Mobile Services are not in scope under Start Strong. Mobile preschools on a fixed term mobile contract are excluded from Start Strong and will continue to receive funding as per the terms of the mobile contract.
‘Opt in' fixed term, four year contracts for mobile preschools
The NSW Government supports the implementation of ‘opt in' fixed term contracts for mobile preschools to recognise the additional costs and unique challenges associated with achieving universal access in rural and remote parts of NSW. Contracts have been being introduced for mobile preschools to support the provision of sustainable and improved service delivery.
Why have mobile contracts been introduced?
Contracts have been introduced for mobile preschools to support the provision of sustainable and improved service delivery and universal access in rural and remote areas.
The contracts are designed to recognise the unique and higher costs of mobile service delivery, including:
- high enrolment volatility
- costs associated with requirements for additional staffing
- multiple venues and travel between venues.
What is a mobile contract?
From December 2015, eligible mobile preschools have been offered ‘opt in' fixed term four year contracts. The contracts include a new loading, up to a maximum of $35,000, in recognition of the additional costs of providing mobile preschool services. This is in addition to the Preschool Funding Model funding. The contracts will also include the Preschools for Sustainable Communities funding if applicable.
What is the timing?
The Department of Education began offering mobile contracts to individual mobile service providers from December 2015.
Only mobile preschool services that have completed the Operational Support Program and can demonstrate that they meet all the mobile eligibility criteria will be offered a mobile contract.
How much funding will my preschool get under a mobile contract?
Each eligible mobile preschool will be offered a mobile contract that includes Preschool Funding Model + a mobile loading (up to a maximum of $35,000) + Preschools for Sustainable Communities funding (if applicable). The amount will be fixed for the term of the four year contract.
Contracts will be based on the August 2015 preschool census data.
As with the Preschool Funding Model funding, the mobile loading will be subject to both operational scaling (according to the amount a service operates below the standard six hour preschool day and/or 40 weeks a year) and funding cap scaling (when the number of total enrolments exceeds the funding cap). For example, if 6% operational scaling applies to the Preschool Funding Model funding, 6% scaling will also be applied to the mobile loading.
Does the contract funding amount change each year of the contract?
No. Once the contract is established, the amount of funding is fixed for the duration of the four year contract. This will provide mobile services with certainty of funding even if their enrolment or operational patterns go up or down during the period of the contract.
What are the eligibility criteria to be offered a mobile contract?
A mobile preschool must meet the following criteria to be considered for a mobile contract:
- Operate from multiple venues that are not purpose built centre based preschools, or operate as a ‘pack away' service at one venue.
- Provide a preschool program designed by an early childhood teacher.
- Have a minimum of five Preschool Funding Model funded children enrolled at each venue (four and five year old children in their year before school, and three year old children from Aboriginal or low income families).
- Operate in areas where centre based preschools are not readily available (for example, rural/remote areas where no other preschool provision exists).
- Hold the required service and provider approvals.
- Completed the Operational Support Program.
What requirements will be included in a mobile contract?
- the development, implementation and reporting against a yearly business plan including how services will maintain or increase enrolments to avoid volatility and ensure family needs are met
- deliver specific outputs, for example, inclusion of Preschool Funding Model funded children (four and five year old children in their year before school, and three year old children from Aboriginal or low income families)
- participation in the preschool census
- fixed funding for the term of the four year contract.
Mobile preschools may also be eligible for additional funding initiatives that are available to community based preschools. This includes expanded outreach grants and a new capital works grants program. See the community preschool funding website for more details
If eligible, mobile preschools will receive funding under these programs in addition to the mobile contract funding.
Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate
Telephone: 1300 755 426