2019 Disability and Inclusion Program guidelines

The Disability and Inclusion Program provides 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 their peers.

The Disability and Inclusion Program provides 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 their peers.

Research and data show:

  • as of 2013, nine 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]
  • in NSW, the proportion of children with disability enrolled in a preschool program in 2018 aged 3 – 5 years is 9.2%[2]
  • children who participate in a quality early childhood education program for at least 600 hours in the year before school are more likely to arrive at school equipped with the social, cognitive and emotional skills they need to engage in learning
  • children with a disability and/or developmental delay who participate in quality early childhood education benefit from engagement with children without disability.[3]

This program is consistent with:

Footnotes:

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

[2] Report on Government Services 2018

[3] ECIA National Guidelines: Best Practice in Early Childhood Intervention


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 their peers
  • 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 National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in NSW (the NDIS provides functional supports, and this program provides educational supports)
  • target funding to children who have high learning support needs.

This program is for community preschools that meet all of the following criteria.

Services must:

  • be a not-for-profit, centre-based or mobile preschool
  • be an approved early childhood education and care service under the National Law and Regulations
  • be delivering an early childhood education program designed by a degree-qualified early childhood teacher in accordance with The Early Years Learning Framework (providing a structured, play-based early childhood education) under the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education
  • have accepted the terms and conditions of funding and be in receipt of funding under Early Childhood Education Grants Program (either Start Strong Funding for centre-based community preschools or a mobile contract for mobile preschools).

There are four program components:

  1. High learning support needs funding
  2. Minor capital works funding
  3. Sector capacity building program
  4. Early childhood early intervention scholarships.

Please note: Under Start Strong, funding of $6,600 per year is also available for children with disability and additional needs who are enrolled in a community preschool for 600 hours per year*. Please refer to the Start Strong funding guidelines for further information.

Data for Start Strong is calculated based on the number of hours of enrolment that the service enters in the Preschool Census.

*In recognition of the fact that 600 hours per year is not always possible for children with disability and additional needs, an exception can be granted to children with disability who are enrolled for a minimum of 300 hours per year. For this exception to be granted, the preschool must indicate that they will ensure the child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP) includes a progressive plan to increase to 600 hours per year prior to school commencement. The department will monitor this through reporting requirements and the annual audit program. Funding to children enrolled for a minimum of 300 hours per year will be provided at the full Start Strong equity rate.

High learning support needs funding (HLSN)

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

Applications (and variations) for 2019 enrolments can be made from Wednesday 7 November 2018 to Thursday 17 October 2019.

Key dates

2019 assessment cut-off dates

Payment

5pm Thursday 22 November 2018

Quarter 1 - December 2018/January 2019

(January – 30 March 2019)

5pm Thursday 28 February 2019

Quarter 2 – April 2019

(April to June 2019)

5pm Thursday 30 May 2019

Quarter 3 – July 2019

(July to September 2019)

5pm Thursday 22 August 2019

Quarter 4 – October 2019

(October to December 2019)

5pm Thursday 17 October 2019

Final adjustments for 2019 (new applications and variations)

Assessment cut-off dates are subject to change. The department will notify preschools via email of any changes to these dates.

Minor capital works funding

Funding for minor environment modifications and specialised educational equipment/furniture that is essential to enable inclusion of children with disability in the educational program on the same basis as their peers.

Key dates

Applications can be made from Wednesday 7 November 2018 to Thursday 17 October 2019.

Sector capacity building program

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

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 services will be notified when applications open.

Key dates

Services will be notified via email when applications open in 2019.

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

Data for Start Strong is calculated based on the number of hours of enrolment that the service enters in the Preschool Census.

Please refer to the Start Strong funding guidelines for further information.

*In recognition of the fact that 600 hours per year is not always possible for children with disability and additional needs, an exception can be granted to children with disability who are enrolled for a minimum of 300 hours per year. For this exception to be granted, the preschool must indicate that they will ensure the child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP) includes a progressive plan to increase to 600 hours per year prior to school commencement. The department will monitor this through reporting requirements and the annual audit program. Funding to children enrolled for a minimum of 300 hours per year will be provided at the full Start Strong equity rate.

Aim

Funding for children with high learning support needs is provided to develop and deliver the child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP). The aim of the ILP is to support the child’s specific learning requirements to enable them to participate in the educational program on the same basis as their peers.

See the Helpful Information section in these guidelines for further information on ILPs.

