Operational Support Program
What is the Operational Support Program?
The Operational Support Program supports community preschools to more closely align their businesses to the Preschool Funding Model to support sustainability over the longer term. Customised early childhood education sector-specific advice and mentoring support is provided to preschools participating in the Operational Support Program.
In 2015 and 2016 Community Connections Solutions Australia (CCSA), Community Child Care Cooperative Ltd (CCCC) and CareWest are the service providers.
What support is provided?
Support will be delivered by sector specialists in the following areas:
- understanding the Preschool Funding Model
- developing a business plan with strategies to increase the number of 4 and 5 year old children enrolled in quality preschool programs for 600 hours per year
- demographic modelling to assist preschool planning, enrolment and fee setting
- two year projections for Income and Expenditure, and Preschool Funding Model enrolments and funding
- developing an appropriate fee structure aligned to the Preschool Funding Model target cohort
- developing staff capacity and efficient staffing arrangements.
What are the benefits to my service?
- Increased confidence in managing the business aspects of your service
- Increased skills and knowledge to maximise funding under the Preschool Funding Model
- Greater understanding of your business plan and how it guides your service to improve long term sustainability outcomes
- Expert advice and mentoring support from a sector specialist
Which preschools are eligible to participate in the Operational Support Program?
From July 2016, all community preschools funded under the Preschool Funding Model are eligible to participate in the program.
Preschools with 2015 Census data indicating low enrolments compared to approved capacity and potential demand, are encouraged to take advantage of the program.
How many hours are involved?
The program will involve two preschools visits from the sector specialist and telephone support as required. Approximately 50 hours are allocated to each preschool.
Extension of the Operational Support Program
From July 2016, the program will be extended to include support in developing strategies to increase the number of 4 and 5 year old children enrolled in quality preschool programs for 600 hours per year.
The three month support program will be available for preschools that have not previously participated in the program.
Preschools that have previously participated in the Operational Support Program will be able to access a two month follow up program.
What have preschools said about the program?
To date, 177 community preschools have participated or are participating in the program. It has been well received and feedback includes:
‘Getting this support was very important to validate what we knew about the "new" funding model and for us to learn about other opportunities.'
‘The program is helping us focus on our early childhood education service as a business. It is improving our budgeting, financial management and business planning processes. This will clearly assist our long term viability.'
‘Overall, the vision for us to remain viable is now clear and seems to be achievable with plans in place.'
‘I was very impressed with the level of understanding pertaining to the preschool sector. The information delivered was greatly received. Thank you for your support.'
More information and how to register
If you would like more information or register interest in participating in the program, please contact the Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate by telephone on 1300 755 426 or email: ECEC.OperationalSupport@det.nsw.edu.au