Vacation Care Transition Pilot Program Guidelines
1. Transition Pilot Program overview
From 1 July 2020, the Department of Education (the Department) will run a Vacation Care Transition Support Program. The aim of the Program’s Pilot Round will be to support current vacation care providers in NSW, while improving access to vacation care for vulnerable cohorts as per the Commonwealth Government’s Priority of Access Guidelines.
The Vacation Care (VC) Transition Support Program is comprised of two rounds, these being the:
- Transition Support (Round One)
- Transition Pilot (Round Two)
These Guidelines are for Round Two of the VC Transition Support Program (VC Transition Pilot).
The total funding pool available through the VC Transition Support Program is $2 million. The first round is only available to 2019-20 Legacy Grant recipients. The second round (the Pilot) is open to all other Vacation Care providers in NSW, pending eligibility detailed in these Guidelines.
Applications for the VC Transition Pilot will open in July 2020. It is only available for use during the 2020-21 financial year.
1.1 Program priorities
Applications to participate in the VC Transition Pilot will be in the form of an Expression of Interest (EOI), submitted via SmartyGrants. All EOIs will be assessed competitively, prioritising the following criteria of:
- Operating a vacation care service – commitment to demonstrate that the service was open throughout the Spring, Summer and Autumn school holidays in 2020-21
- Ability to meet program objectives – an outline of program objectives which the provider will be expected to report against (refer section 1.2)
- Enrolment of children from vulnerable cohorts – enrolment numbers for the service and vacation period, including the proportion of children from vulnerable cohorts
- Improved access for children from vulnerable cohorts – a commitment and detailed approach towards increasing access for vulnerable cohorts at the service during the Pilot
- Participation in program evaluation – ability to work with the Department to develop case studies and best practice approaches towards future programs aimed towards increasing vacation care provision of vulnerable cohorts, as identified in the Commonwealth Government’s Priority of Access Guidelines.
Data collected by the Department through the application and reporting requirements for the VC Transition Pilot will directly inform a review of vacation care funding program’s scope and purpose beyond the 2020-21 transition phase. Providers who are unable to provide key data related to vulnerable cohorts are not encouraged to apply for Pilot funding.
1.2 VC Transition Support Program objectives
The objectives of the Transition Support Program are to:
- Provide stability of funding to current Vacation Care Grants Program recipients by applying Vacation Care (Legacy Funding) to a transition funding program, while the Department works with current grant recipients to identify alternative funding sources given unprecedented COVID-19 conditions (Round One)
- Assist vacation care services to remain available to essential workers and vulnerable children throughout unprecedented COVID-19 conditions, by extending the program to all vacation care providers (Round One and Two).
- Support equitable access for vulnerable cohorts in vacation care services through program application and reporting requirements that are based on the Commonwealth Government’s Priority of Access Guidelines, including as the highest priority, a child that is at risk of serious abuse or neglect, and/or children in:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
- families which include a disabled person
- families which include an individual whose adjusted taxable income does not exceed the lower income threshold
- families from a non-English speaking background
- socially isolated families; and children of single parents
- Increase access to updated vacation care sector data, collected by the Emerging Priorities and Initiatives (EPI) Unit through the program’s application and reporting requirements, to assist with analysis informing a review of the program’s scope and purpose beyond the initial transition phase. (Round One and Two)
2. Pilot Grant amounts
Service providers can request funds up to $10,000 (GST exclusive) in the Pilot. It will be allocated as a result of a competitive selection process, open for all vacation care providers currently approved in NSW.
The Pilot Program will utilise and be limited to the funds that remain from in Round One (Legacy Grant applicants only).
Submitting an EOI to participate in the Pilot does not guarantee funding. Providers who do submit an EOI will have the opportunity to opt out of the Pilot application process at any stage.
3. Pilot Eligibility criteria
3.1 Eligible applicants
NSW vacation care providers that can demonstrate the ability to meet the transition program’s criteria, including a:
- commitment to remain available for provision of vacation care during the Spring, Summer and Autumn school holidays in 2020-21, as well as a
- high proportion of children identified in the Commonwealth’s ‘Priority of Access Guidelines’ and/or
- commitment to improving access for vulnerable cohorts may apply for grants under the Program Pilot.