Children with high learning support needs:

  • have constant and ongoing support requirements to enable them to engage with the educational program on the same basis as their peers (and the intensity, duration and frequency of the educational supports provided is significant)
  • require consistent adult support and guidance to engage as the same level at their peers
  • require systematic adjustments to the educational program
  • require an individualised learning plan (ILP) that incorporates specific teaching strategies, and specifies how interventions and supports can be embedded into preschool activities
  • may require access to specialised technology, seating and/or standing equipment.

Community preschools can apply for funding for a child with high learning support needs up to a total of $13,800 per year per child.

This funding is available for up to 600 hours per child, per preschool year, at a rate of $23 per hour.

Funding is based on the support each child requires, not enrolment. It is understood that there will be some children who require support equal to hours of enrolment.

Child eligibility criteria

To be eligible for this funding, the child needs to:

  • turn at least 3 years old in the preschool year (funding will be calculated according to the child’s date of birth and start date at preschool) and
  • have high learning support needs as defined in these program guidelines.

Where a child is 6 years old and above, an exemption from school must be in place for the child. For further information on school exemptions, please visit the department’s website.

Applications

Applications for children with high learning support needs (HLSN) must be supported by a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment from the relevant specialists.

Documentation must be on letterhead and signed by the relevant specialist.

Relevant specialists are an audiologist, registered psychologist, paediatrician, psychiatrist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, a professional qualified to administer psychometric assessments, or other relevant medical specialist.

The assessment date on documentation related to a moderate to severe language delay or disorder, or severe behavioural and social emotional disability, must be less than 15 months prior to application submission. Where the assessment date on documentation provided in 2018 applications of this nature is more than 15 months prior to application submission, updated documentation must be provided in the child’s 2019 application.

It is understood there may be exceptional circumstances where no written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment is available for a child. In these circumstances, an application for HLSN can be supported by preschool observations documenting the developmental areas where the child displays difficulties (previously known as Emergency funding).

Observations of the child must be uploaded to support the application. These observations must indicate the frequency, intensity and duration of the concerns. The observations must be a description of what is observed, and not contain analysis or evaluation.

Where available, the following should also be uploaded to support the application:

  • supporting letters from a General Practitioner (GP) and/or
  • an early childhood teacher or primary teacher with an additional qualification in Special Education who is not employed by the preschool that the child attends.

Please note: HLSN funding for children without a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment is not ongoing, and is subject to quarterly review. See the Application Review section in these guidelines for details.

2018 Emergency funded children

Children who received emergency funding in 2018 (i.e. HLSN funding based on preschool observations) must now have a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment in place to be considered for HLSN funding in 2019.

In instances where exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated, a one-off quarterly payment may be provided.

Priority HLSN payments

In 2019, a HLSN application can be considered for priority payment. This means a payment outside of the quarterly payment schedule.

An application will only be eligible for priority payment if the assessment process determines there is an urgent need to support and supervise the child due to significant safety concerns for the child, and/or other children, and/or staff at the preschool.

Priority payment situations will be exceptional and rare.

Applications will be assessed regularly to support the priority payment process, and you may be contacted for additional information to support the application.

The HLSN application requires:

  • a description of how the child generally functions in the preschool, the child’s learning support needs and how the preschool meets the individual child’s educational needs
  • a description of the level of educator guidance and support required for the child to engage at the same levels as their peers
  • a description of the adjustments required to enable the child's access to, and participation in, the educational program on the same basis as their peers
  • the child’s NDIS Reference number (if available)
  • HLSN applications without a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment require preschools to upload observations to support the application which indicate the frequency, intensity and duration of developmental concerns. The observations must be a description of what is observed, and not contain analysis or evaluation. A professional assessment can also be provided to support the application.

Applications are made on a per child basis in the Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS).

Preschools are required to make new applications for children funded in 2018, but a streamlined process is in place whereby 2018 applications can be copied, updated and submitted for 2019.

This process requires that you:

  • indicate what has changed in relation to the child’s development and enrolment hours in 2019
  • attach updated documentation if required
  • request the HLSN hours you require to support the child in 2019.

For guidance on this process, please see the Helpful Information section of these guidelines and follow the prompts in ECCMS.

Note on parent/carer consent forms

Under the Terms and Conditions of your Funding Agreement, service providers are required to complete a consent form for each child upon enrolment. This form consents to the use and disclosure of personal information that is used by the department for reporting and funding purposes.

