Discover what you could do with a Flexible Initiatives Trial grant

These scenarios offer practical examples to show how early childhood education and care (ECEC) services might use a Flexible Initiatives Trial grant to innovate, adapt and explore new opportunities to deliver more flexible early learning options for their community.

The scenarios showcase various ways that services might apply for funding under the two distinct streams of the trial:

Stream 1 – Flexible service delivery

Supports experimentation with:

  • smaller-scale adjustments to a service’s operating model
  • shifts in current practices and trials of new strategies within existing frameworks
  • the establishment of new family day care services in rural and remote areas.

These scenarios show how the introduction of incremental changes can lead to significant improvements in service delivery, while still maintaining quality education and care for children.

Stream 2 – Blended service delivery

Supports collaboration between two distinct service types where:

  • one service is designated as the lead applicant, and they work together with a partner service to create a new approach
  • the partnership results in an innovative, larger-scale operating model that provides an enriched early childhood education experience for families.

These scenarios showcase the dynamic potential of partnerships and highlight how innovative collaboration can lead to new, comprehensive education and care options.

How to read these scenarios

Services should approach these scenarios with a good understanding of their unique service operating environment, including factors such as sector-specific requirements, market dynamics, and regulatory conditions.

The scenarios should be read in conjunction with the program guidelines.

Each scenario presents a flexibility solution that is appropriate for a particular service. You will need to consider which solution might suit your service and community best by closely analysing the variables – relevant ratios, spatial considerations, resource availability, and community need – to arrive at an idea of how you might effectively tailor an application for funding for your service.

Note that the budgets provided are illustrative rather than prescriptive. They are benchmarks to be adjusted according to the specific needs of individual services and circumstances.

Key features of a successful proposal

While each scenario presents a different solution that may be applicable to various types of ECEC service, the key features of any successful proposal for a Flexible Initiatives Trial grant are:

  • it identifies the service gaps and demonstrates the local community need
  • it offers a way to increase flexibility while maintaining quality care for children and supporting staff wellbeing
  • it is both realistic and sufficiently detailed, including:
    • clear objectives
    • an implementation plan
    • a budget supported by relevant information or quotes
    • information about any service approvals, waivers or notifications that may be required
    • a commitment to data collection
  • it demonstrates how the proposed activities go beyond existing activities, and it includes provision for the evaluation of program outcomes.

Stream 1 scenarios

Stream 2 scenarios

Find out more about how to apply


Early Childhood Education Information and Enquiries team
1800 619 113


  • Early childhood education

Business Unit:

  • Early Childhood Outcomes
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