2018 Community Grants


The aim of the Community Grants program is to increase the number of Aboriginal children and disadvantaged children participating in 600 hours of quality early childhood education in the year before school.

These grants provide the opportunity to access funding for programs promoting educational access for Aboriginal children and disadvantaged children, as well as initiatives that will improve educational experiences or outcomes for those children attending a service.

Eligibility criteria

Service providers must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a not-for-profit, community-based preschool or operate a mobile preschool
  • Be an approved early childhood education and care service under the National Law and Regulations or Supplementary Provisions Act
  • Be currently funded by the Early Childhood Education and Care Grants Program
  • Comply with the Terms and Conditions for the Early Childhood Education and Care Grants Program

Spending rules

The activity needs to commence before or during the 2018/2019 financial year.

Eligible services may apply for funding to help support current programs or develop new initiatives under the following categories:

  • 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 (professional development opportunities granted under the Professional Grants program cannot be applied for under the Community Grants program).
  • 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 and purchasing of IT resources to enhance the services online educational options.
  • Engagement of an Aboriginal community member to work with the local Aboriginal community.

The funds are required to be expended by 30 June 2019.

Application Process

Applications for Community Grants in Smartygrants have now been extended to Friday, 6 April 2018 .

Each service may submit a single application.

Services may apply for funding for multiple projects under the different project categories in a single application. Funding of up to $7,000 will be available per service.

The department will assess applications and determine funding based on service eligibility, spending rules, program priorities and available funding.

The department may prioritise applications that:

  • increase enrolments and attendance of hard to reach and vulnerable children, particularly those from Aboriginal or low income families
  • promote culturally diverse educational settings
  • address the needs of the local community
  • provide unique solutions for preschool provision in remote communities where access is limited or non-existent

Performance reporting

A formal acquittal process will be required to be undertaken in August 2019. This will consist of a statement of expenditure as well as a performance accountability statement. Any funds that are unspent at 30 June 2019 may be required to be returned to the department, and will be decided with reference to the service's individual circumstances.

Grant payment

It is anticipated that successful services will receive the Community Grant payment in May 2018.

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

A budget of $2.5 million is available.


  • School operations

Business Unit:

  • Early Childhood Outcomes
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