Crisis Fund Application Guide

This guide will help you complete a strong Crisis grant application for the Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program.

As part of your application, you will need to prove you meet the eligibility criteria for this grant and address the assessment criteria.

Eligibility to apply for a grant does not guarantee the success of an application.

General information: Crisis situation category

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

1. An existing centre-based service is facing closure or relocation due to exceptional or unforeseen circumstances, for example, compulsory acquisition of premises

You are required to demonstrate that you are facing closure or relocation due to exceptional circumstances, as opposed to choosing to relocate. Voluntary relocations are not considered crisis. You must attach evidence to support your claims, which could include; a notice to vacate your premises, formal correspondence regarding a break of lease, compulsory acquisition of your premises etc.

2. An existing centre-based service is impacted by a natural disaster or state of emergency and is required to undertake urgent structural remediation work

You are required to explain your crisis circumstances and attach evidence to support your claims. This could include: photos of the structural damage, reports made by tradespeople or builders explaining the nature and cause of the damage, proof of the natural disaster or state of emergency that caused the damages, etc.

The evidence must demonstrate that extensive damage has occurred due to a natural disaster or a state of emergency, and it must be clear that the capital works are urgent and required to avoid service delivery disruptions. You must also demonstrate that the capital works you are seeking funding for are not related to any routine or maintenance repairs, or those required to comply with regulatory requirements, as this cannot be funded under the crisis category.

You will also be asked to confirm that you have made a claim to your insurance for the damages, and said claim was either rejected or it resulted in insufficient funds being provided to you. It is mandatory for applicants in this crisis scenario to submit a claim with their insurance prior to applying, as they will be required to attach evidence of the outcome of their claim.

3. An eligible organisation wants to operate a centre-based preschool in a remote or very remote area (as per the ARIA) where access to preschool education is limited or non-existent.

You are required to confirm that the suburbs you intend to service and the proposed capital works address are classified as Remote or Very Remote as per the Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA). To confirm this, you may enter your capital works address and all relevant suburbs 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 suburbs or addresses classified as Inner or Outer Regional or Major Cities will not be eligible under this crisis subcategory.

To confirm your eligibility for this crisis subcategory must also;

  • explain and attach evidence of the limited or non-existent access to preschool education in the area you intend to service, demonstrating a need for preschool education in the area you intend to service due to a gap in service provision. Evidence can include reference to limited numbers of centre based or mobile services in your area, whether they are at capacity or not, and issues regarding access to these services;
  • 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;
  • describe and provide evidence of the current and future demand for early childhood services in your area for the 10 year compliance period. Evidence 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, etc.

General information: What is the capital works address?

The Capital Works address is the site where your proposed project will take place. It is important for the department to understand what this address is, and whether a preschool is currently operating on the site.

  • Capital Works at the site your service is currently operating from. Some applicants may be operating an existing preschool 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 the site of the capital works. Applicants may currently be operating a preschool from a site, but due to unforeseen or exceptional circumstances be forced to relocate the preschool 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. The capital works address will be the address of the site where you intend to open a preschool. Applicants intending to open a new service in a remote or very remote ARIA to address a gap in service provision must attach evidence that they will apply to obtain service approval for the capital works site, once the project is finalised. The evidence presented can be a letter of intent signed by your committee, or proof of your submission if you have already applied.
  • Capital works on a NSW Government School Site. You will also be asked whether your capital works site is a NSW Government School Site. Please note you must hold a valid licence or lease to operate prior applying and you must also discuss your project with Schools Infrastructure NSW.

Assessment criteria: Capacity and capability for delivery

You are asked to demonstrate your capacity and capability to deliver your project within the expected timeframes and with reasonable or tolerable risks. Applicants that are able to demonstrate readiness to proceed will be prioritised.

Some of the elements that are assessed under this parameter are:

Readiness to proceed

Applicants should demonstrate that they will be able to deliver the project within 24 months, and that they have support from all parties (e.g. your landlord, Council, Committee, Schools Infrastructure NSW) and approval to proceed will be prioritised.

Suitable land arrangements for a ten-year period

You need to demonstrate your ability to provide a suitable project site and security instrument valid for the 10 year project period. You must own the land, or have a lease or licence for your desired site prior to applying for this grant.

If your land arrangements are not valid for a ten year period, you will be required to negotiate this with your landlord or lessor to comply with the 10-year post project requirements. More evidence about your land arrangements will be requested if you are invited to proceed to Stage 2.