3.2 What projects are eligible to express interest in the Pilot?
To be eligible for Pilot funding, the application must:
- Be an approved vacation care provider
- Outline program objectives, with particular focus on access for children identified for priority access
- Be supported with evidence of commitment to remain open for the Spring, Summer and Autumn school holidays in 2020-21
- Provide enrolment data to demonstrate proportion of children from vulnerable cohorts in line with the ‘Priority of Access Guidelines’
- Request funding up to $10,000 (excluding GST).
3.3 What projects are not eligible?
The Transitional Support Pilot Program will not provide funding for providers:
- That are excluded by the National Law and are not within the scope of the National Quality Framework
- That are not aligned with NSW Department of Education policies
- Are services outside NSW
- That aren’t supported with the commitment to remain open for the Spring, Summer and Autumn school holidays in 2020-21 and provide evidence of such after each holiday period
- That do not provide evidence of enrolment numbers in line with the Commonwealth Government’s ‘Priority of Access Guidelines’
- That applied for funding in Round One of the Transition Support Program (Legacy Grant recipients).
4. VC Transition Grant Pilot Application Process
The VC Transition Support Pilot will support current vacation care providers to remain open throughout the Spring, Summer and Autumn school holidays in 2020-21, particularly services that have a high proportion of children identified as vulnerable under Commonwealth Priority of Access Guidelines.
The application process will involve two stages.
4.1 Stage One: Submission of an Expression of Interest
Eligible Vacation Care providers will be required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).
The Department will prioritise EOIs from vacation care providers from low Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA). Providers will need to demonstrate evidence of a significant proportion of vulnerable cohorts already enrolled, as well as a planned commitment to increase enrolments from these cohorts.
In completing an EOI, applicants will be required to provide the following information:
- An outline of program objectives which they will be expected to report against
- Enrolment data indicating proportion of children identified for priority access under Commonwealth’s Priority of Access Guidelines for Child Care Benefit approved places
- Ability and commitment to demonstrate that they were open throughout all school holidays in the program period
- Demonstrable commitment and approach to prioritising vulnerable cohorts
- Agreed acknowledgement that submitting an EOI does not guarantee funding
- Acknowledgement of having sought advice as to whether their funding arrangements under the revised Commonwealth Relief Package (base and supplementary payments) or JobKeeper Package will be affected by receiving additional funds from the pilot program.
4.2 Stage Two: Case-by-Case Basis
Once the EOI application process has closed, the Department will assess the EOIs that best meet the program priorities (refer Section 1.1).
The Department’s evaluation will prioritise submissions by vacation care providers that include evidence of:
- Operating in a lower Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)
- Value for money for the NSW Government
- Ability to do project
- Likelihood of project to impact upon vulnerable cohorts
- Innovation in planned approach to achieving Pilot objectives
- Demonstrated need for inclusion within the Pilot.
Once the Department has notified all applicants of the outcome, the Department will work with successful applicants on a case-by-case individual basis to refine and develop their planned program and spend for the pilot funding.
This process will entail developing a detailed program that demonstrates Pilot objectives through:
- enrolment reporting and milestone tracking (including specific metrics for vulnerable children)
- service approach to increasing access for vulnerable children (for example, community engagement and consultation)
- evidence and outcomes of approach (for example, feedback from educators and case study provision)
Applicant will be advised that they may withdraw from the Pilot at any stage without penalty, but may forfeit any outstanding Transition Program payments should the provider be unable to remain open for the 2020-21 pilot duration or incapable of meeting their agreed Pilot program outcomes.
5. Key Dates 2020
|Pilot EOI process Open to all approved VC providers in NSW|
6 July 2020
Applications for Round 2 – Pilot open as EOI (Stage One)
31 July 2020
Applications for Round 2 – Pilot close 5pm
14 August 2020
Round 2 Evaluation (Stage 2 – the Department to work with providers on a case-by-case basis)
28 August 2020
Announcement Round 2
6. Additional considerations
Vacation care providers will need to seek advice as to whether their funding arrangements under the revised Commonwealth Early Education and Care Relief Package (base and supplementary payments) or JobKeeper Package are affected by receiving the Vacation Care Transition Support Program Grant.
Phone: 1300 244 145