Support preparing a grant application
The department has listened to feedback from preschool providers requesting greater support to scope and deliver capital works projects. A range of supports are available to assist eligible organisations to prepare a grant application.
The following videos have been developed by department staff and industry experts to cover a range of key topics relevant to the application process and the delivery of a capital works project.
Welcome to this webinar, Scoping, Planning and Submitting a Quality Application.
This webinar is brought to you by the Department of Education by CCSA and its partners Thomson Adsett and QS1.
We wish to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land. We honour and respect Aboriginal elders past, present and emerging and we thank all Aboriginal people for their custodianship of this land.
CCSA is a non-profit, non-government peak organisation providing comprehensive information resources and support to early childhood education and care services in governance, management, compliance, business support and workplace relations. For over 50 years, CCSA has been supporting early childhood services. We work with both private and community managed models. Our membership includes preschools, long day care, OOSH, mobile services, occasional care, family day care, early intervention, vacation care and Aboriginal children's services.
CCSA does not provide financial or legal advice. This presentation is general in nature and is intended to provide information to assist your decision making.
This presentation addresses the following; developing your proposal, elements of a quality application, addressing the six assessment criteria, need and demand and evidence of unencumbered space. Evidence of creation of a culturally safe space. Evidence of a safe and appropriate educational setting for vulnerable children. Demonstrating readiness and capability to deliver the project. How to achieve value for money and other financial considerations.
Presenting a well-developed proposal.
Developing your proposal. Any strategic decision, including to apply for a Capital Works Grant, should be first discussed as a governing body. First and foremost, is your organisation committed to and have the capacity for managing a capital works project, if you are awarded a grant. Even with a project manager, the investment of time will be considerable on the part of your organisation.
Do you meet the eligibility requirements for a capital grant? Will your project create more places? For major and minor capital works you must increase licensed places per day. If not, do not expend your valuable time in applying for a capital works grant. You may decide to proceed with your project, but you will need to find alternative sources of funding.
Please note if you are applying for Crisis Capital Funding, the eligibility criteria for the crisis fund does not require an increase in preschool places, but places must be maintained. Whether you will be increasing or maintaining your license places will depend on the crisis circumstances and the particulars of the project. Also, the program does not fund works that are maintenance related, are for aesthetic purpose only, are required to meet regulatory and compliance standards, are meant to improve quality learning environments only, without an increase in preschool places per day. As a governing body also discuss how to include an increase in preschool places in your business planning. For example, have you considered how you will staff the additional places? Is there a need and demand for preschool places in your community? Let's take a look at each of these strategic planning steps a little bit closer.
A strategic decision is not made in isolation. The committee or board need to consider several factors when deciding on a capital project. For example, how does your mission statement address accessibility and inclusion? Do you have a disability inclusion statement included in your mission statement? How do you address cultural safety specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children? Is there evidence for demand such as your waitlist history or the closure of another service provider in your community?
When documenting your strategic plan include document evidence for demand and need for the project. For example, demographic analysis, enrolment history data and projections. Known changes to the community profile, including housing developments. Changes to major employers in the community. Changes to current lease arrangements. Building reports detailing the need for major repairs. Include in your strategic plan a risk management plan specifically addressing the risk of inaction. Also include a timeline for each action and completion of the Capital Works Project and who will be responsible for each step.
The next stage is to begin preliminary preparations. Preparation of a scope of works as this scoping document will inform the design and function requirements for your project. We will talk more about scope of works later. You may also undertake research to determine local planning restrictions and implications. For example, by requesting a section 10.7 certificate. Section 10.7 certificates, previously known as Section 149 certificates also recognised as zoning certificates are legal document issued by New South Wales councils under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act of 1979. They contain information about how a property may be used and restrictions on development that may apply. Meet with possible partner organisations to establish collaborative connections. For example, other community organizations, local council or the local school. Draft budget established, considering all possible sources of income. This will be subject to change from this early version but provides a ballpark figure for the planning considerations. Engage professionals to undertake the drafting of concept plans. Also begin to consider what other reports will be required, such as, heritage reports, soil and contaminant testing, acoustic reports, etc. These reports all add cost to your project budget and you must allow for these costs when considering the overall cost of your project.
When you have concept plans finalised, then further progress will look like; collaboration with design professionals to finalise design, including calculations of unencumbered space as evidence and confirmation of the number of spaces maintained or increased. The accurate calculation of unencumbered space is the cornerstone of your application. Complete set of DA documents prepared. Although this is the next step in developing your project, this is not strictly necessary to have a complete set of documents prior to submitting this funding application.
Keep in mind that the more complete your preparations in this area, the more accurate your quotes and cost estimates will be, which in turn mitigates the financial risk to successful completion of your project. Engage Quantity Surveyor to prepare project costings. Source quotes from building professionals. Make any necessary adjustments to the design to achieve cost targets. Submit development application. Again, this is not necessary prior to applying for a Capital Works Grant but would be regarded favourably. DA approval obtained prior to approval of the Capital Works Grant is encouraged but not required. But you will have to demonstrate you meet the requirements to obtain DA and are ready to submit a DA application shortly, if successful.
Your application for Capital Works funding must meet the assessment criteria.
The six assessment criteria are increase in the provision of preschool education services in the areas of need and growing demand as a result of the proposed Capital Works Project. Areas with a shortfall in community preschool places will be prioritised. Applicants must provide evidence that demonstrates the increase in preschool places resulting from their proposed capital works project. In the case of crisis fund applicants, the maintenance and or increase of preschool licensed places. Cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Applicants must 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 ECE staff.
Accessibility and inclusion. The 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. Capacity and capability for delivery. Applicants must demonstrate readiness to proceed with the project and capability to deliver their capital works with acceptable and tolerable risks. Overall quality and completeness of the application. Applicants need to present a well-developed and comprehensive proposal and put forward a suitable solution to meet the objectives of the program.
Value for money. The cost of the project must be within the agreed benchmarks for the funding category and any other factors that may impact the cost of the project have been considered.
Need and demand refers to the current shortage in preschool places. It factors in the current supply of available preschool places and the projection of future demand for preschool places. The department will consider its own data on need and demand. However, you may also submit evidence to support your application. This could include an overview of demand for preschool places, including a waiting list for the service and community feedback.
Evidence of significant growth in the number of children and families in the area due to population growth, new industries or residential development. Evidence of an identified shortage of preschool places in the area. Other significant factors that indicate a new demand or shortage in the local area. For example, the closure of other early childhood services delivering preschool programs. Refer to the 2022 major capital fund program guidelines and 2022 Application Support Guidelines for a list of areas identified by the Department with a shortfall in community preschool places.
Applicants in these identified areas will be prioritised, but please know that if you are not from one of these areas, you are still encouraged to submit an application if you meet the requirements, but be sure to submit strong evidence to substantiate need and demand. Please note, for crisis applicants, only those crisis applicants intending to increase places or open a new service, need to provide evidence of need and demand. For further guidance, refer to the application guides on the department's website. There are separate guidelines available for crisis application and for the major and minor applications. Please watch the Architectural Plans and Regulatory Compliance Webinar for more information to guide you through the documents and plans you will need. Your application requires a set of professionally prepared architectural plans, that is, prepared by a licensed building practitioner as evidence to substantiate the number of preschool places that will be created or maintained by the proposed Capital Works Project.
Before engaging any of these professionals, you must check their registration or accreditation with the appropriate body. Refer to the Department of Education website for links to these accreditation bodies. Architects. Landscape architects. Surveyors. Building Designers. Please see all those associated websites. The calculation of unencumbered space by a licensed building practitioner is a critical requirement for the success of your application.
It provides reassurance on the proposed increase or maintenance of places, which is instrumental in showing your application meets the objectives of the fund. It is also considered for assessing value for money. Remember, for the purposes of the grant, we are always talking about per day places, not 600 hour places. Again, please watch the Architectural Plans and Regulatory Compliance Webinar for more information. As previously stated, this space must be calculated by your licensed building practitioner. It can be useful to engage a professional who has experience in designing early childhood education and care services as they have a deeper understanding of the childcare planning guidelines and the definition of unencumbered space. For example, knowing which areas are excluded from the unencumbered space calculation. It is a common mistake to miscalculate the number of additional places and therefore decrease the value for money and application success. Grants are competitively assessed and awarded, taking into consideration the places created or maintained. If the preschool is unable to deliver the expected number of preschool places per day with the grant, this will trigger a noncompliance or risk incident that has to be addressed by the department and the preschool and can have a number of consequences for both parties, including financial consequences and project delays.
Assessment Criteria two. Cultural Safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children. Applicants must 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 staff. Some questions to ask yourselves to guide your thinking may be how will your project create and nurture a culturally safe and responsive educational setting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and staff? Does your project have the support and connections with local Aboriginal communities? How have you collaborated with the local Aboriginal community to ensure there is connection between community and the project outcomes?
Assessment Criteria three. Accessibility and inclusion. The 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. Some examples of evidence may be letters from allied health organisations or other evidence of collaboration with other aligned community organisations.
Assessment Criteria four is a demonstrated readiness to proceed with the project and capability to deliver the capital works with acceptable and tolerable risks.
Understanding and mitigating risk in your project is such an important part of making your project a success that we have dedicated an entire webinar to this topic. Please ensure you also watch Project Risk Management. All risk can be mitigated, but you must first be realistic about the risks to your project. Main areas of risk to consider are contractor, health and safety, financial, legal, project, environmental and fire. We are not going to delve deeper into this here. Again, we remind you to watch the webinar Project Risk Management.
Let's look at a scope of works in more detail. Developing your scope of works is a key element of becoming ready and capable of delivering the capital works with acceptable and tolerable risks. In simplest terms, a scope of work is the contracted agreement between the client and the contractor for what work will be completed. The scope of works should have a detailed breakdown of each activity required across the project to completion.
