2018 Disability and Inclusion Program guidelines

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

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 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
  • children who participate in quality early childhood education are more likely to start school equipped with the social, cognitive and emotional skills they need to engage in learning.
  • 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.

This program is consistent with:

  • the NSW Government’s National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education with the Commonwealth Government
  • the provisions of the Children (Education and Care Services National Law Application) Act 2010 and Regulations under that Law
  • the Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

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

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 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.

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

Services must be:

  • a centre-based or mobile preschool
  • not-for-profit
  • an approved early childhood education and care service under the National Law and Regulations
  • 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
  • receiving funding under the Early Childhood Education Grants Program (either Start Strong Funding for centre-based community preschools or a mobile contract for mobile preschools).

There are five program components:

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

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*.

* See note in section 6.1.

Key dates

Data collection: 28 February – 27 March 2018

First payment: April 2018 (backdated to 1 Jan 2018. Includes two quarterly payments, for the first six months of 2018)

High learning support needs funding

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

Includes emergency funding.

Key dates

First applications: 28 February – 27 March 2018

First payment: April 2018 (backdated to the date of first enrolment for 2018. Includes two quarterly payments, for the first six months of 2018)

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

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

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

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).

Key dates

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.

Key dates

Further information will be provided in 2018.

6.1 Aim

Children with disability and additional needs who are enrolled in community preschools for 600 hours per year* will receive Start Strong equity funding.

*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.

6.2. Child Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for Start Strong equity funding, the child will need to be:

  • at least 3 years old on or before the 31 July in that preschool year and
  • have a disability or additional needs.

6.3. Required information and documentation

One of the following must be held on file by the preschool as evidence of the child’s disability or additional needs:

  • the child’s NDIS Reference number
  • a copy of the most recent and relevant report, assessment or letter that outlines the child's disability or additional needs from a relevant professional. Documentation must be on letterhead and signed by the relevant professional.

Relevant professionals are:

  • a General Practitioner (GP)
  • an early childhood teacher or primary teacher with an additional qualification in Special Education who is not employed by the preschool which the child attends
  • an audiologist, registered psychologist, paediatrician, psychiatrist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, a professional qualified to administer psychometric assessments, or other relevant medical specialist.

Wherever possible the assessment date on documentation related to a moderate to severe language delay or disorder, or severe behavioural and social emotional disability, should be less than 15 months prior to application submission.

6.4. Funding

Preschools will receive the maximum Start Strong base rate of $6,600 per year for each eligible child with disability or additional needs, in place of the standard SEIFA base rate for that child’s enrolment.

The maximum Start Strong base rate of $6,600 per year will also be paid for each enrolled 3 year old with disability or additional needs who was otherwise ineligible for Start Strong funding as they were not from an Aboriginal or low income family.

If a child already receives Start Strong equity funding or is eligible to receive this funding (i.e. is a child from an Aboriginal or low income family) they will not be eligible to receive it again. Each child is only eligible for one allocation of equity funding.

6.5. Spending Rules

Start Strong spending rules for equity funded children apply. Please refer to the Start Strong Guidelines for further information.

6.6. Data collection

The initial data collection process will be conducted in the Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS).

ECCMS will open on Wednesday 28 February 2018, and close at 5pm AEDT on Tuesday 27 March 2018.

The representative fortnight is Monday 5 March to Friday 16 March 2018 and is based on enrolment, not attendance.

Preschools must provide the following information for each eligible child:

  • full name and date of birth
  • the child’s NDIS Reference number or details about relevant documentation held on file
  • enrolment hours (minimum 300 hours per year)
  • where the enrolment is for less than 600 hours per year, confirmation that the preschool will ensure the child’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP) includes a plan to increase hours over time.

For more information contact the Early Childhood Education Directorate:

Information and Enquiries team: 1300 755 426

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

After this data collection process, eligibility for Start Strong equity funding for children with disability and additional needs will determined via the August preschool census, utilising additional collection points if required.

6.7. Notification and Payment

Services will be notified of the outcome via an email in April 2018.

The first quarterly payment will be made in April 2018. It will be backdated to 1 January 2018. This will include two quarterly payments, for the first six months of 2018.

Future payments will be made as part of, or alongside, your annual Start Strong funding allocation.

6.8 Start Strong equity funding for mobile preschools and safety net services

Mobile preschools

Start Strong equity funding is available for children with disability and additional needs enrolled in mobile preschools on fixed term opt in contracts.

This funding will be provided as a top up from the Preschool Funding Model (PFM) base rate in your contract to the Start Strong equity rate of $6,600 for each eligible child.

This provision will be in place until the end of your contract in 2019.

Start Strong Safety Net services

Preschools in receipt of/eligible for the safety net will receive Start Strong equity funding for each eligible child in the same way a community preschool not in receipt of/eligible for the safety net receives this funding.

This will not impact your eligibility for the safety net.

This funding will be provided in addition to your Start Strong Safety Net allocation.

Funding is available for children with high learning support needs. In addition to Start Strong equity funding, preschools (including mobile preschools) can apply for the number of hours of support a child requires at an hourly rate of $23 per hour, up to 600 hours per year.