Ability to provide a security instrument

The provision of a security instrument is a precondition for funding and we encourage you to discuss this requirement with all relevant parties prior to submitting your application. Please see the security instrument information for further details.

The maturity of your proposal and how far along you are with your planning and project development

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: Maintenance and/or increase in preschool places

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

Some applicants may only maintain the current community preschool places they offer while some other applicants may both maintain and increase their licence because of the proposed crisis works. For applicants intending to address a gap in the provision of preschool education in a Remote ARIA with a new centre-based community preschool an increase in community preschool places is mandatory.

Please note that in all questions about preschool places we are referring to your licence or per day places as per NQAITS, and not 600-hour or “per week” places.

What should I consider when calculating my proposed increase/maintenance in community preschool places?

In order to ensure any proposed increase/maintenance in places is feasible, you will have to take into account the space and regulatory requirements for centre-based services. Please see Preschool Places Regulatory Requirements for more information.

Please note that the Regulatory Authority also considers your compliance history when assessing the number of preschool places per day you are approved for.

What are my maintained, increased and total places?

  • Places maintained: the number of places from your existing licence that you will be able to continue offering as a result of your capital works. Your crisis project may allow you to maintain all or some of your current preschool places.
  • New places created: any places you will be creating as a result of the capital works, on top of your existing preschool places (if any). These are any places created by the crisis capital works in addition to your current licence.
  • Expected total places: the number of places per day you intend to offer after completion of the crisis capital works, and it should be the addition of the places you maintain (if any) and the new places you create (if any).

Guidance on preschool places by applicant service type

Relocating an existing service to a new site

What are my current or existing preschool places?

If you are an existing community preschool service being forced to relocate to a new site, your existing or current places are the places per day you are currently licensed for as per NQAITS.

Example breakdown of places

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 able to obtain service approval for a total of 25 children a day after the capital works.

CURRENT PLACES: 20

PLACES MAINTAINED: 20

NEW PLACES CREATED: 5

EXPECTED TOTAL PLACES: 25

Little Nugget preschool currently has service approval for 40 children per day. They are forced to relocate to a new site that requires capital works as their landlord advised that their current site will be demolished. As the new site is smaller they expect to obtain service approval for only 35 children per day at the new site after the capital works.

CURRENT PLACES: 40

PLACES MAINTAINED: 35

NEW PLACES CREATED: 0

EXPECTED TOTAL PLACES: 35

Multipurpose preschools

An increase in places means that the project creates new places that are exclusively allocated to community preschool.

Places allocated to a preschool program within a Long Day Care setting are not community preschool places and do not count for the purposes of the increase.

What are my current or existing preschool places?

If you are a multipurpose, your current places refer to the number of places within your existing licence that are exclusively allocated to community preschool (i.e. excluding the places used for long day care or preschool program within long day care).

Please note this will number will not match your licensed places per day as per NQAITS, as the latter would also include your Long Day Care places. Places allocated to Long Day Care or preschool program within Long Day Care do not count as current or existing community preschool places for the purposes of this program.

Example breakdown of places

Happy Children is a multipurpose that has 50 licenced/per day places recorded in NQAITS. Of these 50, 20 places are allocated exclusively to community preschool, and 30 are allocated to Long Day Care or a preschool program within the Long Day Care. Therefore, this service has 20 existing community 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 community preschool. Therefore, Happy Children is maintaining their existing 20 preschool places and creating an additional 5. They expect to have 25 community preschool places as a result of the capital works and 60 places per day as per NQAITS.

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

CURRENT PLACES: 20

PLACES MAINTAINED: 20

NEW PLACES CREATED: 5

EXPECTED TOTAL PLACES: 25

Existing services undertaking capital works at their preschool centre

What are my current or existing preschool places?

If you are an existing community preschool service undertaking urgent structural repairs to your current site, your existing or current places are the places per day you are currently licensed for as per NQAITS.

Example breakdown of places

Butterfly Preschool has applied for a grant to undertake urgent structural remediation works due to a flood. The funds secured through their insurance are insufficient, so they obtained the outstanding funding through the Crisis Fund of the Start Strong Capital Works Grants. They currently have a licence for 30 children per day, and expect to maintain all 30 places upon completion of the capital works. They do not expect to create any new places.

CURRENT PLACES: 30

PLACES MAINTAINED: 30

NEW PLACES CREATED: 0

EXPECTED TOTAL PLACES: 30

New services

What are my current or existing preschool places?