An agreed scope of work ensures clarity of the work required, supports accurate costings and efficient planning, avoids mistakes and sets your project up for success. A detailed scope of work ensures you will have the end product that you have envisioned. Drafting a scope of works will be a collaborative approach between you, the client and your project manager, or sometimes the architect might be involved in this process. Ensure the document reflects your expectations and ask questions if you are not sure of any points in the document. So what should be included in a scope of works? Definitions such as acronyms, technical terms and so on. For most of you, embarking on a commercial building project will be a new experience with many unfamiliar terms. So make a list and keep adding to it as necessary. This will help your understanding of what the various construction professionals are talking about. Brief overview of the project. What will this project achieve? For example, a new purpose built preschool building licensed for 45 children per day. The project will create a welcoming and safe space for the high number of vulnerable children and families in our community. On completion, a total of 25 staff will be on site.
Each room will feature a seamless flow to the outdoor area to create access for children as they choose. Quiet withdrawing areas for children will be provided in each room in addition to quiet spaces in outdoor areas. The finishes will utilise natural materials and finishes to complement our bushland surroundings. Staff areas will include both individual workspaces and communal spaces to support the delivery of high quality programs and the wellbeing of staff.
Roles and responsibilities. Who will be responsible for each element of the project? Having this clearly documented saves confusion and delays. A description of what will be delivered on completion of the project. A description of specific tasks. Schedule and timeline. This will be further detailed in your project timeline or Gantt chart. Milestones and deliverables. Please note that if your project is to be completed in stages, the proposed increase in places funded by the capital works must be a direct result of the stages funded by the grant and the applicant must be able to obtain service approval and start operating at the conclusion of the project funded by the grant that is prior to any further stages, not funded by the grant occurring. Description of how the project will be managed. Who will be responsible for the management of the project and ensuring it will stay on track? Reporting requirements. How often does builder report? Who does builder report to? You may like to include in the project an organisational chart. Specific exclusion. What is not included? For example, you may be building a new room, but not the corresponding outdoor area, which will be a later project.
Another element of your application which relates to assessment criteria 4, demonstrating your readiness and capability to proceed with the project, is your work plan or project timeline. This is usually in the form of a Gantt chart. In its simplest form, a Gantt chart is a chart showing when the various elements of a project will be completed. It is laid out across time to show overlapping and interdependent tasks and milestones. For a small project a work plan like this one may be sufficient to guide the project through to completion.
Typically, project plans are presented in the form of Gantt charts. This example is a simple chart that shows the major milestones of a project. To achieve these milestones requires many subtasks that should also be detailed and documented. We will look at a more detailed Gantt chart in the next slide. An area of risk to be aware of is the potential delay in getting your project through the development application process.
Delays early in the project will have knock on effects throughout the rest of the project, impacting costs and procurement of trades and professionals. As you tender for building contractors, you may find that the cost exceeds your budget. This may mean the scope of work has to be reviewed and the architectural plans reworked. The impact of wet weather, supply chain delays and scarcity of trades are common causes of delays to projects impacting costs and continuity of business.
This is a typical detailed project plan using a Gantt chart. This image has been cropped but continues across the page to the planned completion date of September 2023. Each task from the pre-designed stage to completion of the construction is listed with its allotted time, so the project manager and each sub trade can keep to schedule and meet key milestones.
Further evidence required in your application to show how capacity and capability for delivery of the project, is to provide evidence that you have discussed the security instrument requirement as a precondition for funding with all relevant parties, (your committee, landlord, lessor or SINSW as applicable. The Department is required to register a security instrument for major capital and crisis grants.
This is a mandatory requirement for high value grants to ensure that the department's investment and the delivery of additional preschool places are secured for a ten year period, post project completion. A security instrument is a form of guarantee that is in place for a period of ten years from the date the Capital Works Project is completed. It provides security to the department against the value of the grant should the grantee in any way fail to complete the Capital Works Project or meet the terms and conditions of the funding agreement.
The department's security preference is a mortgage for own premises or a mortgage of lease for leased premises. The department may propose an alternate security instrument, where the preferred security instrument is not available. The department will work with successful applicants to agree on the appropriate security instrument for the grant.
Prior to submitting your application, you must have a secured site. Major and crisis applicants will have to demonstrate access to the site for ten years after the completion of the works with ownership of the land or a ten year lease. If you have a lease for a shorter tenure, you can still apply and you will need to explain how you will meet the ten year requirement for example, providing the existing lease together with a letter from the landlord noting you will be given a renewal. If the works are on a public school site, you must hold an existing license to operate prior to applying and have discussed your plans with schools infrastructure New South Wales. For minor fund applicants, the requirement is to have access to the site for five years and for mobile applicants the requirement is to continue delivering preschool services to their approved venues for four years.
We are going to talk about assessment criteria six, which is value for money before coming back to criteria five. How will you improve or achieve value for money? You must contribute at least 5% of the total project cost exclusive of GST. This is the provider contribution. Please note crisis applications are not required to meet the 5% contribution requirement, but again, if you can contribute it will give greater value for money.
This is the minimum required, but the more you contribute, the better the value for money for your capital works application. While not mandatory, you are encouraged to consider other funding sources. In addition to the grant and the provider contribution. Provider contributions above 5% have a positive impact on the value for money calculation for your project and will make your application more competitive.
The provider contribution can be comprised of preschool funds and or loans and other grants. You will be required to confirm and provide evidence of the availability of these funds, including any loans. Other sources of funding may include any donations from private or public organisations, in-kind contributions, fundraising, loans, other grants from state, federal or local government or benevolent societies.
In-kind services, for example, the offer of free engineering services, should be listed on your budget, but should be quantified as $0. For all other contribution types, the amount contributed must be specified. If you consider other funding sources, it is ideal these are confirmed at the time of submitting your application. If they are not confirmed, you will need to provide a timeline of when you expect to have an outcome and consider these timeframes to ensure the accuracy of your budget. For example, if you will not have an outcome on another funding application until 2023, make sure you considered costings as at that date.
Think about where to find additional sources of funding and actively pursue these also. Two common sources for community managed ECEC services are the Foundation for Rural Regional Renewal and the Clubs New South Wales Grants. Forming close connections and networking with other organisations can help you stay connected and aware of funding opportunities. An ECECservice recently shared with me that through their networks they learnt of an opportunity and were successful to secure funding of $250,000 to complete a new learning area through a grant targeting the growth of regional areas.
Commonwealth grants such as the Building Better Regions Fund and Regional Development Australia are other opportunities to investigate. Your local government from time to time may offer funding opportunities through community development grants. Building societies and major banks and other philanthropic organisations also, from time to time, offer grants for community building projects. In addition to your networking sources, you may also like to subscribe to a fee for grant finder service.
If you are looking for a low cost loan for your project, then Sefa may be able to help. Sefa was established as a public benevolent institution in 2011 to boost the resources available for social enterprises supporting disadvantaged communities across Australia. They offer tailored financial solutions to purpose driven organisations in Australia and lend to for profit, not for profits and charities.
Current clients include crisis accommodation, disability services, affordable housing, community enterprises, indigenous enterprises and education bodies. In addition to loans, Sefa also offer fee based investment readiness and capability building services to maximize your chances of securing the funding your project needs to thrive. They'll work with you to develop your financial model, funding structures and impact measurement framework. Take a look at their website to see a recent example of the successful completion of Jarjum preschool at Lismore, which utilised the support of Sefa.
We will touch quickly on budgets here, but please also watch the webinar; Costings, Quotes, Budgets and the Role of the Quantity Surveyor, where we explore this in much greater depth. It is critical that you provide quotes obtained within the last four months with your application. Request a long validity date from your contractors, or by the time you begin your project or even submit your application all of your budget work will be void. Valid quotes are vital as you prepare your budget for the project.
Another reminder to please watch the webinar Costings, Quotes, Budgets and the Role of the Quantity Surveyor, for detailed information. Please ensure that the total project cost factors in all expenses, including professional and project management fees, legal fees, contingency and any other administrative costs related to the project. For Capital Works Projects, it is highly recommended that you include contingency costs in your budget.
Contingency costs are any unexpected expenses, inflation or project overruns. Approved funded providers are responsible for these costs in accordance with the funding agreement terms and conditions. Total project expenses should be equal to the total project income, including the grant amount, provider contribution and any other sources of funding. Your balance should be zero. If it's not, you need to go back and make corrections to reach a zero balance.
If your expenditure is more than your income, your project will fail before it even begins. And if your income is more than your expenditure, then you will need to reduce the amount you are requesting from your Capital Works Grant. This graphic is for illustration purposes only. Please watch the Budget, Costings and the Role of the Quantity Surveyor webinar for detailed information on what to include in your project budget. You must also provide evidence of your project income. This could be...
There are some things which cannot be funded by the Capital Works grant. These are; site acquisition and lease costs, routine or cyclical maintenance works, spaces not used primarily for the delivery of a preschool education program. For example, rooms for community or health services or rooms outdoor areas for the provision of care for nursery or toddler age groups.
Purchase of cars, busses and other vehicles. Ongoing administration or operational costs. Staff salaries and training. Toys. Portable equipment and consumables. Cosmetic upgrades that do not increase capacity. Additional funding due to project cost overruns. Playground equipment. Unless strictly required for the purpose of obtaining service approval. Quality improvements and upgrades that do not lead to an increase in preschool places or are not required for the purpose of obtaining service approval
the target number of places. If your project includes any of these elements that are not eligible for Capital Grant Funding, your budget must reflect how these will be funded. For example, your design includes a room which will be used primarily for visiting allied health professionals. Your project budget must indicate that this portion will be funded from other sources. For long daycare services the grant can only fund any places or indoor/outdoor rooms allocated exclusively for the education of preschool aged children enrolled in a preschool program. Rooms or spaces used for toddlers or nursery cannot be funded.
Overall quality and completeness of the application. Applicants need to present a well-developed proposal and comprehensive proposal and put forward a suitable solution to meet the objectives of the program.
Developing a complete and comprehensive proposal takes time. An investment of time in the early stages of your project planning is required to fully develop a proposal which has the best chance of success, both from a funding perspective and for successful project completion.
