Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program new round opens
A new round of Start Strong Capital Works grants is now open, supporting community preschools in New South Wales to build, renovate or extend their facilities, or purchase a vehicle for a mobile preschool, as well as to respond to a crisis situation with a capital works project.
The Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program aims to improve access to preschool by creating additional community preschool places in areas of need and demand across the state, in line with research which shows that children who participate in a quality early childhood education program for at least 600 hours 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.
Eligible not-for-profit organisations can apply for grant funding to build, renovate or extend their facilities to deliver a community preschool, or purchase a vehicle for a mobile preschool to cater for increasing enrolments.
In 2019, the NSW Government announced $20 million in funding over four years for new and existing community preschools to build, renovate or extend their facilities to cater for increasing enrolments across the state. Ten million dollars of this funding has been committed to the 2020 round of the Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program.
The grants will be awarded through a competitive assessment process, with applications from not-for-profit community and mobile preschools operating in areas of the state where there is a demonstrated shortage of places being prioritised.
To be eligible for a grant, services must meet the following broad criteria:
- be registered or incorporated in NSW
- be a not-for-profit organisation or association, or a local government entity
- have appropriate governance mechanisms and sound financial management
- hold, or will 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 the grant application)
- operate, or will operate, a 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 the grant application)
- comply with the requirements of applicable national and state laws 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
- applicants applying for funding to purchase a motor vehicle must currently operate a mobile preschool service in NSW with a fixed term mobile preschool funding contract with the NSW Department of Education.
Each category has additional eligibility requirements that must be addressed as part of the application. The eligibility criteria for each category is outlined in the program guidelines, with responses to frequently asked questions and an application guide also available to support services.
Applications are now open via SmartyGrants until midnight on 23 August 2020. For further information please contact the Early Childhood Education Directorate by phone to 1300 755 426 or via email to [email protected]