Disability and Inclusion Program

The purpose of the Early Childhood Education Disability and Inclusion Program is to provide funding and support to enable children with disability and additional needs in community preschools to participate in a quality early childhood education program on the same basis as all children.

The 2018 Disability and Inclusion Program includes transition and implementation arrangements. These changes were directly informed by the extensive feedback received at the 2017 sector consultations.

Research

Research and data show as of 2013, 9 per cent of all children attending community preschools in NSW were living with a disability or additional needs, and about 85 per cent of community preschool educators work with a child with disability.1

1 Children with disability in inclusive early childhood education and care, Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation, June 2016

Objectives

This program aims to:

  • increase the capacity of the early childhood education sector to include children with disability and additional needs on the same basis as all children
  • provide priority of access to a quality preschool program for children with disability and additional needs in community preschools
  • support equitable education outcomes for children with disability and additional needs
  • align with the rollout of the NDIS in NSW (the NDIS provides functional supports, and this program provides educational supports)
  • target funding to children who need it most
  • improve the affordability of early childhood education and increase the number of children participating for 600 hours per year in a quality early childhood education program, but with built-in flexibility to support children who, as a result of their disability, are unable to attend for 600 hours per year.

2018 Program overview

Please see below for a table of key dates and information about the disability and inclusion program:

Program component

Brief description

Key dates

Start Strong equity funding

Funding of $6,600 per year for children with disability and additional needs who are enrolled in a community preschool for 600 hours per year*.

Data collection: 28 February – 27 March 2018

Payment: April 2018(backdated to 1 Jan 2018)

Additional funding for children with high learning support needs

Funding for children with high learning support needs is provided to develop and deliver each child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP).

Includes emergency funding.

First applications: 28 February – 27 March 2018

Payment: April 2018(backdated to the date of first enrolment for 2018)

Applications will remain open until the end of the first week of Term 4 2018 for new enrolments and adjustments.

Applications will be assessed to align with the quarterly payment schedule.

Minor capital works funding

Funding for minor environment adjustments and specialised educational equipment/furniture to enable inclusion of children with disability in the educational program.

First applications: 28 February – 27 March 2018

Payment: April 2018

Applications will remain open until the end of the first week of Term 4 2018.

Applications will be assessed to align with the quarterly payment schedule.

Sector capacity building program

A training and support program for preschools, delivered by local Early Childhood Intervention Services (and other qualified providers).

From Jan 2018 for priority preschools.

Commencing full rollout from July 2018.

Early childhood early intervention scholarships

This new scholarship program seeks to address feedback that there may not be enough focus on early childhood development and early childhood intervention in special education studies.

The program is currently in development and further information will be provided in 2018.

Further information will be provided in 2018.

Resources

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