When you believe you have a project to advance, carefully check all of your documentation to ensure, one, it is accurate and current and, two, that it is complete. Self-check your documents against the following list, which is provided by the Department in the program guidelines. Evidence of a provider approval or copy of an application to the regulatory authority. A detailed project plan and risk assessment for the project and expected timeline. A project description including concept building design, plans and final scope of works. An itemised project budget, including the applicant's contribution of a minimum of 5% of the total project cost and additional sources of funding for the project, if any. At least two quotes obtained in the past four months that reflect the final design of the Capital Works Project.
Applicants should contact the Department if they are unable to obtain two quotes. In exceptional circumstances, this requirement may be waived. Confirmation of the number of preschool places that will be created with the final design of the Capital Works Project. A description and evidence demonstrating how the number of places to be increased has been estimated inline with regulatory requirements, e.g. floor plans, referencing floor plans, ratios. 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 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 a disability, children with additional needs and children from low income families. Evidence of ability to proceed with the proposed project on the site, including but not limited to, evidence the applicant owns the site or has formal lease or alternate leasing agreements with the owner of the site for a minimum ten year period.
Evidence the applicant has discussed the security instrument requirement as a precondition for funding with all relevant parties. Evidence the applicant has support from all affected stakeholders and delivery partners; your landlord, council, committee board, other funding bodies, etc. Information and evidence of other sources of funding if any and proof of funds for your contribution. Evidence that there is need and demand in your area.
Please also watch the other webinars in this series. Each offers a valuable resource to support you in your application process and in developing a successful project. These are Risk Management in Construction Projects, Scoping, Planning and Submitting a Quality Application, Architectural Plans and Regulatory Requirements.
For further information and support, go to the Department of Education's website, where you will find program guidelines, frequently asked questions and useful information and links to assist you with your application. You can also contact Community Connections Solutions Australia on 1800 991 602.
Application support for the Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program, Architectural Plans and Regulatory Compliance. We would like to pay respect to the traditional owners and custodians of the land we are gathering on today. We honour and respect Aboriginal elders past, present and emerging and those with us today. We thank all Aboriginal people for their custodianship of the culture and heritage of this land.
This webinar is funded by the Department of Education and developed and presented by Community Connections Solutions Australia and Partners Architects Thomson Adsett and Quantity Surveyors QS1. This series of webinars are presented by CCSA and partners Thomson Adsett and QS1. CCSA is a non-profit, non-government peak organisation providing comprehensive information, resources and support to early childhood education and care.
ECEC services and governance, management, compliance, business support and workplace relations. For over 50 years, CCSA has been supporting early childhood services. We work with both private and community managed models. Our membership includes preschools, long daycare, OOSH, mobile services, occasional care, family day care, early intervention, vacation care and Aboriginal children's services. Thomson Adsett is a leading architecture and interior design firm with studios throughout Australia.
Across 50 years of practice. Thomson Adsett has built a diverse portfolio of projects encompassing a variety of sectors. Thomson Adsett is providing expert advice to CCSA, enabling the Department of Education to assess your funding application. CCSA does not provide financial or legal advice. This presentation is general in nature and is intended to provide information to assist your decision making.
This session takes into consideration the planning and design guidelines as outlined under numerous legislative instruments. The requirements of a set of quality architectural drawings will be covered in detail with all the relevant calculations explained. It will also touch on some additional documents or reports that may assist in your funding. One of the key regulatory instruments that should be constantly referred to is the New South Wales Government Childcare Planning Guideline, which establishes the assessment framework to deliver consistent planning outcomes and quality childcare services.
The Education and Care Services National Regulations or the ECSNR and is referred to throughout this document. Local environmental plans or LEPs and development control plans or DCPs, guide planning decisions for your local government area and contain zoning and development controls that your application should be designed in accordance with. The State Environmental Planning Policy determines that a consent authority must take into consideration the New South Wales Planning Guideline when assessing a development application for a child care facility.
The Building Code of Australia, or BCA, contains the technical provisions for the design, construction and performance of buildings, integral to architectural practice. In order to design a high quality proposal. These considerations, which are further elaborated in the child care planning guideline, provide guidance to applicants as a starting point in the process. These include the site suitability and compatibility for the placement of a childcare centre, land zoning and access to transport.
Existing land use and health and safety hazards must be evaluated when determining the chosen site. The local character and streetscape of the site must be understood in order to create a well-designed and integrated childcare service. Public domain interface is a transition area between a childcare service and the street, and it should contribute to the quality and character of the street.
Landscaping should integrate with building design and contribute to the landscape character of the neighbourhood. Building orientation and design is concerned with the position of the buildings and its internal spaces in relation to the site, the street, neighbouring buildings and factors such as the sun and wind. The building must be accessible by all potential uses, in accordance with all relevant legislation, such as linking the site with wheelchair accessible ramps.
Visual and acoustic privacy must be considered when defining a building site, ensuring there is no over looking into adjacent properties and reducing the sound transmission between the inside and outside of the building. Traffic, parking and circulation considerations include site access from the public road to site and safe, as well as pedestrian access to site. For funding purposes a quality application should include a set of professionally prepared architectural drawings prepared by a licensed building practitioner and should contain but not be limited to this list of contents.
This includes a title block on all drawings, survey time prepared by a certified surveyor, existing site plan. Demolition Plan. Site Plan. Floor Plan. Roof Plan elevations and a landscape plan. These should include area calculations, parking calculations, secure zones of supervision and design should be engaged with DDA considerations. By providing this information, it will enable the application to be compared against the relevant regulations outlined in the childcare planning guideline and ensure a greater architectural understanding of the project.
It will guarantee the application is assessed accordingly and will provide the best chance at a successful outcome. It is imperative a title block is included on every architectural drawing. A title block is defined as a template for a drawing sheet, generally including a page border and information about the project design firm or licensed building practitioner, name, address and logo.
Title blocks must contain a north point, providing orientation on plan drawings, a scale bar project, name and address date revision number and must contain the name of the licensed building practitioner that prepared the set of documents. The name of the entity should be noted if it is being provided by an entity. The site survey is crucial in an architectural proposal to ensure site levels, boundaries and tree locations are determined prior to planning.
This will ensure greater accuracy of design. It must be prepared by a certified surveyor. A site survey must show property boundaries, physical features, trees, spot levels, using the Australian height datum or AHD, contours, easements, external pits, stormwater and power poles and cables. An existing site plan is required when modifications are being made to the existing building structures on site.
Existing structures must be shown in this plan, including their function and date of construction if relevant. Demolition plans graphically communicate what parts of an existing building are being demolished or retained. The demolished areas should be clearly indicated in red, as shown in the example with relevant labels. A legend must be provided as shown. The outline of the surrounding buildings and property boundaries are also useful for providing context.
The Quality Site Plan is essential for providing an overall scope of the project, depicting the site's relationship to context and its building mass on site. The building's relationship to any landscaping should also be visible on a site plan. Property boundaries and site information to be taken from the survey plans must be prepared by a certified surveyor. Street names must be labelled with building entry points, identified. Fences and their heights must also be identified.
Parking must be clearly marked on plan and total site area in square metres must be labelled. Floorplans are one of the most essential components of a drawing set and should clearly show the interior layout of the proposed building to scale. The context should include the site boundaries and any direct neighbouring structures. Room names are essential and colour coding these zones is an effective method to clearly mark the different functions of these, as well as their area in square metres.
Door swings are also required to be shown. The proposed main entry should be clearly captured on plan, and this should be designed with consideration of clauses C 15 and C 16 of the childcare planning guideline that outline the importance of an accessible entry that faces a street frontage, is limited to one secure point and easily monitored through surveillance.
Roof plans are required to show the roof profile of the proposed development, indicating roof falls and the roofing material. Verandas or pergolas adjoining to the roof should also be shown on the roof plan. Clause 3.3 of the childcare planning guideline includes considerations for the roof design, which should contribute to the streetscape skyline and can reduce and refine overall building bulk. Elevations are required in an architectural drawing set to display building facade details and articulation, the overall appearance of the building from the street and to adjoining buildings, the location of windows and doors must be present on elevations as well as the openings clearly indicated. Clause 4.4 of the childcare planning guideline suggests the importance of window locations when considering access to natural lighting, whilst also maintaining privacy clause 3.2 addresses a local character should be considered when designing. This may influence facades, architectural form and roof design, which are seen on elevations. Materials and finishes must be noted on elevations. A landscape plan is required in the architectural drawing set to support the outdoor area calculations. Clause 4.10 of the childcare planning guideline states that outdoor space should be designed to facilitate the development of cognitive and physical skills, provide opportunities for social interaction, and provide an overall stimulating outdoor environment.
On plan. clear color coding with a legend and labels is an effective way to communicate different ground finishes, show landscaping and any different playing zones in the plan. Trees must also be shown in the plan. Clause 4.12 of the Childcare Planning Guidelines states that any outdoor space used by children must be enclosed by a fence that is of a height and design that children preschool age or under cannot go through, over or under it.
The minimum height, two side rear and boundary fence is 1.8 meters. For an outdoor internal fence, the minimum height is 1.2 meters high. These figures may vary depending on council regulations, so verifying this with your local planning controls is critical. Please note that if the site is co-located with another service such as a church or community center, regulatory requirements for service approval must be met, with a clearly delineated fence boundary around the childcare centre and its own entrance.
The importance of shading over outdoor play areas is outlined in clause 4.11 of the childcare planning guideline. It is recommended that as a minimum, indicative shading structures should be shown on landscape drawings. The shade structures should be evenly distributed using natural shade where possible. The retention of existing trees is favourable to providing the natural shade. All shade structures should be shown on landscape plans or floor plans.
Area calculations are based upon the square metres of unencumbered space and must be included in floorplans. Room labels that identify their function must be clearly shown. It is fundamental that the methodology of area calculation for unencumbered space is consistent, as defined in the childcare planning guideline. Clause. 4.1 of the guideline states that every child being educated and cared for within the facility must have a minimum of 3.25 metres squared per child of unencumbered indoor space.
The shading in the example plan helps clearly identify spaces that are included and excluded in unencumbered space. Clause 4.1 of the childcare planning guideline defines unencumbered space as spaces that are usable, secure and unobstructed and available for children's use. This includes spaces that are indoor play spaces or activity rooms and are always available to children, are enclosed and secure and always permit suitable supervision.
