Emergency notice

Community Grants

Community Grants Program Guidelines 2019

Program overview

The Community Grants program aims to support eligible early childhood education services to increase the number of Aboriginal children and children from low income families participating in 600 hours of quality early childhood education in the two years before school. The program is open to not-for-profit community preschools (centre-based and mobile) and not-for-profit long day cares.

Grants can be used to promote educational access for Aboriginal children and children from low income families, as well as initiatives that will improve educational experiences or outcomes for those children attending a service.

Applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria, application requirements and spending rules.

Applications are open 23 July to 6 September 2019.

In 2019 there are two streams of funding available through Community Grants:

  • the primary funding stream provides up to $10,000 (ex GST) for eligible community preschools and not for profit long day care services to support the participation of Aboriginal children and children from low income families in a preschool program.
  • a targeted funding stream is also available to support transport initiatives for eligible Aboriginal community preschools (or community preschools who can demonstrate significant historical enrolments of Aboriginal children). Please note, eligibility for this funding stream is limited.

Services who fulfill the eligibility criteria may apply for both streams.

Stream 1: Supporting the participation of Aboriginal children and children from low income families in a preschool program.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for stream 1 of the 2019 Community Grants program, a service must meet the following criteria:

  • be a not-for-profit community preschool (centre-based or mobile) or not-for-profit long day care (as identified in the National Quality Agenda IT System* and including local government managed services) operating in NSW
  • be an approved early childhood education and care service under the Education and Care Services National Law and Regulations or the Supplementary Provisions Act
  • deliver an early childhood education program designed by a degree qualified early childhood teacher in accordance with The Early Years Learning Framework under the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education
  • not be receiving Vacation Care, Occasional Care, Long Day Care, or Early Childhood Projects Grants Program funding (known as ‘legacy funding’)
  • be registered, or be willing to register, with the Department of Education (the Department)’s Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS)
  • accept and comply with the Terms and Conditions of the Early Childhood Education Grants Program.

Services are eligible to apply for 2019 Community Grants funding (stream 1) once per service approval.

*Or where sufficient evidence is provided upon request.

Application process

Applications for the 2019 Community Grants program should be submitted through the SmartyGrants online application system. To apply click here. For more information on how to use SmartyGrants please click here.

Applications for this program open from 23 July 2019 to 6 September 2019.

Applications can be submitted for grants funding of up to $10,000 (ex GST). Services may apply for funding for multiple programs/initiatives in a single application, with the total amount of funding per service awarded not exceeding this amount.

Assessment criteria

The Department will assess applications and determine funding based on service eligibility, spending rules, program priorities and available funding. Applications may be competitively assessed.

The Department may prioritise applications that are from services:

  • operating in regional and remote areas
  • operating in the most disadvantaged areas (SEIFA band 8 or lower)
  • with a high proportion of Aboriginal children and children from low income families.

Spending rules

Activities should primarily benefit children aged from 3 and above.

Eligible services may apply for funding to help support programs or initiatives that are in addition to business as usual activities, for example:

  • transport initiatives such as establishing partnerships with local schools, councils or transport providers to increase access
  • providing staff development opportunities such as training and conferences that promote outreach to Aboriginal children and disadvantaged children
  • providing regular breakfasts and other resources such as backpacks to children
  • providing access to specialised staff such as allied health professionals, and bicultural support workers for refugee children or children from a cultural and linguistically diverse background
  • resource development such as purchasing of culturally appropriate educational resources
  • engagement of an Aboriginal community member to work with the local Aboriginal community.

Funding is not available for activities where the service is receiving funding through an existing alternative source.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for resources and activities that can be fully funded through the Community Grants program.

Activities need to commence during the 2019/20 financial year and approved funding must be spent by 30 June 2020. Applicants may be asked to return any unspent funding at this date. The Department must be notified of exceptional circumstances whereby approved funding cannot be expended by 30 June 2020. Notification should include an explanation for why funding has not been expended and a timeline for spending the outstanding funds. Decisions regarding unspent funds will be made by the Department on a case by case basis. Decisions will be confirmed by the Department in writing.

