Professional development grants

The 2017 Early Childhood Professional Development Grants are designed to improve access to professional development opportunities for all early childhood education staff.

Applications for the current round of professional development grants have now closed.


The 2017 Early Childhood Professional Development Grants are designed to improve access to professional development opportunities for early childhood education staff employed in centre-based preschools and mobile preschools.

The grants will enhance the knowledge and skills needed to ensure the delivery of quality early childhood education.

Service eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a professional development grant, service providers must meet the following criteria:

  • operate a mobile or centre based community preschool service with a valid service approval
  • be funded under the NSW Government's Early Childhood Education Preschool Funding Grants program
  • be registered or incorporated in NSW as a not for profit organisation or association with appropriate governance mechanisms
  • comply or agree to comply with the requirements of the applicable National Law and regulations for the relevant service type; e.g. Early Childhood Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010, Children (Education and Care Services National Law Application) Act 2010, Education and Care Services National Regulations, Supplementary Provisions Regulation 2012.

Award categories

Professional development grants will be administered via the SmartyGrants online application system.

Eligible services can apply for the following:


Maximum grant per application


Services in remote and very remote ARIA+ classification locations as well as services with a high proportion of equity enrolments (Aboriginal children and children from low income families)



Services in inner regional and outer regional ARIA+ classification locations



Services in major cities ARIA+ classification locations


ARIA+ classifications of each service are listed in the Early Childhood Contract Management System.

Types of professional development activities

Suitable professional development activities can include but are not limited to:

  • in-house courses delivered by an external provider
  • attendance at training courses, seminars, workshops, forums or conferences
  • online learning, webinars or other training.

Eligible staff

All staff members employed by eligible services can apply for professional development grants including:

  • educators and teachers
  • educational leaders
  • service directors
  • administrative staff.

Use of funds

A professional development activity cannot be purchased from the same approved provider or service.

Grants may be used to fund:

  • professional development course or registration costs
  • travel expenses
  • accommodation
  • costs of a course provided by a consultant. The consultant cannot be an employee of the service, the same service provider or a member of the service's management committee.
  • backfill of staff to attend a professional development activity.
The professional development activity needs to start before the 30 of June 2018.  Funds need to be expended prior to 30 June 2018.


The department may prioritise applications that:

  • contribute towards teacher accreditation
  • identify opportunities to develop elements of National Quality Standards as assessed in the service's assessment and rating
  • provide professional development for Aboriginal educators
  • identify opportunities in which learning can be shared, for example, peer-to-peer dissemination of knowledge or whole of service professional development
  • provide professional development for services in receipt of Service Safety Net funding.

Application process

Applications were open via SmartyGrants from 16 October 2017 to 13 November 2017.

A service can lodge one application only. However services may choose to include multiple requests or multiple learning opportunities within the one application, as long as total funding is within the category limit.

For example, a very remote service may apply for both an educator to attend a webinar and the service director to attend a conference separately. The total grant for both would be capped at $2,500 (Category 1).

Applicants must describe:

  • the professional development opportunity identified by the service
  • the member/s of staff attending on behalf of the service, including their position within the service
  • how the opportunity will benefit the service, the staff member and children enrolled at the service
  • how the funds will be spent
  • additional impacts on the service as a result of professional development participation, such as backfill requirements or any other relevant considerations
  • how the opportunity aligns with the assessment and rating elements of the National Quality Standards as assessed in the service's assessment and rating.

Applications can be made on the SmartyGrants page from 16 October 2017.


Applications for 2017 Professional Development Grants can be submitted between Monday 16 October and Monday 13 November 2017.

It is anticipated that applicants will be notified about the outcome of their application in December 2017.

Notification and grant payments

The department will contact successful applicants to finalise professional development grant confirmation, execute payments and the acquittal process.

Contact details

For more information about the professional development grant program please call 1300 755 426 or email

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