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Unencumbered space can also be understood by eliminating what is not included. These are spaces such as passageways and circulation, toilet and hygiene facilities, including nappy changing rooms, cot rooms, storage rooms, kitchen and staff rooms, laundry facilities, and any other space deemed unsuitable for children. Covered outdoor learning areas are not permissible to increase unencumbered space. Verandas are sometimes suitable if they meet with the regulations outlined in the childcare guideline.
Clause 4.2 of the childcare planning guideline outlines the laundry requirements of the childcare centre. It is recommended that there is an internal laundry or at least some access or arrangements to a laundry where soiled clothing, nappies and linen can be dealt with. Where an external laundry service is used. Storage and collection points for soiled items should be in an area with separate external access.
The type of laundry facilities must be appropriate to the age of children, accommodated and does not count as unencumbered space. Included in clause 4.1 of the childcare guideline is storage area requirements. This state storage areas, including joinery units, are not to be included in the calculation of unencumbered indoor space. The storage requirements state that there must be a minimum of 0.3 cubic metres per child of external storage space and a minimum of 0.2 cubic metres per child of internal storage space.
It is critical that accurate area calculations are provided as a grant can only fund the spaces that are used exclusively for the delivery of preschool education for preschool aged children. Any spaces used for other purposes such as health, community services or care of toddlers and babies cannot be funded. The portion of the build allocated to these services should be identified, with its associated costs and another funding source nominated.
The grant can fund spaces that are required for the purposes of obtaining service approval to the target number of places per day. This will include some non-teaching spaces such as bathrooms or admin areas, but only as required and ‘nice to haves’ should be limited to a minimum or funded by other sources. Clause 4.1 of the guideline outlines instances where verandas can be counted as indoor space. For a veranda to be included as unencumbered indoor space any opening must be able to be fully closed during inclement weather. It must have written approval by the Department of Education to be included as unencumbered indoor space and the verandah can only be counted once in space calculations. Clause 4.9 of the guideline refers to instances where verandahs may be included in outdoor space calculations. Verandahs are eligible to be included when it is open at least one third of its perimeter, it has a clear height of 2.1 meters and a wall height of less than 1.4 meters, where a wall with an opening forms its perimeter. It must have adequate flooring and roofing and designed to provide shading and protection from the weather. Covered outdoor learning areas, or COLAs, are not suitable to increase unencumbered space as they are not suitable for all weathers.
Clause 4.9 of the guideline discusses outdoor space requirements, ensuring a minimum of seven square meters of outdoor space is to be provided for every child being educated and cared for in the facility. Dense hedges or landscape planting areas do not count towards outdoor area calculations. The exclusions for the minimum of seven square meter outdoor space also include any pathways or thoroughfares, car parking areas, storage sheds or other storage areas, laundry rooms and other space that is not suitable for children.
It is imperative that area calculations are done correctly. To do so, please avoid these common mistakes highlighted on the example of an area plan that is calculated incorrectly. Common mistakes are including door swings, corridors, joinery and poorly supervised space in the total number of unencumbered space. Supervised space will be explained in detail in the following slides. When designing a childcare centre, the facilitation of supervision should be a key aspect to consider.
Clause 4.7 of the guideline states that the rooms and facilities within a premises, (including toilets, nappy change facilities, indoor and outdoor activity rooms and play spaces) are to be designed to facilitate adequate supervision of children at all times. This space must be visible from all points, and when designing childcare space closed in alcoves of poor supervision should be avoided.
The importance of staff supervision of the outdoor space is also elaborated in clause 4.7. This can be done with glazing on both sides of activity rooms. Maintaining visibility of the outdoor space from the inside as shown in the example image and minimising closed in spaces that create areas of poor surveillance. Clause 4.11 recommends dense shrubs to be planted around the perimeter of site so that they do not obstruct supervision.
Clause 3.8 of the guideline suggests some considerations for the parking arrangements on site. Safety and risk management of staff and children should be considered and vehicle access from the street should be situated in a safe environment that does not disrupt traffic flows with a clear and direct pedestrian entry to site. For parking requirements refer to local development control plans or DCP’s.
Disabled parking spaces should be indicated on plan. The number of parking spaces specifically allocated to the childcare centre should also be identified on plan. Please note that if a site is co-located with another service such as a church or community centre, there must be parking specifically designated for the childcare centre, which should be within close proximity to the entrance of the centre to ensure child safety.
Clause 3.1 of the guidelines specifies that local councils may identify areas of significant hazard in their planning, instruments and policies, and throughout the process, please refer to your local planning controls outlined in the DCP of your Council area. Additionally, childcare facilities must be designed and built in accordance with the standards outlined in the National Construction Code or NCC.
Depending on the proposals characteristics, cost and scale, some additional documents may be required to provide further information. These can include, but may not be limited to a Bushfire Report, Biodiversity Development Assessment Report, Floor Report, Mine Subsidence, Acid Sulfate Soils, Geotechnical Report including Contamination, Acoustic, Air Quality, Remediation Action Plan, Waste Management Plan, Essential Service Augmentation and a Pre-DA consultation with Council.
Please also watch the other webinars in the series. Each offers a valuable resource to support you in your application process and in developing a successful project. These are Project Risk Management, Scoping, Planning and Submitting a Quality Application and Building Plans, Calculations and Regulatory Requirements. Further support and information is available on the Department of Education website or by calling CCSA.
This webinar is to support you as you develop your application for a Start Strong Capital Works Grant. Costings, quotes, budgets and the role of the quantity surveyor. This webinar is funded by the Department of Education and developed and presented by Community Connections Solutions Australia and Partners Architects Thomson Adsett and Quantity Surveyors QS1.
We wish to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land. We honour and respect Aboriginal elders past, present and emerging and we think all Aboriginal people for their custodianship of this land.
CCSA is a non-profit, non-government peak organisation providing comprehensive information, resources and support to early childhood education and care services in governance, management, compliance, business support and workplace relations. For over 50 years, CCSA has been supporting early childhood services. We work with both private and community managed models. Our membership includes preschools, long day care, OOSH, mobile services, occasional care, family day care, early intervention, vacation care and Aboriginal children's services.
The content in this webinar has been prepared in collaboration between CCSA and QS1. QS1 one is a privately owned quantity surveying company that provides cost planning and cost management services to the building industry. Over the last 11 years we have provided our services to a wide range of sectors, including both government and non-government entities, by ensuring cost, clarity and certainty through our understanding of the market and its volatility, contextual insight, and simply by understanding the construction market.
CCSA does not provide financial or legal advice. This presentation is general in nature and is intended to provide information to assist your decision making.
This webinar will address cost plans, quotes and budgets. What is a quantity surveyor? What is a cost plan? What is a builder's quote? What is required in a quote? Risks to avoid. What to include in a construction project budget. Budget information required in your Start Strong Capital Grant Application. Application Risks. Budget for contingencies. Costs, plans, quotes and budgets. As you are working with your construction professionals you will hear these terms. While each refers to a financial aspect of the project, each has a different focus and different inclusions. A cost plan is a document prepared by a quantity surveyor and we'll talk more about quantity surveyors in the next slide. Quotes are prepared by your building contractors and trades. A budget is prepared by you, the approved provider, based on costings and quotes received, including all other project expenses and all project income.
As we have said, a cost plan is prepared by a quantity surveyor. So what is a quantity surveyor? A quantity surveyor is a construction specialist who is skilled in estimating and monitoring the costs of construction and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure. They are usually involved from the feasibility stage through to completion of a construction project.An efficient quantity surveyor will make sure that the project's costs remain within the stipulated budget across the life of the project. To find a qualified quantity surveyor refer to the Institute of Quantity Surveyors website.
What is a cost plan? Cost plans are generally undertaken by an Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors accredited quantity surveyor or quantity surveying firm. The cost plan includes all costs required to complete the project. The plan details the project budget for each stage and is used as a guide of estimated costs to complete the project. Cost planning is essential to ensure you stay close to budget during the development project.
A Builder’s Quotation is also a measured set of quantities based on a set of documents at a point in time that outlines or schedules the cost of construction only activities required to complete the project. For your application, be sure to gather quotes for all aspects of the project. The builders quotation may be an estimate only and also is unlikely to include all costs required to complete the project.
A Builder’s quotation is not normally a fixed quote and will be subject to the finalising of all documents and project scope. A fixed price quote may be prepared when you have selected your preferred building contractor. It is the department's preference that you provide full quotes or fixed price contract and includes all details specific to your project with your application. Remember, that while you are not required to present quotes based on the final scope of works, you should not enter into any contracts before getting a successful outcome for your application and executing the funding agreement with the Department.
What is the difference between a cost plan and a builder's quotation? A cost plan by nature sets the initial budget for the entire project and generally includes all activities required to complete the project, including construction costs, design fees, contingencies, cost escalation council and statutory fees. In contrast, a builder's quotation will only include items relating to construction.
Comparing the minimum structure of a cost plan to a quotation.
Expect these elements in your cost plan. Executive summary including key analytics; things such as total gross floor area or GFA, number of children, cost per meters square of GFA, cost per child of GFA, area per child of GFA. Outline of key risks such as latent conditions for example. Hazardous materials, geotechnical ground conditions, bushfire requirements, etc.. Cost escalation allowances.
The cost increased of costs between the date of quotation and site commencement, assumptions, any notes made by the builder that may have a price impact on the submitted quotation. Exclusions, any notes made by the builder that may have a price impact on the submitted quotation. Information used, list of drawings and or documents used to produce the quotation. Cost plan summary, project costs as summarised in Slide 14.
Detailed cost plan measurement, project costs. Detail summary of items that make up the trade costs and summary, area schedule, calculation of the gross floor area. In a quotation expect these elements. Executive summary, construction costs only, assumptions. Any notes made by the builder that may have a price impact on the submitted quotation. Exclusions. Any notes made by the builder that may have a price impact on the submitted quotation. Information used. List of drawings and or documents used to produce the quotation.