Payments

Program grants will be paid to successful applicants as one-off payment via the ECCMS.

It is anticipated that successful services will receive the Community Grants payment prior to the end of 2019. In the event of significant variation to this timetable, services and/or applicants will be notified by the Department.

Grants payments will only be progressed for applicants that are registered in the ECCMS and have accepted the Terms and Conditions of the Early Childhood Education Grants Program.

The amount of funding provided will be based on the Department’s assessment of amount requested and the information provided in the application.

Reporting requirements

A formal acquittal process must be undertaken within one year of the end of the spending period (e.g. within one year of 30 June 2020). This will consist of a statement of expenditure as well as a performance report.

Stream 2: Transport initiatives for Aboriginal Community Preschools

Additional funding is available to support transport initiatives for eligible Aboriginal community preschools or community preschools with significant historical enrolments of Aboriginal children. Please see the eligibility criteria for more information.

Grants can be used for transport initiatives that support the participation of Aboriginal children and children from low income families at high risk of discontinuation in preschools.

Applications can be submitted for funding up to $100,000 (ex GST). Applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria, application requirements and spending rules. Applications may be competitively assessed.

Eligibility criteria

Your service must meet the following criteria:

  • be a not-for-profit centre-based community preschool
  • be an Aboriginal community preschool or community preschool with significant historical enrolments of Aboriginal children
  • have an ARIA+ classifications of Inner Regional, Outer Regional, Remote and Very Remote
  • not currently receiving funding for a transport initiative through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

Services are only eligible to apply for additional transport funding once per service approval.

Application process

Application for additional transport funding should be submitted through the SmartyGrants online application system. To apply click here. For more information on how to use SmartyGrants please click here.

Applications for this program open from 23 July 2019 to 6 September 2019.

Applications can be submitted for funding up to $100,000 (ex GST).

Applications should include:

  • a project budget, including your ability to provide additional funding if the total amount exceeds the amount provided in the grant
  • quotes detailing the costs for the purchase, repair and/or maintenance of a motor vehicle.

Application requirements for the purchase of a vehicle:

  • the motor vehicle must be used primarily to transport children attending the community preschool
  • the motor vehicle must be fit for purpose and capable of transporting children safely to and from the service, including operating safely in varying weather conditions
  • the motor vehicle must be registered in NSW with appropriate insurances.

Assessment criteria

The Department will assess applications and determine funding based on service eligibility, spending rules, program priorities and available funding. Applications may be competitively assessed.

Applications will be prioritised with consideration given to the number of children assisted or potentially assisted, and the lack of alternative funding sources.

Spending rules

Eligible services may apply for funding to help support transport initiatives including:

  • purchase of a transport vehicle
  • operational costs for transport initiatives.

Grant funding through this stream must be used for transport initiatives only.

Activities need to commence during the 2019/20 financial year and approved funding must be spent by 30 June 2020. Applicants may be asked to return any unspent funding at this date. The Department must be notified of exceptional circumstances whereby approved funding cannot be expended by 30 June 2020. Notification should include an explanation for why funding has not been expended and a timeline for spending the outstanding funds. Decisions regarding unspent funds will be made by the Department on a case by case basis. Decisions will be confirmed by the Department in writing.

The Department may require security to finalise funding agreements for the purchase of a vehicle under Community Grants. The security could include a 'security interest' under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009.

Payments

Program grants will be paid to successful applicants as notified by the Department.

Grants payments will only be progressed for applicants that are registered in the ECCMS and have accepted the Terms and Conditions of the Early Childhood Education Grants Program.

The amount of funding provided will be based on the Department’s assessment of amount requested and the information provided in the application.

Reporting requirements

A formal acquittal process must be undertaken within one year of the end of the spending period (e.g. within one year of 30 June 2020). This will consist of a statement of expenditure as well as a performance report.

Additional information

SmartyGrants Help Guide for Applicants and Applicant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Contacts

For more information about the Community Grants program, please contact:

Early Childhood Education Directorate

1300 755 426
Ecec.funding@det.nsw.edu.au

Return to top of page