7.1. 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.

7.2. Child Eligibility Criteria

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

  • at least 3 years old on or before the 31 July in that preschool year and
  • have high learning support needs.

Children with high learning support needs:

  • have constant and ongoing support requirements to enable attendance at preschool
  • 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 inclusion/education plan that incorporates specific teaching strategies
  • may require access to specialised technology, seating and/or standing equipment.

7.3. Required information and documentation

The application requires you to set out:

  • what the child’s learning support needs are
  • how the individual child's educational needs can be met
  • what adjustments are required to enable the child's access to, and participation in, the educational program

The following must be provided as evidence of the child’s disability:

  • the child’s NDIS Reference number (if available)
  • a written diagnosis and/or developmental assessment from the relevant specialists*. Documentation must be on letterhead and signed by the relevant specialist.

In addition, the following information must be held on the child’s preschool file, and provided upon request:

  • written consent from the child’s parent/carer. (The parent/carer's signature will authorise the preschool to provide details about the child to the department for the purposes of assessing eligibility for funding).

      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 which 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.

*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.

Wherever possible the assessment date on documentation related to a moderate to severe language delay or disorder, or severe behavioural and social emotional disability, should be less than 15 months prior to application submission.

7.4. Funding

Funding for children with high learning support needs is provided in addition to Start Strong equity funding.

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

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

7.5. Spending Rules

Funds must be used to support the individual child.

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

  • activities related to the development of the ILP
  • additional staff
  • professional development, including course costs related to the inclusion of children with additional needs
  • specialist advice and support
  • other activities directly related to the delivery of the ILP.

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.

7.6. Applications and Adjustments

Applications are on a per child basis and are backdated to the date of first enrolment for 2018.

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

Applications will open on Wednesday 28 February 2018, and close for assessment at 5pm AEDT on Tuesday 27 March 2018.

ECCMS will re-open for new applications and variations in May 2018, and 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, and preschools will be advised of  assessment cut off dates via email and in ECCMS.

Preschools must notify the department within two working weeks of any changes to a child's learning support needs, absences of more than five weeks, or when a child is no longer enrolled in the service. In such cases a funding variation may be applied to the preschool’s next payment.

Preschools are required to make new applications for children previously funded under the Preschool Disability Support Program through Child Focussed Targeted Support (this funding will not carry over to 2018).

For more information contact the Early Childhood Education Directorate:

Information and Enquiries team: 1300 755 426

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

7.7. Assessment of applications

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

7.8. Notification and Payment

Services will be notified of the outcome of the first application round via an email in April 2018.

First payments will be made in April 2018, and are backdated to the date of first enrolment for 2018. This will include two quarterly payments, for the first six months of 2018.

Future payments will align with the quarterly payment schedule.

7.9. Emergency funding

Emergency funding may be provided for a child who may or may not have a diagnosis and needs significant additional support and supervision to participate in the preschool program.

This may include circumstances where:

  • there is an extended delay to obtain the required diagnosis
  • the safety of the child, other children or staff at the preschool is a concern and
  • there are no other support services in the local community that could provide expertise and support to include the child in the preschool program.
Eligibility for emergency funding

As a minimum threshold, a child receiving emergency funding will require verbal and physical support to remain on task. To be eligible for emergency funding, a child may also:

  • have a severe language delay in either receptive or expressive language (or both), may use jargon, may involuntarily repeat sounds or words that they hear from others
  • have social skills that are not age appropriate, may be aggressive to peers, have poor emotional regulation
  • engage in parallel or solitary play and may be self-directed and prefer own agenda
  • not be aware of danger and may require constant supervision to remain safe
  • not be toilet trained and needs help with dressing
  • have difficulties transitioning between activities and need adult support.

Emergency Start Strong equity funding is available available during the February/March data collection period for a child for who does not have an NDIS Reference number or the relevant documentation, and needs significant additional support and supervision to participate in the preschool program. In such cases, the child’s eligibility for Start Strong equity funding will be determined as part of their assessment for high learning support needs funding.

Application process

Applications for emergency funding can be submitted on the Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS).

Applications will open on Wednesday 28 February 2018 and will close for assessment at 5pm AEDT on Tuesday 27 March 2018.

The application process requires preschools to provide observations of the child in the educational setting that clearly outline the child’s educational needs.

ECCMS will re-open for new applications and variations in May 2018, and 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, and preschools will be advised of assessment cut off dates via email and in ECCMS.

For more information contact the Early Childhood Education Directorate:

Information and Enquiries team: 1300 755 426

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

Emergency funding assessment

The department will assess applications for emergency funding.

Approved emergency funding will apply between the date of the child's enrolment until such time as a diagnosis is provided, and the application can be reassessed.

When a diagnosis is provided, the preschool must notify the department, and then the application will be re-assessed to ascertain the child’s learning support needs. Further information will be requested as required.

The department will review children in receipt of emergency funding at periodic intervals, and request an update from preschools on a child’s circumstances. This may result in re-assessment of the child’s learning support needs.