It's necessary to have both. As previously stated, a builder's quotation will only include items relating to construction and may not include all costs required to complete the project. Whereas a cost plan by nature generally includes all activities required to complete the project, including construction costs, design fees, contingencies, cost escalation, council and statutory fees. This fundamental difference may have an adverse effect on your application, as the shortfall may place your submission at risk if you have not considered all costs at a realistic level in your budget. You must ensure you have quotes for all elements of your project. The size and complexity of the project will determine if an application will benefit from a quantity surveyor or quantity surveying firm undertaking a cost plan for your project. You can expect to pay from $3,000 to $5,000 for a cost plan prepared by a qualified quantity surveyor.
In the case of minor alterations, in addition, say, up to $500,000, then it would be considered unfeasible to engage the services of a quantity surveyor. For these smaller projects, it's acceptable to rely on a detailed builder quotation, with the level of detail in the quote being key to accuracy and dependability.
The building contractor should provide you with a detailed breakdown price by category, including consultants, preliminaries, substructure, superstructure, finishes, fittings, services, external services, contingency and escalations. If the quote notes any exclusions, you must obtain additional quotes for each of these, if they apply to your project or include a note saying that you are not costing them because they do not apply to your project.
This is critical to the completeness of your project budget and provides reassurance to all parties that all costs involved in the project have been considered. Risks to avoid when considering a builder's quote. Check for the date or period of time that the quotation is valid for. For the purposes of your capital grant application, quotes must be provided within the last four months.
Check for any exclusions, assumptions, clarifications. Check for contingency, and check that escalation has been included. Make sure you fully understand the allowances made. Cost escalation is critical to discuss with your building professionals, as they must understand the likely timing of the project, beginning and end. Check what documents the quote has been based on, such as scope of works.
Note that any design additions not included in the quote and application's budget cannot be funded by the grant, so it is vital the quote is based on the final scope of works. Final plans, not a concept. Schedule of fixtures and fittings. Check that your builder is licensed with Services New South Wales via the website Builders License Check and has no claims history.
The risk review will provide insights and highlight gaps within the formulation of your project budget and is designed to give future pathways to avoid unnecessary funding shortfalls that may affect the completion of your project. Please ensure you also watch Managing Project Risk in this webinar series. There is also a resource accompanying this webinar which includes the checklist shown here.
Eligible applicants receiving application support will be assisted to develop a risk management plan with a particular focus on these areas. As we have already stated, when you're developing your project budget, you must consider costs beyond the price your builder quotes. The cost of a building project is more than just the builder's construction cost. Some of these additional expenses may be included in the builders quote, but should be confirmed.
Subcontractor costs for electrical and plumbing, for example. Consultant fees such as Project Manager, Surveyor, Architect, Landscape Architect Designer, Engineer, structural civil and stormwater, environmental sustainability. Accessibility if not included or only estimated by the builder. Fire Engineering. Mechanical. Heating. Ventilation. Air Conditioning. Administrative Costs. Council DA Application Cost and Developer Levy. New South Wales Long Service Leave Levy. Building Permit. Plumbing Permit. Electrical Supply Upgrade, Legal Fees, Certification Fees.
Contingency Sum. This is in addition to the builder's contingency included in their quote. For capital works projects it is highly recommended that you include contingency costs in your budget. Contingency costs are any unexpected expenses, inflation or project overruns. Approved funded providers are responsible for these costs in accordance with the funding agreement terms and conditions.
Unforeseen costs might arise because of wet weather delays for example, or what is known in construction language as latent conditions. Older buildings often contain asbestos, that is not readily seen. It might be buried in landfill or hidden behind plasterboard walls or in insulating material around old plumbing pipes. Discovering asbestos as a latent condition will draw on the contingency, as the cost of specialist removal is not known until the asbestos is found.
Also include fixed furniture and equipment. How will you fit out your building or extension? These also need to be considered in your budget, such as internet connectivity to the site. It may be included in the builder's quote, but should be confirmed for example. Temporary fencing, temporary toilet, temporary silt, fencing, site signage, removal of waste, skip bins.
In your application, you are required to complete a table which includes the proposed project expenditure. It is critical to your application that you populate this table accurately, including site readiness and management, Site Clearing and Waste, Extension Capital Works. Main Build Extension Cost. Plumbing. Electrical. Fitout. Landscaping and Roadworks. Other Capital Works Build Costs. Project Management Fees. All projects under minor, major and crisis require a project manager. For projects with a total cost over $500,000 ex GST the project manager must be professional and have adequate credentials and experience delivering construction projects. For projects with a total cost under $500,000, a project manager is still required, but the credentials won't be required. However, it is still highly encouraged that you appoint a professional project manager in all cases, as this will ensure the project is delivered within time and budget and thus avoid budget overruns.
Project manager costs can be included in the grant request as long as they are on the budget table and a quote is provided for the services of the professional. Do not enter into any contracts before receiving an outcome on your application. That is, get a quote for your project manager, but do not sign a contract until you get confirmation that you were successful.
Admin Expenses. Professional Fees. Engineer. Depending on the extent of works, professional fees and various professional reports will impact on total professional fees. Provide a list of consultant fees that support the amount included. Professional fees architect. Other professional fees number one. Other professional fees number two. Contingency; depending on the level of documentation and the status of the drawings through the approval process, a minimum of 5% of the above cost is required.
Other expenses. The other side of the project budget equation is the project income. You are encouraged to secure your project income from a range of sources, in addition to the amount sought from your capital grant application, including preschool funds, funds you have saved, other the grant amounts, loans, in-kind contributions and other income. In your application, you are required to complete a table which includes the proposed project income.
The provider contribution can be from preschool funds or loans taken by the preschool. The provider contribution can be waived for crisis applications. Other sources of funding can be other grants, donations or in-kind services. It is critical to your application that you populate this table accurately and provide evidence for your sources of income. Ideally, sources of funding must be confirmed upon application to ensure your readiness to proceed. If not confirmed, you will be asked to outline when you expect to have an outcome and provide evidence. For example, a letter from your bank stating they are assessing your loan request of x amount of dollars and will revert to you by x date.
Total project expenses should be equal to the total project income, including the grant amount, provider contribution and any other sources of funding. Your balance should be zero. If it's not, you need to go back and make corrections to reach a zero balance. Again, remember that the total expenditure is the total cost of the project and considers all expenses, not just the building works.
All expenses must be supported by a quote. This graphic is for illustration purposes only. Your budget will have more line items than this one.
To recap, your project expenses must be equal to your project income. If your expenditure is more than your income, your project will fail before it even begins. And if your income is more than your expenditure you will need to reduce the amount you are requesting from your Capital Works Grant.
There are some things which cannot be funded by the Capital Works Grant. These are site acquisition and lease costs. Routine or cyclical maintenance works, spaces not used primarily for the delivery of a preschool education program. For example, rooms for community or health services or rooms outdoor areas for the provision of care for nursery or toddler age groups, purchase of cars, busses and other vehicles.
However, the purchase of a vehicle is permissible under the mobile preschool grant, opening in 2023 to mobile preschools, ongoing administration or operational costs, staff salaries and training, toys, portable equipment and consumables. Cosmetic upgrades that do not increase capacity. Additional funding due to project cost overruns. Playground equipment unless strictly required for the purpose of obtaining service approval. Quality improvements and upgrades that do not lead to an increase in preschool places or are not required for the purpose of obtaining service approval for the target number of places.
If your project includes any of these elements that are not eligible for capital grant funding, your budget must reflect how these will be funded. For example, your design includes a room which will be used primarily for visiting allied health professionals. Your project budget must indicate that this portion will be funded from other sources. For long daycare services the grant can only fund any places or indoor outdoor rooms allocated exclusively for the education of preschool age children enrolled in a preschool program. Rooms or spaces used for toddlers or nursery cannot be funded.
Let's take a look at Long Day Cares building project, which will create an additional 20 places per day. Ten places are for preschool aged children, and ten places are for toddlers and babies. Because the grant can only fund any places or rooms allocated exclusively for the education of preschool age children enrolled in a preschool program, the service confers with the building professionals to calculate the portion of the costs attributable to the preschool spaces.
Some elements may be wholly attributed to only the toddler and baby area, or wholly to the preschool area where applicable, such as a nappy change area. In this example, 40% is attributed to the preschool space and 60% to the toddler and baby space. The total cost of the project is $1,284,000. Each element of the project is split 40/60 and an income source is attributed to each expense. You can see here that each expense that is linked to the toddler and baby space is clearly noted as being funded by the service, not by the Department of Education grant.
To break it down a little more simply, you can see here that the total cost of the project is $1,284,000. 40% of this is attributed to the increased preschool places, which is $514,000. Of that $514,000, $404,000 has been requested through the Capital Works Grant and the service provider is contributing $110,000, which is in excess of the minimum 5% required. The component of the build, which will create a further ten baby and toddler spaces, is funded wholly by the service provider and does not count to the 5% contribution. And of course the total project expense is equal to the total project income.
When developing your budget, think about how you will improve or achieve value for money. You must contribute at least 5% of the total project cost excluding GST.
This is the provider contribution. Please note crisis applications are not required to meet the 5% contribution requirement, but again, if you can contribute it will give greater value for money. 5% is the minimum required, but the more you contribute, the better the value for money for your capital works application. While not mandatory, you are encouraged to consider other funding sources in addition to the grant and the provider contribution.
Provider contributions above 5% have a positive impact on the value for money calculation for your project and will make your application more competitive. The provider contribution can be compromised of preschool funds and or loans and other grants. You will be required to confirm and provide evidence of the availability of these funds, including any loans. Other sources of funding may include any donations from private or public organizations.
In-kind donations, fundraising, loans, other grants from state and federal or local government or benevolent societies. In-kind services, for example, the offer of free engineering services should be listed on your budget, but should be quantified as $0. For all other contribution types the amount contributed must be specified. If you consider other funding sources it is ideal these are confirmed at the time of submitting your application. If they are not confirmed, you will need to provide a timeline of when you expect to have an outcome and consider these timeframes to ensure the accuracy of your budget. For example, if you will not have an outcome on another funding application until 2023, make sure you considered the costings as at that date.
