this will delay or impede assessment. You are required to identify the cost associated to these ineligible expenses, such as rooms for toddlers or nursery, and nominate an appropriate source of funding on the expenditure table.

Multipurpose preschools and long day care centres

This grant can only fund the portion of your project that will result in an increase or maintenance in preschool places. This includes not-for-profit long day care centres who intend to maintain and/or increase the places allocated to the delivery of a preschool program for preschool-aged children. You must demonstrate that any portion of the build that is ineligible for funding will be funded either by the provider contribution, or other sources of funding.

The project income is comprised of the grant amount, the provider contribution, and any other external sources of funding.

All financial figures must be provided ex GST throughout this application.

The Grant Amount (mandatory field)
These are the funds requested from the NSW Government under the Start Strong Capital Works Grant (ex GST).

Provider Contribution
This is your organisation’s contribution to the project. This can be comprised of service’s funds and/or loans. Applicants are encouraged to contribute at least 5% of the total cost of the project with the provider contribution, but this may be waived for Crisis Fund applications at the discretion of the department.

To demonstrate the availability of preschool funds you may provide a recent bank statement, balance sheet or letter of your CFO committing the funds. To demonstrate the availability of a loan, you should include a letter of offer from your lending entity specifying the amount in offer (ex GST).

Other external sources of funding (not mandatory)
This is any funding by parties other than the Start Strong Capital Works Grant and the service applying for the grant (ex GST). It can include other grants from State, Federal or Local Government, donations from private or public organisations or in-kind services. In-kind services should be quantified as worth $0; for all other contribution types the amount contributed must be specified.

It is not mandatory to have other external sources of funding, but it is highly encouraged.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm the availability and amount of funds contributed by any other sources or in-kind services. These amounts will not be funded by the department.

You will be required to provide evidence to prove the availability and exact amount contributed by these external income sources, such as a letter from your funding entity with these details. For in-kind services, formal correspondence should confirm the offer of services detailing the scope of the offer. In-kind services can be quantified as $0 on your budget.

If an income source has not been confirmed, the applicant must provide and expected timeframe for the confirmation of funding, with evidence to support this.

Income table

The table provided below is an example with fictitious information. In this example, the funding sources breakdown is as follows:

  • The total cost of the project or total expenditure is $650,00 ex GST

  • Your requested Start Strong Capital Work grant amount is $350,000 ex GST

  • The provider contribution is $50,000 ex GST

  • There are two other external sources of funding:
    • an insurance claim is contributing $250,000 ex GST to cover bushfire damage
    • in-kind services, which are always valued at $0.
  • The total project income (i.e. the addition of the Capital Works Grant, insurance claim, In-kind Services and Provider Contribution) adds up to $650,000 ex GST. Therefore, the total project income matches the total project expenditure thus showing that the provider has raised enough funds to deliver the project.
Project income sources Type $ Amount (ex GST) Confirmed?
NSW Department of Education Capital Works grant request $350,000 No
Provider contribution Preschooll funds (We encourage applicants to contribute at least 5% o total project expenditure, but this can be waived for crisis applicants) $50,000 Yes
Provider contribution

Loan from <write name of lending entity here>

Not applicable

$0

Y/N

NA

In-kind services

<What services are you receiving & from whom>

Sydney Lawyers ABC is providing us in-kind legal services

$0 Yes
Other e.g. other insurance claim

<Contribution type and name of contributor>

Insurance claim for bushfire damage by NRMA

$250,000 Yes
Other e.g. large scale donations, insurance claims <Contribution type and name of contributor> $0 Y/N

The total project income (your requested grant amount plus all other sources of funding) must be equal to the total project expenditure (the total cost of the project).

Using the above example:

  • total project expenditure amount: (auto-calculation): $650,000 excluding GST

  • total project income amount: (auto-calculation): $650,000 excluding GST.

Assessment Criteria 6: Overall completeness and quality of the application

Refer to Section 5 of the Crisis Fund Guidelines

To facilitate assessment, please ensure your application does not have any gaps or inconsistencies in information, and that you have included adequate evidence to support your claims.

You should only submit an application once you have compiled all necessary information. Please note you will not be able to submit further information after submitting your application, unless specifically instructed to do so by the department.

Category:

  • Early childhood education

Business Unit:

  • Early Childhood Outcomes
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