2023 Minor Capital Works Fund Guidelines
The aim of Minor Capital Works (MCW) funding 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 and additional needs to participate in the educational program on the same basis as their peers.
This funding is available for community preschools (including mobile preschools).
2. Eligibility criteria
Applications are child specific, but one application can include minor capital works 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 approved for High Learning Support Needs (HLSN) funding.
Funding of up to $5,000 (ex GST) 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 (ex GST) per child per year (or per application, if the application is for more than one child) is available for minor construction projects.
Please note: 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.
4. How to apply
Applications are made in the Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS).
MCW Applications must include:
- a description of the child/children’s educational needs.
- a description of the essential minor environmental modifications, specialised equipment/furniture that are required to enable the child/ children to access, and participate in, the educational program.
- supporting evidence from specialised professionals recommending specialised equipment.
- a description of how the minor environmental modifications, specialised equipment/furniture are linked to/will deliver outcomes specified in the child/children’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP).
- an itemised quote/s clearly indicating the breakdown of costs excluding GST. Where GST is not clearly indicated, the department will assume that GST is included in the cost and will subtract this amount from the total amount.
- if applying for equipment or furniture:
- photocopies or sample pictures from catalogues to support your application.
- a declaration confirming sufficient space for equipment/furniture to be installed and used safely.
Where applications are submitted that exceed the available grant amount, applicants are required to confirm that they can fund the difference.
If circumstances change, and a preschool cannot fund the difference, they must notify the department. In such circumstances the grant must be returned to 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.
5. Application and payment dates
|2023 MCW application cut off dates||Notification of Outcome and Payment|
|Submitted by 5.00pm
Friday 2 December 2022
|Quarter 1 - February 2023|
|Submitted by 5.00pm
Friday 10 March 2023
|Quarter 2 - April 2023|
|Submitted by 5.00pm
Friday 26 May 2023
|Quarter 3 - July 2023|
|Submitted by 5.00pm
Friday 18 August 2023
|Quarter 4 - October 2023|
|Submitted by 5.00pm
Friday 13 October 2023
|Final adjustments - December 2023*
*Funding for eligible applications will be paid in December and must be spent within the calendar year.
Application cut-off dates are subject to change. The department will notify preschools via email of any changes to these dates. MCW payments can also be made on an ad hoc basis as determined by the department, and according to budget availability.
6. Assessment and feedback
The department will assess applications and determine funding. Where required, the department may seek further information from preschools about their applications.
All MCW applications will be individually assessed and in accordance with overall budget availability.
When assessing MCW applications, a range of factors are considered. Factors include:
- the degree to which the proposed project will support or improve the educational participation and outcomes of the child/children identified in the application.
- the extent to which the proposed project is the most economical and effective way to meet the educational needs of the child/children identified in the application.
- whether relevant authorities and the community have been consulted where required.
Feedback on the outcome of a funding application can be sought from the assessment team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and providing the following information:
- MCW application ID
- preschool name
- contact person at the preschool and contact phone number
- the question/s you have about the 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.
7. 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 and additional needs 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 the 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 applying.
- general refurbishment.
- projects where the purpose is satisfying government requirements for children’s services.
- the modification of space to create segregated playrooms or therapy rooms.
- generic early childhood equipment, non-specialised gross motor equipment, and therapy and sensory 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 and additional needs.
- segregated playground areas and equipment.
MCW funding allocations must be expended in the calendar year in which funding was allocated.
Please note all equipment and furniture funded under this program is required to be maintained in accordance with Regulation 103 of the Education and Care National Regulations.
8. Reporting requirements
A formal acquittal process for any funding allocation will be undertaken in the calendar year after the funding allocation is made. Preschools will be invoiced for any outstanding funds in the same year.
The acquittal process includes completing a statement of expenditure and performance. The statement of expenditure requires preschools to report to the department what proportion of the funding allocation has been spent in accordance with the payments received. The performance accountability statement requires preschools to report to the department how the funding has been spent.
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 and additional needs in accordance with these guidelines.