Value for money considers a number of elements, including the overall benefit of your project to be delivered by the department's investment. Among other elements, cost per place is also considered when assessing value for money. Cost per place is calculated dividing grant amount ex GST by number of places created for the major capital fund and the minor fund and cost per place is calculated dividing grant amount ex GST by number of places created and or maintained for the crisis fund. In order to improve value for money you can test the market by obtaining multiple quotes. Reduce the grant requested from the department by increasing your provider contribution or finding additional funding sources to contribute to the project. Ensure you are not nominating the grant as the funding source for the cost that cannot be funded by the grant as per program guidelines. Maximize the number of preschool places per day you can create and or maintain with your grant with consideration to your operational needs.
Revise the building materials used for the project without increasing delivery, risk or compliance. Make sure you are as specific as possible with your needs when requesting a quote from your builder and that you communicate your budget constraints. Make sure you are limiting the number of nice to haves or non-teaching spaces that are not required for the purpose of obtaining service approval and or appoint other funding sources to cover them.
Make sure you are not presenting your figures as inclusive of GST. All figures must be exclusive of GST throughout the application.
An important part of managing risk is budgeting for contingencies. It is recommended applicants include a contingency allowance within the project budget to allow for unforeseen increases in project expenditure during delivery of the capital works project that are outside the applicant's control. There are two forms of contingency that may be covered in the Capital Works Project. Builder Construction Contingency.This refers to the sum set aside to cover any cost escalations and overruns related to the build, such as increased material costs and labor costs or associated costs with unforeseen construction delays. It is expected that construction contingency will be included within the builder's quote provided in support of an application. Provider contingency. This is contingency funding set aside by the applicant for other risks associated with delivery of the Capital Works Project outside of any construction or builder expenses. These costs may be incurred at any time of the project lifecycle, such as during the planning and design phase of the Capital Works Project. Examples may include unforeseen increases, project management and or statutory fees. Provider contingency does not include project scope changes, and an applicant must ensure that its project is fully scoped and the scope is final, as at the date the application is submitted. A reasonable allowance for contingency can be included in the project expenditure budget within the application for grant funding. Funding for the contingency allowance will only be made if there are unforeseen increases in project expenditure that are outside the applicant's control. The Department will assess the circumstances, giving rise to the unforeseen increases before determining whether to make contingency funding available.
To recap, cost plans, quotes and project budgets all relate to the financial aspect of the project, but each serve a different purpose. A quantity surveyor serves a vital role to ensure the project progresses on budget. You must check any quotes for completeness and accuracy against your source documents. Ensure your builder is licensed with service New South Wales and has no claims history.
Ensure your project budget income equals your project budget expenditure. Ensure your nice to have a funded from sources independent of the Department of Education Capital Works funds. Ensure your budget includes a contingency in addition to contingencies included in your builder's quotes. Check the Capital Funding Application Guide to ensure you have the minimum documentation and information required to support your funding application.
Please also watch the other webinars in this series. Each offers a valuable resource to support you in your application process and in developing a successful project. These are Risk Management in Construction Projects, Scoping, Planning and Submitting a Quality Application, Architectural Plans and Regulatory Requirements. For further information and support go to the Department of Education's website, where you will find program guidelines frequently asked questions and useful information and links to assist you with your application. You can also contact Community Connections Solutions Australia on 1800 991 602.
Welcome to this webinar. In this session we will be talking about risk management in construction projects.
We wish to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land. We honour and respect Aboriginal elders past, present and emerging and we thank all Aboriginal people for their custodianship of this land.
This webinar is brought to you by the Department of Education, CCSA and partners Thomson Adsset and QS1. CCSA is a non-profit, non-government peak organisation providing comprehensive information, resources and support to early childhood education and care services in governance, management, compliance, business support and workplace relations for over 50 years. We work with both private and community managed models.
Our membership includes preschools, long daycare, OOSH, mobile services, occasional care, family day care, early intervention, vacation care and Aboriginal children's services. CCSA does not provide financial or legal advice. This presentation is general in nature and is intended to provide information to assist your decision making.
In this session, we will address the importance of risk management in construction projects, environmental factors that increase risk in construction projects. Risks that might be identified in construction projects. How to classify risk using a Risk Matrix. Roles and responsibilities for managing risk in construction projects. How to review and appraise risk management plans prepared by others. Whether it's meeting the terms of a contract maintaining employee safety on the job site, or dealing with natural disasters, every project has its own set of hazards. If not managed, these risks can hurt your construction projects and prove fatal to your bottom line. At the centre of the process is your risk management plan, a document that details the risks and your processes for addressing them. In construction the process involves planning, monitoring and controlling instances of risk.
Few things are as risky as construction projects. There is heavy equipment, crews working in precarious situations and complicated logistics, safety hazards and other risk factors to manage. In addition, there are operational risks if the works impact on preschool not being able to continue operating due to building works and children can't attend. While there is inherent risk in every capital project, we are experiencing increased instability in the sector.
The combined effect of the increase in material costs, material shortages, skills shortages, delivery delays, large increases in transport costs and builders being locked into fixed price contracts. Managing risks in construction projects has never been more important. Understanding what the risks are and having a clear path to manage them is one of the tools that will assist you to manage your project to completion.
While we have noted the increased level of risk that is present in construction, the vast majority of builders and licensed building professionals remain in business. Headlines grab attention and might rightly cause some anxiety. A thorough and well documented risk management plan and strategy strengthens your project management and reduces the likelihood of your project not progressing. This is the reason that your application requires you to provide a risk assessment that carefully considers the risks that may impact your project and what strategies you can implement to mitigate them and deliver your project with minimal disruption.
Let's have a quick look at cost escalation since the beginning of 2022. We can see here the increase in many common materials used in construction. Builders are pricing risk into their tenders. There is no doubt that construction work is a lot more expensive than it was 12 or 24 months ago. It is therefore essential to anticipate the risk of price escalation and factor it into the budget for the capital program along with other risks that have the potential to derail a project and prevent its completion.
All businesses encounter risks. Everything we do has a risk attached. In the ECEC space, we manage risks all the time. In our daily lives, we leave home earlier than we need, to be on time for an important appointment, because we know there is a risk that traffic may hold us up. We cannot eliminate risks, but we can mitigate the damage caused by them.
The concept of known knowns and unknown was made famous by Donald Rumsfeld in 2002, but it has been used in academic and philosophical circles for a much longer time. The concept comes from the Johari window, a concept put forward by two psychoanalysts in 1955. There is another part of the phrase which Rumsfeld didn't mention. Unknown knowns. So let's talk about them briefly.
Known known risks are the risks we know about. And we also know how big they are. We know the risk exists, and we can quantify it as well. These are the risks that are the easiest to manage because all the required information is present. To manage known known risks we simply ensure that we are ready for the expected impact.
For example, we know that if we do not fence off a building site adequately, there is a risk that unauthorized people may gain entry and suffer harm or cause damage. Known unknowns are the risks that we are aware of, but we are unaware of the size and effect of the risk. Long range weather forecasts might tell us there is a risk that rain may affect business operations, but the lack of knowledge about how much rain there will be makes it hard to make firm plans.
It may be just a light shower, which will barely affect operations, or it can be a rainstorm which can bring construction to a halt. Planning for and perception of risks is difficult, but not impossible. To manage known unknown risks we need to have a plan for the most probable outcomes and be ready to switch to the right plan of action once we have enough information to convert known unknowns into known knowns.
Unknown unknowns are the most dangerous types of risks. These are risks that we don't even know that we don't know. The danger here is that since the organisation is unaware of the existence of the risk, it cannot manage the risk which can result in disaster. Unknown known risks are very rare. These are the risks we may be aware of, but have disregarded, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Unknown knowns are not acceptable from a risk management perspective. If a risk is known, everything must be done to manage it. You should have a solution in place that enables your organisation to continuously measure the effectiveness of the controls and implement additional measures for prevention when required.
The benefits of risk management are summarised on this slide. Project issues a clarified, understood and considered from the start. Decisions are supported by thorough analysis. The definition and structure of the project are continually monitored. Clearer understanding of specific risks associated with a project. Build up of historical data to assist future risk management procedures. To craft your risk plan you'll first need to identify the factors that could most jeopardize your projects. For convenience, we can group risks into categories, and those shown here are common groups of risks identified in construction projects. Let's have a look at those in a little more detail.
Contractor Risk. The construction contractor should have well-established systems and processes for managing risk. When evaluating tenders, an important consideration is how the builder manages their risk. Do they have sufficient cash to pay contractors and suppliers on time? For example, some project managers may require building contractors to attest that they have paid subcontractors for work completed when progress claims are made. Voluntary factors the biggest risk is around the tender stage. When commitments are made to a price and a timescale. Margins can be lost if the bill of quantities is not accurate. Subcontractors may not stand by their quotes, and work may be more expensive than estimated. If the choice of construction method turns out not to be suitable.
Contractor risk insurance. Builders are required to have contract works insurance and you will have to supply a copy of the builder's insurance policy, if your grant application is successful. If successful on the grant, funds cannot be claimed until a security, if applicable, and funding agreement have been fully executed by the preschool and the department. This can take a while, depending on each service's circumstances. To mitigate risks services should not enter into any contracts prior to receiving an outcome on the application and executing the funding agreement. If they do so, they understand it is at their own risk. If successful, once the security, if applicable and funding agreements are executed, the service will be able to claim milestone payments by providing evidence in the format instructed by the Department. However, due to the good governance processes that must be followed, funds can take between 4 to 6 weeks to make it to the service's bank account. All contractors must know this before being engaged to ensure it meets their cashflow needs. Health and Safety Risks. The workers are your most valuable resource. Nothing can be done without them. They are also subject to safety hazards, as many of the tasks assigned to them can be dangerous.
While the construction crew is skilled and experienced. Accidents can happen. Builders know the safety risks to their crew, what hazards they might fall prey to, and create a safety plan to ensure employee safety. Checking builder has adequate contract works and workers compensation insurance is paramount. Both these certificates will be requested by the Department.
Operational risks. Extended delays prevent new enrolments. Extended delays can prevent children attending. Loss of fee revenue. Non-productive wages expense. Complaints from parents and carers. Complaints from neighbours.