If you are proposing to open a new service in a remote or very remote area to address the gap in the provision of preschool education, the answer to this question should be zero. You have no current or existing preschool places as you are not yet an operational service.

Example breakdown of places

Gumnut Childcare is a provider that wants to open a new centre-based service in a very remote ARIA to meet a gap in the provision of preschool education. They hope to build a new preschool for 18 children per day.

CURRENT PLACES: 0 (not yet an operational service)

PLACES MAINTAINED: 0 (no places to maintain as not yet operational)

NEW PLACES CREATED: 18

EXPECTED TOTAL PLACES: 18

Assessment criteria: Accessibility and inclusion

You are asked to confirm that your Capital Works project will provide and/or improve the provision of a culturally safe, accessible and inclusive educational setting for equity children. Equity children includes Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children, children from low income backgrounds and children with disability and additional needs.

You will be required to submit evidence to support your claims if you are invited to apply at Stage 2.

We may also consider whether your preschool is an Aboriginal Business or Social Enterprise, or whether you provide employment to these groups.

Assessment criteria: 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 community 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. The cost per place is calculated by dividing the grant amount requested from the department excluding GST by the number of places you will create and/or maintain.

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.

For your Stage 1 application you must submit at least 1 quote obtained in the past six months to substantiate your budget. We understand you may not be able to obtain quotes for all the elements of your budget. However, you should at least obtain a quote for the Capital Works component (i.e. your builder) and make reasonable efforts to seek quotes for all other elements.

If you are invited to apply in Stage 2 you must substantiate all other element costs with a recent quote.

Project income: What are my 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)

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 school 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.

Other external sources of funding (not mandatory)

This is any funding by parties other than the Start Strong Capital Works Grant and the Preschool 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.

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.

Applicants invited to Stage 2 will be required to provide evidence to prove the funds related the provider contribution and any external sources of funding are confirmed and available for use.

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 $647,000 ex GST.
  • Your requested Start Strong Capital Work grant amount is $250,000 ex GST.
  • The provider contribution is $90,000 ex GST.
  • There are two other external sources of funding:
    • The provider’s insurance is contributing $307,000 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, Federal Government Grant, In-kind Services and Provider Contribution) adds up to $647,000 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

$250,000

No

Provider contribution

Preschool funds (We encourage applicants to contribute at least 5% of total project expenditure, but this can we waived for crisis applicants)

$90,000

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 bushfires damage by NRMA

$307,000

Yes

Other e.g. large scale donations, insurance claims

<Contribution type and name of contributor>

$0

Y/N

Project Expenditure: What is my budget breakdown?

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

You need to list all the elements that comprise your total budget, including building expenses, professional fees, project management fees, administrative fees, contingency and any other relevant expense. The quotes you obtain should be itemised and reflect all these budget elements.

Contingency

It is recommended you include contingency as a project expense to cover unforeseen circumstances, inflation or overruns. Please note that should any of these additional expenses arise, they must be funded by the approved provider.

Expenditure table

Please provide a breakdown of your budget expenses and the sources you will use to fund each item.

Project expenses $ Amount (ex GST) Source of funding used

Capital works renovation works – builder costs

$250,000

$250,000

Capital Works Grant

Insurance Claim


Project management fees

$50,000

Provider Contribution

Administrative expenses (e.g. Council approvals, DA)

$15,000

Provider Contribution

Professional fees - Legal services

$0

In-Kind services by Sydney Lawyers ABC

Professional fees (e.g. Engineer, Architect)

$20,000

Provider Contribution

Contingency

$57,000

Insurance Claim


Other (e.g. landscaping)

$5,000

Provider Contribution

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

Please refer to the Guidelines for details on what elements of your budget can be funded by a Crisis Fund 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. If there is a portion of the build that will not be used primarily for the purposes of delivering preschool education (e.g. rooms allocated to community or health service), this will have to be funded by the provider or other sources of funding. You are required to identify the cost associated to these ineligible elements as per your quote and nominate an appropriate source of funding on the expenditure table.

Multipurpose preschools

This grant can only the fund the portion of your project that will result in an increase or maintenance in community preschool places. You must demonstrate that build elements that are ineligible for funding will be paid for either by the provider contribution, or other sources of funding. You are required to identify the costs associated to Long Day Care places in your quote, and nominate an appropriate source of funding on the expenditure table (noting these cannot be funded by the grant).

Budget totals

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 income amount: (auto-calculation): $647, 000 excluding GST.
  • Total project expenditure amount: (auto-calculation): $647,000 excluding GST.
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