As long as this form has been completed for each child, additional forms of parent/carer consent are not required for the Disability and Inclusion Program.

Please visit the department’s website to obtain a copy of this form.

Variations and extended absences

Variations should be made within two working weeks for eligible applications where:

  • the child has left the service
  • there is a change to the child’s learning support needs, and you need to request and increase or decrease in HLSN hours
  • you are providing a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment for a child who has been funded based on preschool observations
  • the child is absent for more than five weeks.

Variations are made on a per child basis in the Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS).

Funding allocations for high learning support needs may change throughout the year if a funded child leaves your service, has a change in their learning support needs that requires reassessment, or new children with disability and additional needs enrol in your service.

In such cases a funding adjustment will be applied to the preschool’s next payment.

Assessment and feedback

The department will assess applications and determine funding. Where required, the department may seek further information from preschools about their application.

Feedback on the outcome of a funding application can be sought from the assessment team by emailing ecec.funding@det.nsw.edu.au and providing the following information:

  • child’s full name and application ID
  • preschool name
  • contact person at the preschool and contact phone number
  • the question/s you have about the child’s application.

Once you have provided this following information, a member of the assessment team will contact you within 7-10 business days to discuss your application.

Note: please do not provide sensitive information (include diagnostic reports and developmental assessments).

High learning support needs applications are individually assessed in accordance with the program guidelines and the application type. The hours of support approved for each child may be adjusted accordingly.

Minor capital works applications are assessed according to the eligibility criteria, budget availability and the degree to which the proposed project will support or improve the educational participation and outcomes of the child or children identified in this application.

Notification, payment and backdating

Services will be notified of the assessment outcome for each application, and their funding allocation via email.

Payments will align with the quarterly payment schedule as follows:

2019 assessment cut-off dates

Payment

Applications submitted by 5pm Thursday 22 November 2018

Quarter 1 - December 2018/January 2019

(January – 30 March 2019)

Applications submitted by 5pm Thursday 28 February 2019

Quarter 2 – April 2019

(April to June 2019)

Applications submitted by 5pm Thursday 30 May 2019

Quarter 3 – July 2019

(July to September 2019)

Applications submitted by 5pm Thursday 22 August 2019

Quarter 4 – October 2019

(October to December 2019)

Applications submitted by 5pm Thursday 17 October 2019

Final adjustments for 2019  (new applications and variations)

Assessment cut-off dates are subject to change. The department will notify preschools via email of any changes to these dates.

Funding for approved applications submitted up to and including 30 June 2019 will be backdated to the child’s enrolment start date for 2019.

Funding for approved applications submitted on or after 1 July 2019 will be backdated to 1 July 2019, or the child’s enrolment start date for 2019, whichever is the most recent date.

Funding adjustments for approved variations to increase or decrease hours submitted by 30 June 2019 will be backdated to the variation start date.

Funding adjustments for approved variations to increase hours submitted on or after 1 July 2019 will be backdated to 1 July 2019 or the variation start date, whichever is the most recent date.

Funding adjustments for approved variations where a child has left the service and to decrease hours will be calculated on a pro-rata basis, according the variation start date (i.e. the date the child left the service or decreased hours).

Spending rules

High learning support needs funding must be used to support the individual child.

Funding can be used for:

  • activities directly related to the development, delivery and review of the child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP), including collaboration with specialist providers working with the child
  • additional staff to support the child
  • professional development, including course costs related to the inclusion of the child
  • engagement with educators provided through the Sector Capacity Building Program related to the child.

Where a preschool has a large number of eligible children with high learning support needs, the department may cap funding in consultation with the service to ensure the funding allocations provided can be spent on the individual children.

The department will engage with services where the number of children with disability and/or additional needs is higher than the average to make these arrangements.

Where a preschool has a large number of children with high learning support needs enrolled, it is recommended that applications are made for all children, but only for the hours of support that the preschool can spend.

Please note: where the 2018 acquittal process identifies unspent HLSN funding, 2019 payments may be adjusted against unspent funds.

Funding cannot be used for:

  • payment of fees
  • employment of therapists for children
  • assessments
  • specialist medical consultations (for example, paediatricians)
  • medical equipment
  • early intervention supports that are most appropriately provided through the NDIS
  • any other functional supports that are provided through the NDIS or other programs.

Application review

HLSN funding for children without a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment is not ongoing, and is subject to quarterly review. The provision of further funding is contingent on the provision of a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment for the child.