Emergency funding payment

Payments for emergency funding applications will be made as soon as possible after the application is approved, or within the next quarterly payment.

Funding is available for minor capital works (including minor environment 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).

8.1. 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 by providing funding for essential minor capital projects and specialised equipment/furniture.

8.2. Eligibility Criteria

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

To be eligible for this funding, the child/children need to be:

  • at least 3 years old on or before the 31 July in that preschool year and
  • have an application submitted, or in progress, for high learning support needs.

8.3. 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.

8.4. 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.

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.

8.5. 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 children’s 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.

8.6. Applications

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

Applications will open on Wednesday 28 February 2018, and close for assessment at 5pm on Tuesday 27 March 2018.

ECCMS will re-open for new applications and variations in May 2018, and 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, and preschools will be advised of assessment cut off dates via email and in ECCMS.

For more information contact the Early Childhood Education Directorate:

Information and Enquiries team: 1300 755 426

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

8.7. 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
  • Where required, have relevant authorities and the community been consulted?

8.8. Notification and Payment

Services will be notified of the outcome of the first application round via an email in April 2018.

Payments will be made in April 2018, and future payments will align with the quarterly payment schedule.

Preschools are required to report to the department on progress for each child receiving high learning support needs funding. This includes a statement that:

  • an Individual Learning Plan is in place
  • the plan has been reviewed
  • the educational objectives have been met, or the educational objectives have not been met and the plan has been adjusted.

The department also conducts an annual audit program, 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.

Preschools are required to provide an annual acquittal to the department consistent with the preschool's funding agreement.

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

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

Preschools with high numbers of level 1 children under the previous Preschool Disability Support Program (PDSP) will be prioritised to receive this program in January to June 2018.

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.

The program will commence full rollout from July 2018.

When fully implemented, the program will include:

  1. Online Self-Assessment of Inclusive Practice tool for services
  2. 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)
  3. Accredited professional learning and an online resource platform
  4. Early Learning Transitions pilot program to support successful transitions into preschool for children with disability.

Early Childhood Intervention Services (and other qualified organisations) will have the opportunity to submit an application in March 2018 to become pre-approved providers of this program. Further information about the application process will be provided directly to Early Childhood Intervention services, and will be made available on the Department of Education website.

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.

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).

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

Yes. Funding applications can be made as follows:

  • Start Strong equity funding – apply for hours enrolled
  • High learning support needs funding – apply for hours of support required, up to 600 hours
  • Minor capital works funding.

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

14.1 Aim

Transition funding is available for community preschools (including mobile preschools) with high numbers of children who would have been funded as level 1 under the Child Focussed Targeted Support component of the Preschool Disability Support Program (PDSP).

The aim of this funding is to assist preschools to transition to the Disability and Inclusion Program, and give them time to adapt and receive the training and supports available through the Sector Capacity Building Program.

14.2 Eligibility Criteria for Preschools

Centre-based and mobile preschools which meet the following criteria will be eligible for transition funding:

  • preschools where the number of children who would have been funded under PDSP as level 1 children is greater than or equal to the average number of level 1 children across all preschools, or
  • preschools with a proportion of children who would have been funded under PDSP as level 1 children is greater than or equal to the average proportion of level 1 children across all preschools, or
  • preschools where the per child base rate is already $6,600

14.3 Transition funding

Eligible preschools will receive an additional Start Strong equity funding payment scaled according to their Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) band as follows:

  • SEIFA 1-8, 60% of $6,600 per level 1 child
  • SEIFA 9-11, 50% of $6,600 per level 1 child
  • SEIFA 12-15, 40% of $6,600 per level 1 child
  • SEIFA 16-18, 30% of $6,600 per level 1 child

14.4 Eligibility Criteria for Children

For transition funding purposes, an eligible child is defined as a child with disability or additional needs who meets the eligibility requirements for Start Strong equity funding, but not high learning support needs funding under the 2018 Disability and Inclusion Program.

Please refer to Section 6.2 of these guidelines for the eligibility criteria for Start Strong equity funding for children with disability and additional needs.

14.5 Data collection

The data used to calculate transition funding allocations will be the data collected about the number of children with disability and additional needs eligible for Start Strong equity funding under the 2018 Disability and Inclusion Program.

This data collection process will be conducted in the Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS).

ECCMS will open on Wednesday 28 February 2018, and close at 5pm AEDT on Tuesday 27 March 2018.

The representative fortnight is Monday 5 March to Friday 16 March 2018.

For more information contact the Early Childhood Education Directorate:

Information and Enquiries team: 1300 755 426

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

14.6 Notification and Payment

Services will be notified of the outcome via an email in April 2018.

Payments will be made in April 2018.

14.7 Spending Rules

Funds must be used to support the individual child.

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

  • professional development, including course costs related to the inclusion of children with additional needs and upgrading qualifications
  • fee pass through
  • purchasing resources and tools
  • specialist advice and support.

Funding cannot be used for:

  • 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.

Funds need to be expended during the 2018 calendar year.

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