Financial risk. Without money, nothing happens, no one gets paid, equipment can't be rented and supplies and materials can't be purchased. That's why any factors that can interrupt your or your builder's cashflow need to be identified. This can include a cost increase for materials, competition in the market and so on. The more you understand the financial risk, the more likely you'll stay within budget.
If successful on the grant, funds cannot be claimed until a security, if applicable, and funding agreement have been fully executed by the preschool and the department. This can take a while, depending on each service's circumstances. To mitigate risks, services should not enter into any contracts prior to receiving an outcome on their application and executing the funding agreement. If they do so, they understand it is at their own risk.
If successful, once the security, if applicable, and funding agreement are executed, the service will be able to claim milestone payments by providing evidence in the format instructed by the Department. However, due to the good governance processes that must be followed, funds can take between 4 to 6 weeks to make it to the services bank account. All contractors must know this before being engaged to ensure it meets their cashflow needs.
Project Risk. Project risks are universal project management risks associated with managing any project. These include poor management of resources, missing deadlines, and falling behind the schedule. The construction project manager must be thorough and aware of difficulties that can throw the project off track. It is a requirement to have a project manager, PM, for all projects under the major, minor and crisis fund. Projects with total cost over $500,000 need to demonstrate the project managers qualifications and experience in delivering infrastructure projects. It is recommended that projects under this value also engage a professional project manager. These costs can be included in the grant requests as long as they are in the budget and a quote is provided.
Environmental risks. AKA an “act of God” such as floods, earthquakes and other kinds of natural disasters. Anything nature unexpectedly unleashes that makes the construction site inaccessible, is costly and potentially destructive for a construction project. Fire risk. This could be another “act of God” that might also arise through accident or malicious intent.
Legal risks. Managing a construction project involves more than the constraints of time, cost and scope. There are legal constraints such as regulations, code violations and contract terms disputes with your builder, vendors and subcontractors. Any of these things can send your construction project off track.
Many resources are available to assist you in managing risk in your project. Standards Australia has for some years published standard 4360 that provides useful information about how to manage risk.
In this slide, we have prepared a simple flowchart to guide you through the risk assessment and management process. Firstly, identify hazards, who or what may be harmed, evaluate the risk arising from the hazard and determine the control measure required. Then evaluate the remaining risk after control measures have been put in place. Record the findings of the risk assessment and make a contingency plan for the residual risks. Importantly, review and revise your risk management plan regularly as needed.
A meaningful risk assessment should include identification of risk by category, physical security, data security, expense reduction, health and safety, product safety and quality, etc.. Scoring of risks by expected frequency and severity of the impact. Historical data plays a huge role in the ability to score risks accurately. Proposed mitigation strategy. Begin by brainstorming the options, guided by the severity and frequency score you will find it easier to determine where to allocate your risk reduction resources.
What is a risk matrix? A risk matrix helps to calculate risk across various outcomes to give you clear guidelines on whether the risk is acceptable or unacceptable. Let's take a look at the process. How a risk matrix works. In simple terms, risk assessment is defined as the probability of an event intersecting with its impact. The risk matrix then plots these variables in a colour coded chart to show overall risk for different situations.
The Matrix is aligned with the risk assessment that you must include in your application. First, determine the likelihood of the risk occurring. Likelihood is defined as; certain - more than 90% chance of an event occurring over the life of the project, likely - 61% to 90% chance of an event occurring over the life of the project, moderate - 41% to 60% chance of an event occurring over the life of the project.
Unlikely - 10% to 40% chance of an event occurring over the life of the project. Rare - less than 10% chance of an event occurring over the life of the project. After determining the likelihood, then rate the risk for severity. Minimal, the consequences are minimal and may cause a near negligible or only minor damage. This hazard poses no real threat examples, no media coverage and or no bodily harm to employees or customers. Moderate.
The consequences are moderate and may cause a sizable amount of damage. This hazard cannot be overlooked. Examples. Loss of $100,000 regional media coverage and or minor bodily harm. High. The consequences are critical and may cause a great deal of damage. This hazard must be addressed quickly. Examples, loss of $1 million, national media coverage, major bodily harm and or police involvement.
Major. These consequences are catastrophic and may cause an unbearable amount of damage. This hazard is a top priority. Example, loss of $10 million, extreme bodily harm and or police involvement. The intersection of these elements determines the risk rating. A risk rating of high or very high means these risks could have significant impact if they crystallise and effective controls are needed. You need to mitigate the risk.
We can define risk mitigation as a process in which we take steps to reduce adverse effects. There are five types of risk mitigation strategies that hold unique to business continuity and disaster recovery. When mitigating risk, it's important to develop a mitigation strategy that is based on the cost benefit analysis of possible mitigations and which closely relates to and matches your organisation's profile. “Accept” risk strategy. With some risks the expenses involved in mitigating the risk is more than the cost of tolerating the risks. In this situation, the risks should be accepted and carefully monitored. “Avoid” risk strategy. In general, risks should be avoided that involve a high probability impact for both financial loss and damage. “Transfer” risk strategy. Risks that may have a low probability of taking place, but would have a large financial impact should be mitigated by being shared or transferred, e.g. by purchasing insurance, forming a partnership or outsourcing. “Reduce” risk strategy.
The most common mitigation strategy is risk limitation. E.g. businesses take some type of action to address a perceived risk and regulate their exposure. Risk limitation usually employs some risk acceptance and some risk avoidance. “Hedging” risk strategy. Hedging assumes the additional risk that works in the opposite direction as the mitigated risk. While natural hedging organises the business in a way that internal risks offset each other. External hedging uses the instruments that create offsetting risks, e.g. by locking the price secures us against the price fluctuations.
Risk management plans are not static documents to be prepared and left in a drawer. They are living documents. They are a critical tool for the effective management of your project. They should be part of the agenda of project meetings and be revised and added to as new risks are identified. Meeting regularly to discuss risk management controls gives the project team an opportunity to reflect and evaluate the control strategies for effectiveness.
You will be asked to provide a risk assessment detailing any identified risks, their likelihood, impact and mitigation strategies. You can draw this information from the detailed information that you have compiled in our risk assessment and management plan.
Let's work through a line of the risk register and management plan using cost escalations as our example. Start by giving each risk an ID. This could be a number or code. For example contractor risks C1, financial risks might be coded F1, health and safety risks might be coded HS1, environmental risks E1 and so on. Next described the risk, be as descriptive as possible so that the risk is clearly identified.
Rate the risks for likelihood. One rare, a remote hazard is extremely rare. There is a less than 10% chance that it will happen. For example, a blizzard is unlikely to happen at your ECEC service in Lismore. Two unlikely, unlikely risks hazards are those that happen about 10 to 40% of the time. For instance, you might determine financial escalations will have minimal disruption to your project because you have made adequate allowances in your financial plan.
Three, moderate. A moderate risk hazard will happen between 41 and 60% of the time. For example, injuries to visitors could be possible if the site fencing and security is not adequate. Four likely, these risks hazards will occur 61 to 90% of the time. You can be nearly certain it will manifest. For example, a flood will definitely happen at your ECEC service in Lismore after 100 year rain events.
Five certain. These risks will occur more than 90% of the time. You can be certain that if you do not have a secured site prior to applying, or if your project does not align with objectives of the fund, then you will not be successful.
For each risk, determine what the outcome might be, if nothing was done to address the risk. This is a useful exercise as it lays out clearly the potential outcome of not engaging in effective risk management for everyone working on the project. It is a good way to keep those potential scenarios at front of mind. Working through scenario, we can see that the costs escalations might have a cost impact that is not expected, or delays in putting materials will extend the timeline or impact on service operations.
Your Risk Controls and Action Plan will outline steps to respond to the risk if it occurs by addressing each hazard, reducing its likelihood and reducing its impact. Depending on the severity of the hazard, you may wish to include notes about key team members, for example, project manager, PR or communications director, subject matter expert and their responsibilities if the hazard occurs.
Preventative Measures. A response plan for media and stakeholders, for example, customers, vendors, clients, shareholders, board members. For each control, nominate who is primarily responsible for managing the risk, then calculate the likelihood, consequences and rating for the action that you are taking to manage the risk. The aim of this exercise is to reduce the risk rating to an acceptable level.
When you have calculated a final rating for your controls, indicate whether this is acceptable. If the potential outcomes are not acceptable after controls have been applied, you will need to rethink how you manage this risk. In our example, the risk of escalation has been managed by having an adequate escalation allowance in the overall project budget. The Preschool Management Committee have a role in this as they are effectively managing the project and are ultimately responsible for the deliverables.
The project manager plays a key role in ensuring the project is delivered to specifications, on time and within budget. The contractor has a role in estimating the cost of supplies and managing supply chain issues. After the controls have been implemented, the likelihood of the risk occurring remains likely, as this is the current experience in construction. Having an appropriate escalation allowance reduces the severity because you have planned for that risk to materialise and have the budget to address cost increases if they happen.
The risk of the price escalation is still high because we cannot always predict what the market will do. However, we would accept the risk because we have adequate strategies in place to manage it.
Other typical risks that exist and can crystallise are; development on the site is not permitted due to zoning and approval cannot be obtained or prepared DA documentation does not meet council requirements. The risk can be mitigated by engaging appropriately, adequately qualified building practitioners and legal counsel or other consultants to provide expert advice and reports. You should expect the project manager or other consultants that you have engaged to interrogate the local Government Development Control Plan and identify barriers or prohibitions on development.
Does your service own the land and building from which you operate? Are you on a lease or right of use agreement with the owner of the land and buildings? Do you have their permission to undertake the work proposed? Do you have tenure over the site for at least ten years? A professional, qualified project manager should research all of these questions and proactively manage the relationship with the Local Government Authority.
In these risk service approval might not be obtained for a number of reasons. Broadly, this might be because the planned project does not meet the requirements of the planning guidelines or the risks might be that the planned number of places cannot be achieved in the interior space planned. The risk is mitigated through the engagement of a licensed builder practitioner to prepare professional plans and unencumbered space calculations.
