2021 Mobile Fund Guidelines

1. Mobile Fund overview

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

The Mobile Fund supports mobile services to replace existing vehicles to ensure continuity of service delivery.

The Mobile Fund is separate from Department of Education operational funding for mobile preschools.

Applications for this grant are now closed for 2021/2022.

1.1 Purpose and objectives

The Fund is part of the Start Strong Capital Works Grant Program commitment to increase the number of community preschool places in NSW in areas of need and demand.

Maintaining the number of venues, days, or hours a mobile service operates is an expected outcome of a Mobile grant.

Mobile grants must also contribute to the following objectives:

  • Maximise the number of community preschool places available.
  • Ensure the continued operation of the service to deliver community preschool places throughout the four-year compliance period.
  • Support ongoing management of the service in line with applicable regulatory requirements.

1.2 Project completion

Mobile grants must be completed and acquitted within 6 months of the funding agreement being executed. Funding agreements must be signed by an authorised officer in the applying organisation no later than four weeks after receipt.

If you have concerns about these timeframes, please contact the Capital Programs Team on capital.works@det.nsw.edu.au or 1800 619 113 prior to submitting your application, to discuss the timeline of your project. Adjustments to this timeline may be considered where there is evidence of exceptional circumstances. If you don’t think the project will be able to be delivered in this time, you may wish to apply at a later date.

2. What can (and cannot) be funded

There are items that you can and cannot include in project cost estimates in your Mobile Fund application. The following table lists what the Department will and won’t consider when reviewing applications.

  • new vehicles to support mobile preschool provision
  • used vehicles
  • vehicles to be used to transport children
  • vehicles that will not be primarily used for preschool provision
  • administration or operational costs
  • toys, portable equipment and consumables
  • vehicles used for staff where these are not primarily associated with the delivery of a preschool program

3. Who can apply?

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;
  • operate an existing mobile preschool service as an Approved Provider with a valid Service Approval; and
  • be funded by the NSW Department of Education as a mobile preschool.

For-profit organisations cannot apply for Mobile grants.

For those applicants that meet the above eligibility requirements, their applications will progress to assessment against the assessment criteria described below.

4. Assessment

Applicants must complete a detailed application that meets all requirements as the basis for seeking funding approval.

Applications will be competitively assessed against the assessment criteria outlined below.

Assessment criteria

Applications will be competitively assessed according to the following selection criteria, the:

  1. Maintenance of preschool education services. Applicants need to demonstrate the maintenance of preschool education to the communities they service as a result of the proposed project.
  2. Accessibility and Inclusion. The project will provide and/or improve the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for equity children (Aboriginal children, children with disability or additional need, and children from low income families).
  3. Capacity and capability for delivery. Applicants need to demonstrate readiness to purchase the new vehicle and acquit funds within 6 months of the funding agreement being executed.
  4. Overall quality and completeness of the application. Applicants need to present a clear proposal and put forward a suitable solution to meet the objectives of the program.
  5. Value for money. The cost of the project is within the agreed benchmarks for the funding category and any other attenuating factors that may impact the cost of the project have been considered.

Past performance

We will review your past performance and assess whether it is likely to have an impact on successful delivery of your project. This will include considering whether you have:

  • taken appropriate steps to deliver previous projects funded through the Start Strong Capital Works Grant Program within appropriate timeframes;
  • overdue projects funded by the Department and whether extensions have been requested and approved; and/or
  • completed projects funded by the Department and whether you have submitted all documentation required to acquit the grant funding, including regular monthly reporting and acquittal within the contracted time frame.

Poor performance against these factors may result in projects not being recommended for funding or funding withdrawal.

5. Funding conditions

Organisations that receive a grant must:

  • agree to the requirements outlined in these guidelines. Failure to do so may result in funding being withheld or an offer of funding being withdrawn;
  • contribute at least 5% of the total project cost;
  • enter into a Funding Agreement with the Department;
  • submit an acquittal report and required supporting evidence for approval by the Department upon completion of the project; and
  • agree that no additional State funding will be allocated to the proposed project and if additional costs arise, they must be met by the applicant.

Mobile services funded through this grant must:

  • be operated by an organisation that is approved to provide early childhood education services in NSW;
  • offer a mobile preschool service with a valid service approval;
  • operate a mobile preschool service for at least four years from when the project is completed; and
  • comply with the requirements of applicable national and state laws and regulations.

Mobile vehicles purchased must also be:

  • used primarily to deliver preschool education to approved mobile preschool venues;
  • fit for purpose and capable of transporting equipment to mobile venues and of operating safely in varying weather conditions; and
  • be registered in NSW.

To remain eligible for funding, you should not enter into a contract or purchase the vehicle proposed in your application before we inform you of the application outcome, and before executing a Funding Agreement.

Please review the Funding Acknowledgement Guidelines and the Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions (PDF, 294KB) before submitting your application.

These documents will clarify your obligations if you succeed in receiving Capital Works Program funding and are available on the Department’s website.

6. Acquittal requirements

All successful applicants are required to submit an Acquittal Report to the Department to acquit their funding. The Acquittal Report must be signed and dated by two authorised representatives and must include the:

  • Invoice for vehicle purchase; and
  • Certificate of insurance.

7. How to apply

Funding requests are now closed for 2021/2022..

Applications must be submitted via SmartyGrants by an authorised officer. The submission of an application that meets the eligibility criteria does not guarantee funding.

Application forms can be accessed online via SmartyGrants.

Applicants must be registered to use the SmartyGrants application system. Registration is a free and straightforward process.

For assistance with the online application system, please contact the Smarty Grants Support Desk by phone on (03) 9320 6888 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday or email service@smartygrants.com.au. You can also find here a guide and Frequently Asked Questions.

It is strongly recommended that you download the sample application form from SmartyGrants and the Application Guide provided on our website as soon as possible so that you become familiar with the information required.

All sections must be completed, and the application form submitted to be considered for funding. Changes can be made to an application any time until it is submitted.

8. Application checklist

Applicants will be required to provide:

  • a project proposal detailing how the vehicle will support continuity of service delivery and a timeline for delivery.
  • a description of the proposed vehicle make/model and the services the vehicle will be used for.
  • a budget, including any additional sources of funding for the proposal.
  • at least 2 quotes obtained in the last 6 months. Applicants should contact the Department if they are unable to obtain 2 quotes. In exceptional circumstances this requirement may be waived.
  • confirmation of the number of venues, days and hours of operation that the service will be maintaining.
  • explanation of how the grant will provide and/or improve the provision of a culturally safe, accessible and inclusive educational setting for equity children (Aboriginal children, children with disability or additional need, and children from low income families).

Applicants have a right to request detailed feedback on their Application.

Applicants who have complaints about any aspect of the application and assessment process may submit their issue in writing at: capital.works@det.nsw.edu.au.

9. Contact details

For more information about the Start Strong Capital Works Grant Program please contact the Early Childhood Education Programs Directorate:

Ph. 1800 619 113

Email: capital.works@det.nsw.edu.au


  • Early childhood education

Business Unit:

  • Early Childhood Outcomes
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