Purpose of grant
Integrated children’s centres are key hubs for the community. They bring together a range of services where professionals work together to deliver education, care, health and support services to children and their families.
- provide a focal point for new communities in growth areas
- improve the accessibility, quality and integration of early childhood services in established metropolitan and regional areas.
- establish and maintain engagement with vulnerable and disadvantaged families as their children move through the service system. For example from Maternal and Child Health to playgroups and then formal early learning programs.
Integrated children’s centres may be located with schools or community facilities like neighbourhood houses, community centres or libraries.
Integrated children's centres funded through this grant must meet all of the following requirements. They must:
- have at least 66 approved places, based on two rooms for providing a funded kindergarten program for children in the year before school (four year old kindergarten)
- provide all of the following services:
- funded kindergarten for children in the year before school (four year old kindergarten). This can be sessional and/or integrated with long day care.
- long day care (unless there is no unmet demand in the local area)
- Maternal and child health services
- allied health services for early years (e.g. early childhood intervention services)
- family services
- provide flexible, multi-purpose spaces and other services that meet the needs of the local community, including one or more of the following services:
- three year old kindergarten
- supported playgroups or community parent-led playgroups
- parenting groups or programs
- occasional care
- family day care program coordination
- counselling services
- community meeting spaces
- outside school hours care
- adult education programs
Eligible organisations can apply for up to 40 per cent of the total project cost, capped at $1.6 million per grant (GST exclusive).
The 40 per cent cap on the contribution to the total project cost should be calculated in relation to early childhood and directly related facilities only. For example, if a library or sporting and recreational facilities form part of the centre, the estimated costs for these elements cannot be included in the calculation of the 40 per cent maximum contribution.
Potential applicants should contact the Department if they are unsure about how the 40 per cent requirement applies in relation to a proposed project.
Integrated children’s centres must be completed and acquitted within 24 months of executing the funding agreement. Funding agreements must be signed no later than eight weeks following official notification of a successful grant application.
In cases where a project is delayed for an unreasonable length of time, or where substantive changes to scope are made after funding has been approved, the Department reserves the right to cancel the grant and, if applicable, recoup any payments that have already been provided.
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