The selection of licensed building practitioners who have the relevant experience of working on projects in the early childhood sector is critical and you should research their background, experience, gain referee reports and if possible, physically inspect projects they have managed or completed. An architect or builder whose only experience is in residential housing is unlikely to be sufficiently familiar with all the regulatory and design requirements for building an early childhood education and care service. Risk
The builder makes a progress claim that is in excess of the cost to complete the work to date. Unfortunately, this is something that happens often and is more likely to crystallise when times are tough. Often builders have to pay for materials prior to delivery in order to progress the project. When selecting a builder for your project, you should investigate their ability to cash flow the purchase of materials and pay subcontractors on time for work completed.
Sometimes builders are still paying for the previous job, using the income from the current job. And while you might not know this for certain, it is an indication that the builder is in trouble. Mitigation. The best insurance is to engage a quantity surveyor to certify the invoice and confirm that the invoice reflects the value of the work actually completed.
It may be that the builder has to pay for materials upfront prior to them being in the project, but in this instance, you should make clear in your contract the extent of allowance for materials that require prepayment. Where this has been agreed, your quantity surveyor will likely want to see those materials onsite and ready for use.
Most tradies are subcontractors to the main building contractor. These days, most builders do not employ tradies directly, preferring to minimise their wages cost and insurance risk. The main contractor will likely employ a site foreman and perhaps some laborers. Where cashflow becomes tight and subcontractors have not been paid, there is a real risk that they will down tools and go on to another job.
This can cause serious risk to your project timeline. The risk can be mitigated by ensuring that your main building contractor provides evidence or certifies to your QS that the subcontractors have been paid for work completed. All construction projects are inherently full of risk, think about risk management as five steps. One Identification. First, make a list of every possible issue that could arise.
Do the research. Talk to your team of contractors, management committee and users of your service. While this identification list is always open for edits and updates, you should have a set deadline so you don't get bogged down in analysis. Two, assessment. Not all risks are equal. Some are more likely to occur, others less so. One way to assess your list of risks is to use a risk assessment matrix, which charts the likelihood of each risk and the size of the impact it can have on your project.
Creating a risk assessment matrix helps you when addressing the risk, if it appears. Three, mitigation, this is where you implement a contingency plan that will reduce the likelihood and impact of the risks you identified earlier. The top priority, of course, is those you defined as highly likely and having the greatest impact. These should be given an owner who will be responsible for identifying the risk if it occurs and managing its resolution.
Four monitoring, this step is always ongoing as you attempt to identify these risks when they show up. That includes monitoring the effectiveness of your mitigation plan. Also, stakeholders should be consulted and kept updated on these project risks. Engage other department leaders to help and empower the team to respond to risk. Have them note if a risk has moved to a different spot on your risk matrix assessment.
Five reporting. Your construction risk management plan should be analysed and shared with the crew and stakeholders. These reports on risk mitigation allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of the contingency plan. While this can be done with an Excel spreadsheet, using project management software is more efficient. Online tools gather the data automatically, create dashboards to illustrate progress and even generate reports that are easily distributed.
Please also watch the other webinars in this series. Each offers a valuable resource to support you in your application process and in developing a successful project. These are Costings, Quotes, Budgets and the Role of the Quantity Surveyor. Scoping, Planning and Submitting a Quality Application. Architectural Plans and Regulatory Requirements. For further information and support go to the Department of Education's website, where you will find program guidelines frequently asked questions and useful information and links to assist you with your application or you contact CCSA on 1800 991 602.
A live webinar outlining each Fund for the 2022-23 Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program will be held on 13 October. Information will include eligibility, assessment criteria and available application supports. Please register your interest for the live webinar here.
Online resources and tools
There are a number of online resources and tools specific to each type of Fund to assist applicants in preparing an application. These include:
- Fund Guidelines
- Fund Application Guides
- Terms and Conditions
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Architectural Checklist (PDF 177 KB)
- Budget Review Checklist (PDF 144 KB)
- Financial Resources Expenses Checklist (PDF 248 KB)
- Risk Register Template (XLSX 96 KB)
Additional support for targeted groups
Some applicants will be able to express their interest in accessing a capped number of hours of one-on-one application support delivered by industry experts to prepare an application for the Major Capital Fund and/or Crisis Fund. These targeted applicants are:
Long day care services offering a preschool program and community preschools in crisis circumstances as outlined in the Crisis Fund Program Guidelines; or
Applicants intending to undertake capital works to extend, renovate or build a community preschool in an area with a shortfall of community preschool places as identified on the Application Support Guidelines; or
Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations intending to apply to the Major Capital Fund or Crisis Fund, to undertake capital works aligned with the relevant Fund’s objectives.
As outlined on the Application Support Guidelines, the one-on-one support will be available for applicants that meet the below conditions, within budget availability:
- be in one or more of the targeted groups as defined on the Application Support Guidelines.
Eligible applicants will be able to access:
a capped number of hours of one-on-one application support delivered by experts to scope capital works projects with reasonable project estimates and gather all relevant documentation for a grant submission (e.g. quotes, a budget, timelines, forecast of preschool places to be delivered, among others); and
funding capped at the department’s discretion to assist with some of the costs incurred in the process of preparing an application, such as obtaining professional plans and calculations prepared by a licensed building practitioner. Other application expenses relevant to each applicant’s circumstances will also be considered; and
You will be required to submit an Expression of Interest via SmartyGrants for the department to assess your eligibility to access this service. Work with the application support supplier must not commence before the department advises you of the outcome of your Expression of Interest.
We encourage you to express your interest in accessing this service as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to work with the experts to prepare a high-quality application. Please note that one-on-one application support will be offered within budget availability.
For further information on the one-on-one support for targeted groups and the Expression of Interest process to access it, please review in detail the Application Support Guidelines.
Other useful resources for preparing an application
To assist you in the preparing your application, please also consider the information and resources below.
Centre-based services are regulated under the National Quality Framework (NQF). The NQF consists of the Children (Education and Care Services) National Law (NSW), Education and Care Services National Regulations, Assessment and Quality Rating process and National learning frameworks.
Applicants applying for a grant as part of the Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program must ensure that their capital works project is compliant with all relevant regulations and once the capital works are completed they must obtain a service approval for either:
a new service with the intended number of preschool places; or
- an existing service with the intended increase in preschool places.
Applicants should carefully consider the requirements for obtaining or increasing their service approval and per day preschool places, taking into account the particulars of their project (i.e. standalone centre-based service, service located on or in close proximity with other schools or neighbours, multipurpose services, etc).
Although the below is not intended as an exhaustive list, applicants should consider these resources when preparing their application as it will assist in determining the number of preschool places that can be created through the capital works project:
Applicants should consider all relevant regulations and regulatory requirements as described in the above resources, including but not limited to the space requirements outlined on regulations 107 and 108 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations. Please note that as part of your application to the Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program you will be required to explain how you have calculated the proposed increase in preschool places in line with regulations 107 and 108 as a minimum. You will also be required to provide plans and unencumbered calculations prepared by a building practitioner to support your claims.
When considering space requirements, please note that in most circumstances Colas and Verandas are considered by the Regulatory Authority to be outdoor spaces due to being open to the elements and as such, typically they cannot be adequately heated and cooled in inclement weather for year-round use. The area of a verandah may be included in calculating the area of indoor space only with the written approval of the Regulatory Authority. Additionally, a verandah that is included in calculating the area of outdoor space cannot be included in calculating the area of indoor space.
Applicants should seek their own independent professional advice if assistance is required in this area. For further information or enquiries about the regulatory requirements to obtain a service approval to operate a centre-based service or increase an existing service approval, please contact Early Childhood Education, Information and Enquiries on 1800 619 113 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants under the following funds are required to provide concept (building) plans drawn up by a licenced building practitioner as evidence to substantiate the number of preschool places that will be created or maintained by the proposed capital works project:
Minor Capital Fund;
Crisis Fund; and,
- Major Capital Fund.
Building plans must align with relevant regulations and requirements. Calculations of unencumbered space should also be prepared and confirmed by the building practitioner to give certainty that the proposed preschool places can be realised through the proposed capital works.
Before engaging a building practitioner, applicants should check their registration or accreditation with the appropriate body, for example:
Architects: refer to NSW Architects Registration Board
Landscape architects: refer to Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Landscape Architects can only prepare or certify plans and calculations for outdoor spaces under Regulation 108.
Surveyors: refer to NSW Board of Surveying and Spatial Information
Certifiers: refer to Fair Trading NSW – Building Certifiers
- Building designers: refer to Building Designers Association of Australia.
For applicants seeking a service approval to operate from a school premises (and will be using school facilities), the Regulatory Authority may accept plans and calculations prepared by a licenced builder, or plans prepared by the department’s Asset Management Unit (AMU).
Plans and calculations must contain the full name and licence/ registration/ accreditation number of the building practitioner that prepared them.
The plans must show all of the following information, as required by regulation 25(1)(b):
the location of all buildings, structures, outdoor play areas and shared areas
the location of all entries and exits
the location of all fences and gates, specifying the type of fence or gate used or to be used
the location of nappy change areas (if applicable), toilet and washing facilities and any food preparation areas
the boundaries of the premises
the landscape of, or landscaping plans for outdoor spaces that will be used by the education and care service, specifying the natural environments that are or will be provided
a floor plan, indicating the unencumbered indoor and outdoor space suitable for children
the location of any associated children's service
calculations carried out by a building practitioner of the areas referred to in regulations 107 and 108 relating to unencumbered indoor and outdoor space
the elevation plans of the premises.
The DA approval process for centre-based childcare facilities, including the steps to follow in preparing a DA for submission to a consent authority are outlined in the document Obtaining DA approval for centre-based services (PDF 179 KB).
The department is required to register a security instrument for Major Capital and Crisis Fund grants. This is a mandatory requirement for high-value grants to ensure that the department’s investment and the delivery of additional preschool places are secured for a 10-year period post-project completion.
The department and its legal counsel will work with Approved Funded Providers to negotiate the most appropriate form of security. The preferred security instruments are a mortgage (for providers that own the land) and a mortgage of lease. The time needed to negotiate and execute the security instrument will vary depending on the complexity of your mortgage or lease arrangements and the value of your grant award.
The security instrument must be in place before the department can execute the Funding Agreement and pay funds to the Approved Funded Provider.