Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions on the Flexible Initiatives Trial.

General questions

Important things to consider in determining whether this is right for your service include:

  • Is there a need for flexibility in your service’s local community?
  • Do you meet the eligibility requirements?
  • Can you meet the assessment criteria?
  • Can you develop a partnership with another service type to provide wrap-around flexible care? (stream 2)

Flexibility, for the purpose of this program, means any change to a service’s ordinary early childhood education and care (ECEC) business delivery and operations to promote greater accessibility for families. Flexibility may include, but is not limited to:

  • an extension of service operating hours
  • increasing available or licensed places
  • flexible attendance patterns
  • casual care day booking systems
  • wrap around care
  • any other initiative that increases availability of ECEC.

Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals to test and trial a variety of flexible activities that suit the needs of children and families in their local communities.

Note, though, that proposed flexible activities must go beyond the service’s normal, core, existing or ongoing activities.

Yes. You can apply for funding to extend or expand flexible activities that your service already offers, so long as the activity goes beyond your service’s normal, core, existing or ongoing activities.

For example, if a service currently provides extra operating hours on Monday evenings and wants to make their hours longer on Thursday and Friday evenings, an application can be lodged for this extension. However, it is important to note that while the extended hours on Thursday and Friday could qualify for funding under the ECEC Flexible Initiatives Trial, the additional hours already offered on Mondays would not be eligible for funding. Existing or ongoing flexible activities already in place at a service are not eligible for funding.

No. The costs associated with hiring and paying wages for allied health professionals does not fit within the scope of the Flexible Initiatives Trial.

No. Funding is only available to cover transportation costs (including the costs of a driver, an additional educator for supervision, as well as vehicle hire and fuel costs). For example, a service may allocate funding from the program to hire a vehicle for transportation of the children from one service to another or from the family’s home to the service.

Yes. Funding for minor capital works may be considered, provided the minor capital works is essential to the delivery or implementation of your proposed initiative. Refer to What can and cannot be funded in the guidelines for what can and cannot be funded for minor capital works. Please ensure that you also review the notes in the relevant section of the guidelines.

Yes. The Flexible Initiatives Trial provides 12 months of funding to test and trial new initiatives. Should your initiative be unsustainable you will need to outline your exit strategy including the impact it may have on children and families participating in your proposed initiative.

Service amendments and approvals

No. Being successful in your application to the Flexible Initiatives Trial does not guarantee any outcome regarding your applications to the regulatory authority or local council.

If services are unable to obtain necessary approvals by the time specified in their funding agreement, the funding agreement may be terminated. For more information see Program guidelines – round 2.

Once your application is successful

Funding is paid in instalments in accordance with project milestones and funding agreement. The program type and total project cost will determine the number of project milestones and payments.

You may be required to submit progress reports and evidence when you complete a project milestone, as per your funding agreement.

Stream 1B - Family day care

Yes, only existing approved providers are eligible to establish a new family day care under stream 1B. If you are applying as an educator, this requires evidence of consent and support from your approved provider. The funding agreement will be with the approved provider.

Funding for new family day care services (under stream 1B) is only available to services being established in outer regional, remote and very remote areas, under an existing approved provider.

To identify whether the location for your prospective new service is classified as regional, remote or very remote, please refer to the ARIA+ classification guide.

That is your decision to make. We recommend you first speak with your landlord and ensure you can acquire appropriate insurance and meet the regulatory requirements for the establishment of a new family day care in the rental property.

Stream 2 - Blended delivery

Yes. Applicants applying for stream 2 will need to establish a partnership before applying for the ECEC Flexible Initiatives Trial. The primary applicant will be required to provide evidence of consent from the approved provider of your partner service.

Single approved providers who run multiple service types can also seek funding to provide wrap around care between two different service types.

The primary applicant is the service who will be signing in or out, and assuming responsibility for the education and care of the children outside of the children’s core ECEC location and hours (that is, providing care for children for wraparound or extended period/s).

For example, a family day care service partnering with a community preschool may collect children from the community preschool at the close of business and continue to care for the children at the family day care. In this example, the family day care is the primary applicant and they must complete the application form.

The primary applicant must complete the application form and will therefore sign the funding agreement. The primary applicant will receive funds according to the funding agreement. They will also be responsible for all reporting.


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