To ensure ongoing supports are in place, and to support a positive transition to school, it is important that preschools support families to obtain a formal assessment for children in receipt of HLSN funding.

The department will request an update from the preschool on a child’s progress. This is provided by submitting a variation in ECCMS.

The quarterly review must demonstrate exceptional circumstances in order for funding to continue beyond one quarter. Where the quarterly review does not demonstrate progress towards obtaining a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment, funding will not continue.

If a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment is provided outside of this time, the preschool must notify the department within two working weeks by submitting a variation in ECCMS. The application will then be re-assessed to ascertain the child’s learning support needs.

Aim

The aim of the minor capital works program is to promote access and improve the educational opportunities, learning outcomes and personal development of children with disability and additional needs.

Funding is available for minor capital works (including minor modifications and specialised equipment/furniture) that is an essential requirement to enable children with disability to participate in the educational program on the same basis as their peers.

This funding is available for community preschools (including mobile preschools – who can apply for specialised educational equipment/furniture).

Eligibility Criteria

Applications are child specific, but one application can include minor capital requirements for multiple children, where the environment adjustment/equipment/furniture relates to more than one child.

To be eligible for this funding, the child/children need to have an application submitted for high learning support needs.

Required information and documentation

The application must set out:

  • preschool and project details
  • the child/children’s educational needs
  • the essential minor environmental modifications specialised equipment/furniture that are required to enable the child or children to access, and participate in, the educational program
  • how the minor environmental modifications, , specialised equipment/furniture are linked to/will deliver outcomes specified in the child/children’s ILP
  • provide relevant supporting documentation, including up to three quotes.

If applying for equipment or furniture please provide photocopies or sample pictures from catalogues to support your application.

Funding

Funding of up to $5,000 per child per year (or per application, if the application is for more than one child) is available for specialised equipment/furniture.

Funding of up to $20,000 per child per year (or per application, if the application is for more than one child) is available for minor construction projects. Please note that council approvals may be required for minor construction projects. Consultation with local government is recommended prior to application for minor construction projects through the Disability and Inclusion Program.

Applications for specialised equipment/furniture and minor construction projects can be made within the one application.

The department will assess applications and determine funding based on the assessment criteria, and budget availability.

Where applications are submitted that exceed the available grant amount, applicants will be required to confirm that they will be able to fund the difference.

If circumstances change, and a service cannot fund the difference, they must notify the department. In such circumstances the grant must be returned the department in full, unless expenditure is otherwise agreed by both parties and approved by the department. These decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

Spending Rules

Funding can be used for, but is not limited to:

  • the erection, alteration or extension of buildings or other facilities including outside developments. This includes conversion of buildings or facilities to alternative uses or their upgrading to modern standards, but does not include maintenance work. Examples of projects funded previously include:
    • access pathways to promote physical access for children with disability attending a community preschool
    • modifications to bathroom facilities
    • modifications to playground facilities
    • construction of ramps.
  • the provision of specialised equipment or specialised furniture. That is, equipment or furniture that supports a child’s attendance in an early childhood setting only.  If this equipment or furniture is not provided then the child will not be able to attend the preschool.  Examples of projects that may be considered include:
    • standing frames and seating equipment
    • grab rails and toilet rail surrounds
    • hydraulic nappy change tables.

Funds are not available for:

  • retrospective assistance. In this instance, an application is considered to be retrospective if the organisation enters into a commitment (e.g. signs a contract) prior to submitting an application
  • general refurbishment
  • projects where the purpose is satisfying government requirements for childrens services
  • the modification of space to create segregated playrooms or therapy rooms
  • generic early childhood equipment or non-specialised gross motor equipment
  • teachers’ resources
  • the establishment or upgrade of an equipment loaning service
  • digital cameras, video cameras, computers and IT equipment
  • photocopiers, fax machines and office equipment
  • segregated bathrooms and nappy change areas for children with disability
  • segregated playground areas and equipment.

All decisions will be made based on the individual needs of children.

Applications

Applications are made in the Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS).

Applications can be made from Wednesday 7 November 2018 to Thursday 17 October 2019, according to budget availability.

Assessment of applications

The department will assess applications and determine funding. Where required, the department may seek further information from preschools about their applications.

Applications will be assessed according to budget availability.

