2022-23 Mobile Fund Guidelines
1. Mobile Fund overview
The Start Strong Capital Works Grant Program aims to improve access to preschool by creating additional preschool places in areas of need and demand across NSW.
The Mobile Fund supports mobile services to:
replace an existing vehicle to ensure continuity of service to approved mobile venues; and/or
- purchase an additional vehicle to expand service delivery to approved mobile venues.
Mobile Fund: refers to grant funding available under the Start Strong Capital Works Grant Program for the purchase of vehicles for mobile preschools. The Mobile Fund is separate from Department of Education Mobile Preschool Funding Program.
Applications for grant funding will be received from 6 February to 2 April 2023.
Purpose and objectives
The Mobile Fund is part of the department’s commitment to increase the number of preschool places in NSW in areas of need and demand.
The broad objective of the Mobile Fund is to increase the number of three, four and five year old children who can access at least 600 hours per year (or 15 hours per week) of quality preschool education. This is the recommended level of participation in a quality early childhood education program in the two years before school.
Maintenance or an increase in the number of days, or hours a mobile preschool operates at approved venues is an expected outcome of a Mobile Fund grant.
The Mobile Fund must also contribute to the following objectives:
maximise the number of preschool places available, where possible 600 hour places.
ensure the continued operation of the mobile preschool throughout the four-year compliance period.
support ongoing management of the mobile preschool in line with applicable regulatory requirements.
where possible, leverage funds from sources external to the department, including private finance, charitable donations and grants from other state and federal government agencies.
2. What can (and cannot) be funded?
There are items that can and cannot be included in project cost estimates in a Mobile Fund application. The items that cannot be funded by the grant must be covered by the service provider or other sources of funding. The examples provided in the table below are not exclusive.
The following table lists what the department will and won’t consider when reviewing applications.
new vehicles to support mobile preschool provision; and
modifications to ensure the new vehicle is fit for purpose and capable of transporting equipment to mobile preschool venues and of operating safely in varying weather conditions.
vehicles to be used to transport children
vehicles that will not be primarily used for the delivery of 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 mobile preschool program.
3. Who can apply?
To be eligible for funding applicants must meet each of the following:
be registered or incorporated in Australia;
be a not-for-profit organisation/association, or a local government entity;
operate a mobile preschool service in NSW as an Approved Provider with a valid Service Approval; and
- be funded by the department as a mobile preschool.
For-profit organisations and Mobile Preschools that are not funded under the Mobile Preschool Funding Program are not eligible to apply for Mobile grants.
Only applications from eligible applicants will progress to assessment against the assessment criteria.
Applicants are required to complete a detailed application against the assessment criteria as the basis for seeking final funding approval.
Applications must be submitted via SmartyGrants by an Authorised Officer.
An Authorised Officer must either appear as a Responsible Person on the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC) charity register for the organisation or be chosen based on other evidence of authority.
Applicants will be notified as soon as practicable following the assessment outcome. During the assessment process the department may request additional information from applicants. The department may, in its absolute discretion, seek information from other NSW Government agencies or other third parties (such as probity advisors) to assist with the assessment of applications.
The submission of an application does not guarantee funding. Applications for funding will be assessed on a case-by-case basis against the assessment criteria and in line with these guidelines and the overarching program objectives. The department may, in its absolute discretion, decline to provide funding or provide part funding.
Eligible applications will be competitively assessed against the assessment criteria outlined below.
Maintenance or increase in provision of preschool education services. Applicants need to demonstrate the maintenance or increase of the provision of preschool education to the communities they service, including 600 hour places.
Cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Applicants need to demonstrate how the project will create and nurture a culturally safe and responsive educational setting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and ECO staff.
Accessibility and Inclusion. The project will provide and/or improve the provision of a safe and appropriate educational setting for ‘ children with disability, children with additional needs, and children from low income families.
Capacity and capability for delivery. Applicants need to demonstrate readiness to purchase the new vehicle and acquit funds within 6 months of receiving a successful outcome letter.
Overall quality and completeness of the application. Applicants need to present a clear proposal and put forward a suitable solution to meet the policy objectives of the program.
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.
The department will review an applicant’s past performance and assess whether it is likely to have an impact on successful delivery of the proposed project. This will include considering whether the applicant has:
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;
completed projects funded by the department and whether the applicant has submitted all documentation required to acquit the grant funding, including regular monthly reporting and acquittal within the contracted time frame;
proposed an operator of the service with a record of delivering a quality preschool program, particularly in the same community or area as the project; and/or
- previously received grant funding for vehicles and the number of vehicles and the period of time and circumstances under which these were granted.
Poor performance against these factors may result in projects not being recommended for funding or funding withdrawal.
5. Funding conditions
Applicants must review the Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions and Funding Acknowledgement Guidelines before submitting an application.
These documents clarify the obligations for applicants that are successful in receiving funding under the Start Strong Capital Works Grant Program and are available on the department’s website.
All projects are expected to comply with the requirements of applicable national and state laws and regulations.
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 a minimum of 5% of the total project cost;
enter into a Funding Agreement with the department. Funding Agreements must be signed by an authorised officer in the applying organisation no later than four weeks after receipt;
submit an acquittal report and required supporting evidence for approval by the department upon completion of the project;
operate a mobile preschool service for at least 4 years from when the applicant takes delivery of the vehicle; and
acknowledge that no additional state government funding will be allocated to the proposed project, including where there are cost overruns, and if additional costs arise, they will be met by the applicant.
6. Project completion
For Mobile Fund projects, the Funding Agreement must be signed by an Authorised Officer or Authorised Officers in the applying organisation no later than four weeks after receipt of a successful Outcome Letter. The vehicle must be purchased and acquitted within 6 months of receiving a successful Outcome Letter.
7. Acquittal requirements
All successful applicants are required to complete the following requirements and submit an Acquittal Report to the department to acquit their funding. The Acquittal Report must be signed and dated by two authorised representatives and include the following information:
invoice for vehicle purchase; and
certificates of registration (in NSW) and insurance.
8. How to apply
Applications for the Mobile Fund will be received and assessed in one round from 6 February 2023.
Applications must be submitted via SmartyGrants by an authorised officer. Application forms can be accessed online at SmartyGrants.
Applicants must register 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 email@example.com. You can also find a guide and Frequently Asked Questions.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to download the sample application form from SmartyGrants and review the Mobile Fund Application Guide for further information and guidance on submitting an application.
All sections of the application must be completed and submitted via SmartyGrants. Changes can be made to an application any time until it is submitted.
9. Application checklist
a proposal and expected timeline, with evidence of engagement with relevant venues, communities etc. (where applicable).
confirmation of increased demand if the application is to purchase an additional vehicle.
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 two quotes obtained in the last 4 months.
confirmation of the number of days and hours of operation that the service will be maintaining or increasing at approved venues.
information on how many children attend each approved venue
a description and evidence detailing how the proposed project will create and nurture a culturally safe and responsive educational setting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and mobile preschool staff.
a description and evidence detailing how the proposed project will provide and/or improve the provision of an appropriate educational setting for children with disability, children with additional needs, and children from low-income families.
10. Contact details
For more information about the Start Strong Capital Works Grant Program please contact the Early Childhood Outcomes Directorate:
Ph. 1800 619 113 (Toll Free)