$10m Start Strong Capital Works

The 2017 $10 Million Start Strong Capital Works Grants funding is designed to create up to 700 new preschool places, with priority given to outer regional, remote and very remote, and Aboriginal communities.

Approved Providers operating not for profit community based preschools and mobile preschools are encouraged to apply.

Applications can be made through the SmartyGrants online application system and will be open from 29 June – 18 August 2017.

Applicants are encouraged to read the program guidelines below before making an application.

Program guidelines

1. Purpose

This information describes the objectives, approach and expectations that underpin the $10 Million Start Strong Capital Works Grants program.

Research shows that children who participate in quality early childhood education in the year before school are more likely to start school equipped with the social, cognitive and emotional skills they need to engage in learning. It is widely accepted that families living in remote and very remote areas experience particular challenges relating to accessing early childhood services, due to their geographical isolation. Grant based funding allows the use of innovative approaches to improve access to quality services in these communities.

2. Objectives

The $10 Million Start Strong Capital Works Grants program aims to increase the number of 600 hour preschool places available in areas of high need, and improve the provision of culturally safe and appropriate educational settings for Aboriginal children.
 

The program seeks to create up to 700 new preschool places, with priority given to outer regional, remote and very remote, and Aboriginal communities.

3. Service eligibility

To be eligible to apply under the $10M Start Strong Capital Works Grants program, service providers must first meet the following criteria:

  • Hold, or have an application lodged to hold, a valid Provider Approval to operate an early childhood education service in NSW. Provider Approval must be obtained within 12 months of receiving notification of the successful outcome of this grant application
  • Be registered or incorporated in NSW, as a not for profit organisation or association with appropriate governance mechanisms and sound financial management
  • Operate, or intend to operate, a mobile or centre based community preschool service with a valid Service Approval. Service Providers intending to operate an early childhood education centre must obtain Service Approval within 12 months of receiving notification of the successful outcome of this grant application
  • Comply or agree to comply with the requirements of the applicable National Law and regulations for the relevant service type (e.g. the 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)
  • Supply proof the applicant can provide a contribution of at least 5% of the total amount of funding requested
  • Agree that this Capital Works Grant will not fund the purchase of land

4. Application process

Capital works grants will be awarded through a competitive application process through the Smarty Grants online application system. Applications will be open in Smarty Grants from the 29 June – 18 August 2017. The application will require:

  • A project description including rationale
  • A detailed project plan including timeline and quotes
  • A detailed project budget, including applicant's contribution and additional sources of funding for the project
  • Evidence for demand for preschool places
  • Projected increase in 600 hour preschool places, including current approved capacity
  • Evidence of consultation with the local Aboriginal community
  • Evidence of site ownership or formal lease
  • Evidence of Provider approval and Service approval or intention to apply

The department encourages applications that:

  • Provide evidence of a demonstrated shortage of preschool places in the surrounding area
  • Will provide a substantial increase in 600 hour preschool places. A substantial increase is defined as a large increase in the number of approved places per day compared to the current service capacity
  • Demonstrate value for money in terms of the cost per preschool place created
  • Improve the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for Aboriginal children 

To apply please go to our SmartyGrants page.


5. Application categories

Eligible services can apply for funding under the following categories:

New centre-based preschool

  • Construction of a new preschool facility in order to:
  • Increase the number of 600 hour preschool places available in areas where there is a demonstrated shortage
  • Improve the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for Aboriginal children
  • Specific eligibility criteria:
  • Mobile services are ineligible to apply in this category
  • Relocations are eligible where there is evidence that relocating to new premises will provide a substantial increase in 600 hour preschool places. The department will not pay associated relocation costs
  • Applicants must provide proof of ownership of land, or an adequate lease period (minimum 10 years)


Mobile vehicles and venues

  • Purchase of a new motor vehicle or construction of a new mobile venue (after all possible avenues have been exhausted to locate a suitable venue) in order to:
  • Increase the number of preschool places available in areas where there is a demonstrated shortage
  • Improve the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for Aboriginal children 
  • Specific eligibility criteria:
  • Vehicles:
  • Must be used primarily to deliver preschool education
  • Must be fit for purpose – capable for transporting equipment to mobile venues and operating safely in varying weather conditions
  • Must be registered in NSW
  • One application per new vehicle
  • New mobile venues:
  • Applicants must provide proof of ownership of land, or an adequate lease period (minimum 10 years)
  • One application per new venue


Examples of suitable venues include constructing a demountable on a school site.

Extensions

  • Extending an existing preschool facility in order to:
  • Increase the number of 600 hour preschool places available in areas where there is a demonstrated shortage
  • Improve the provision of a culturally safe and appropriate educational setting for Aboriginal children
  • Specific eligibility criteria:
  • Mobile services are ineligible to apply in this category
  • Applicants must provide proof of ownership of land, or an adequate lease period (minimum 10 years)
  • Relocations are eligible, but the department will not pay relocation costs
  • Applicants will be asked to provide evidence that relocating will enable a substantial increase in 600 hour preschool places


Crisis situations

  • Capital projects that address an immediate need to respond to/provide a solution to one or more of the following when all other options have been exhausted:
  • Provide culturally (and/or physically) safe educational settings for Aboriginal children
  • Provide comparable access for children with disability, for example, enable children with disability to access preschool on the same basis as children without disability
  • Increase the number of 600 hour preschool places
  • Maintain preschool places where a service is facing closure due to exceptional circumstances, for example, compulsory acquisition of premises
  • Unique solutions for preschool provision in remote communities where access is limited or non-existent
  • Specific eligibility criteria:
  • Mobile services are ineligible to apply in this category
  • Applicants must provide proof of ownership of land, or an adequate lease period (minimum 10 years)
  • New builds, extensions and relocations are eligible, and the department will pay relocation costs where required
  • Disabled access solely to satisfy government requirements for children's services other than in exceptional circumstances, for example, where accessibility enables an increase in preschool places
  • The requirement for applicants to provide a 5% contribution to the total project cost will be waived if necessary

6. Legal provisions

Legal services applies rigorous security provisions to capital grants in order to protect the department's interest and ensure the funding is expended in accordance with the program guidelines.

7. Notification and grant payments

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in November 2017. The department will contact successful applicants to finalise the grant confirmation, execute required legal documentation and agree payment milestones.

8. Contact details

For more information about the $10 Million Start Strong Capital Works Grants program, please contact the department's Early Childhood Education Directorate:
Phone: 1300 755 426
Email: capital.works@det.nsw.edu.au

Aboriginal organisations can contact the Assistant Manager, Aboriginal Services to discuss their application:
Nat Heath
Assistant Manager, Aboriginal Services
Phone: (02) 9244 5836

 

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