When the applications are assessed a range of factors are taken into account including:

  • the degree to which the proposed project will support or improve the educational participation and outcomes of the child or children identified in this application
  • the extent to which the proposed project is the most economical and effective way to meet the educational needs of the child or children identified in this application
  • Whether relevant authorities and the community been consulted where required.

Notification and payments

Payments will generally align with the quarterly payment schedule, but can also be made on an ad-hoc basis according to need and budget availability.

High learning support needs

A formal acquittal process must be undertaken within one year of receiving funding. This includes completing a statement of expenditure and a performance accountability statement.

The statement of expenditure requires services to report to the department on how the funding allocation has been spent, in accordance with the spending rules, to support the individual child.

The performance accountability statement requires services to report to the department on progress for each child receiving high learning support needs funding. This includes providing information in relation to each funded child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP).

Preschools may be audited to confirm the accuracy of data provided in their performance and financial accountability statements, which includes ensuring that the funding provided has been used to support the achievement of educational outcomes for children with disability in accordance with these guidelines.

Records of the parent/carer's consent for high learning support needs applications must be held on file by the preschool, along with documentary evidence of the child’s disability and/or additional needs.

Minor capital works

A formal acquittal process must be undertaken within one year of receiving funding. This includes completing a statement of expenditure and a performance accountability statement.

Preschools may be audited to confirm the accuracy of data provided in their performance and financial accountability statements.

This program is available to all NSW community preschools. Levels of support will vary depending on a preschool’s circumstances and needs.

Preschools are assigned an Early Childhood Intervention Service (or other qualified organisation) as their program provider.

In 2019, the Sector capacity building providers will assist preschools to:

  • increase their capacity to include children with disability and additional needs on the same basis as their peers
  • enable equitable education outcomes for children with disability and additional needs consistent with the five outcome areas of the Early Years Learning Framework (Identity, Connectedness, Wellbeing, Confident and Involved Learners, Communication)
  • understand the National Disability Insurance Scheme NDIS) as it relates to the delivery of supports for children through the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach within an educational setting.

Under this program, preschools will be supported to evaluate:

  • the additional support required for children’s educational development against the five outcome areas of the Early Years Learning Framework (Identity, Connectedness, Wellbeing, Confident and Involved Learners, Communication)
  • any barriers preventing children from participating in all the preschool experiences offered
  • whether these barriers relate to the skills and experience of the educators
  • whether these barriers arise from features of the preschool
  • whether these identified barriers may be removed or adjusted without additional funding
  • whether these identified barriers may be removed or reduced only with additional funding
  • results from administering a recognised assessment (such as the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Squires & Bricker 2009) to assess the child's development, conducted in consultation with his/her parents/carers, and consideration of whether further referral is necessary.

This program will include:

  1. regular site visits and a coaching and mentoring program delivered by Early Childhood Early Intervention Services and other qualified organisations (including phone and email support)
  2. accredited professional learning and an online resource platform
  3. online self-assessment of Inclusive Practice tool for services
  4. Early Learning Transitions pilot program to support successful transitions into preschool for children with disability.

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 services will be notified when applications open.

Preschool Disability Support Program Scholarship recipients

Current scholarship program recipients will continue to be supported by the department to complete their studies.

Early Childhood Education Directorate

Information and Enquiries team: 1300 755 426

Email: ecec.funding@det.nsw.edu.au

What is an Individual Learning Plan (ILP)?

An individual learning plan must be developed for each child approved for high learning support needs funding. It should have the following characteristics:

  • a written document that details what the preschool will do for the child
  • a working document to help preschools record each child's developmental progress
  • developed in consultation and agreement with the child's parents or carers
  • does not need to be lengthy or complex
  • updated regularly and reviewed at least every six months
  • forms part of the planning/documentation of the child's educational program and progress as part of the National Quality Framework
  • must address the following:
    • assessment information reports
    • information about the child's disability
    • roles and responsibilities of team members and other services that may work with the child at the preschool (e.g. early childhood early intervention providers under the NDIS)
    • summary of the child's strengths, interests and needs
    • long term goals and outcomes
    • specific short term objectives
    • teaching strategies
    • ongoing evaluation
    • documentation of the transition process (either transition within the preschool or from preschool to school)
  • you can use it to:
    • document your consultation with the child's parents/carers and the reasonable adjustments being made to support the child
    • complement the goals and aspirations expressed in a child's NDIS support plans, and the potential for integrated assessment and planning should be taken into account.

Do I need to make an application for this child?

When considering whether an application for high learning needs funding or minor capital works funding is required, you need to consider an individual child's ability to access the preschool and the educational program in relation to the following key areas:

  • the educational needs of the child
  • the number of educators, their skills and experience
  • specific areas of the program (excursions, routines, individual activities and small group experiences)
  • the needs of other children in the preschool
  • the physical environment
  • other supports available to the child through non-government agencies and/or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

It will also assist to consider whether the child:

  • presents with expressive and/or receptive language that is significantly delayed when compared to same aged peers
  • uses jargon, involuntarily repeat sounds or words that they hear from others or predominately use gesture to communicate
  • has social skills that are not age appropriate, may be aggressive to peers, have poor emotional regulation
  • engages in parallel or solitary play and may be self-directed and prefer own agenda
  • is not be aware of danger and may require constant supervision to remain safe
  • is not toilet trained and needs help with dressing
  • requires adult support transitioning between activities
  • consistently requires educators to provide verbal and physical support to remain on task.

What sort of information should I include in a preschool based observation?

  • relevant background information
  • dated anecdotal observations that provide clear examples of the areas of concern, including the duration and intensity of behaviours
  • charts that provide clear evidence of the frequency of the behaviour/s of concern
  • observations that identify the support needs of the child during different parts of the day
  • the level of support required for routines such as toileting and meal times

How do I make a 2019 HLSN application for a child that was funded in 2018?

Preschools are required to make new applications for children funded in 2018, but a streamlined process is in place whereby the child’s 2018 application (or variation) can be copied, updated and submitted for 2019.

This process requires that you:

  • indicate what has changed in relation to the child’s development and enrolment hours in 2019
  • attached updated documentation if required
  • request the HLSN hours you require to support the child in 2019.

An updated assessment must be uploaded as part of the 2019 application if the assessment date on documentation you provided in 2018 is:

  • related to a moderate to severe language delay or disorder, or severe behavioural and social emotional disability and
  • more than 15 months prior to application submission.

For further guidance on this process, please follow the prompts in ECCMS.

Please note: children who received emergency funding in 2018 (i.e. HLSN funding based on preschool observations) must now have a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment in place to be considered for HLSN funding in 2019.

In instances where exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated, a one-off quarterly payment may be provided.

Where a child attends more than one preschool, can funding applications be made by both services?

Yes. Funding applications can be made as follows:

  • high learning support needs funding – apply for hours of support required, up to 600 hours
  • minor capital works funding.

What are the assessment cut off and payment dates?

Payments will align with the quarterly payment schedule as follows:

2019 assessment cut-off dates

Payment

Applications submitted by 5pm Thursday 22 November 2018

Quarter 1 - December 2018/January 2019

(January – 30 March 2019)

Applications submitted by 5pm Thursday 28 February 2019

Quarter 2 – April 2019

(April to June 2019)

Applications submitted by 5pm Thursday 30 May 2019

Quarter 3 – July 2019

(July to September 2019)

Applications submitted by 5pm Thursday 22 August 2019

Quarter 4 – October 2019

(October to December 2019)

Applications submitted by 5pm Thursday 17 October 2019

Final adjustments for 2019  (new applications and variations)

Assessment cut-off dates are subject to change. The department will notify preschools via email of any changes to these dates.

What is a priority HLSN payment?

In 2019, a HLSN application can be considered for priority payment. This means a payment outside of the quarterly payment schedule.

An application will only be eligible for priority payment if the assessment process determines there is an urgent need to support and supervise the child due to significant safety concerns for the child, and/or other children, and/or staff at the preschool.

Priority payment situations will be exceptional and rare.

Applications will be assessed regularly to support the priority payment process, and you may be contacted for additional information to support the application.

Can I submit a high learning support needs application for a child without a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment?

It is understood there are exceptional circumstances where no written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment is available for a child. In these circumstances, an application for HLSN can be supported by preschool observations documenting the developmental areas where the child displays difficulties (previously known as Emergency funding).

Observations of the child must be uploaded to support the application. These observations must indicate the frequency, intensity and duration of the concerns. The observations must be a description of what is observed, and not contain analysis or evaluation.

Where available, the following should also be uploaded to support the application:

  • supporting letters from a General Practitioner (GP) and/or
  • an early childhood teacher or primary teacher with an additional qualification in Special Education who is not employed by the preschool that the child attends.

Please note: HLSN funding for children without a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment is not ongoing, and is subject to quarterly review.

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