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Current application processing timeframes for IDF Subsidy for an Additional Educator :

The demand for support through the Inclusion Support Program has resulted in an unprecedented high volume of applications being submitted for IDF Subsidy for an Additional Educator. Applications are being assessed in line with the ISP Guidelines, as efficiently as possible, but unfortunately this is currently not within the usual timeframes. Thank you for your patience at this time.

Please go to the Important Information page for further information and updates.

Innovative Solutions Support provides funding for flexible and tailored inclusion support that goes beyond the scope of support that can be provided by Inclusion Agencies. Inclusion Professionals support services to apply for Innovative Solutions Support.

Eligible Services

Innovative Solutions Support can be accessed by the following types of services when they have been approved to operate and administer the Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

  • Centre Based Day Care (CBDC); Long Day Care
  • Family Day Care (FDC); FDC Coordination Units and individual FDC Educators
  • Out of School Hours Care services; Before School, After School, and Vacation Car

Children with Additional Needs

While there is no national definition of ‘additional needs’, there are children who may need or require specific considerations or adaptations to participate fully in ECEC services (although not all children with additional needs will require support).

The Inclusion Support Program (ISP) supports educators to address access and participation barriers and to support the inclusion of children with additional needs, with their typically developing peers.

The Inclusion Support Program recognises that additional needs may arise for children who:

  • have a disability or developmental delay
  • are presenting with challenging behaviours
  • have a serious medical or health condition, including mental health
  • are presenting with trauma-related behaviours

Meeting the needs and requirements of:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • children from Refugee or humanitarian backgrounds

who may also require special considerations, such as cultural support, to ensure that they are able to participate fully in ECEC services and experience positive outcomes.

Extract from: Department of Education, Inclusion Support Program Guidelines, Version 2.4, September 2022.

Developing an Innovative Solutions Support Project

Developing and Innovative Solutions Support project, in most cases, requires your service to:

  • Have a current Strategic Inclusion Plan (SIP) on the IS Portal.
  • Complete an application form, and
  • Develop a Project Plan

Strategic Inclusion Plan Requirements

In order to apply for Innovative Solutions Support, it is expected that your service will have an up-to-date Strategic Inclusion Plan (SIP), with current Barriers to inclusion identified and Strategies and Actions developed to address the Barriers.

However, in the case of urgent applications for Bilingual Support and Specialised Training and Advice this is not a requirement. In such cases it is expected that, after the assessment and outcome of the application, your service will then develop a SIP. Where an urgent application has been approved without a SIP, any subsequent applications will not be considered until your service has developed their SIP.

The following resource is designed to help you to develop your project.

Applying for Innovative Solutions Support

Before beginning an application, you should discuss with your Inclusion Professional (IP) whether Innovative Solutions Support is the most appropriate option for your circumstances.

There is a separate application form for each type of Innovative Solutions Support Project.

Applications for Innovative Solutions Support can be made at any time and can be for an individual service (or a specific care environment within the service) or a group of services.

With support of your Inclusion Professional, you will be required to complete the relevant application form and, if required, a Project Plan before lodging your application through the Inclusion Support Portal.

Group Projects

A group application is where a number of services who have identified the same, or similar, inclusion barriers work together to develop a joint project application that will lead to the genuine inclusion of children with additional needs across multiple services.

If you are interested in applying for a group project read the information below and speak with your Inclusion Professional.

Strategic and Collaborative Projects

The Australian Government Department of Education (the department) may also directly fund relevant organisations (such as ECEC peak bodies and inclusion specialists) to deliver large strategic and collaborative projects across a region or state/territory to promote innovation and support for inclusive practices within ECEC services.

For further information please contact the department directly

Project Guides, Application Forms and Application Guides

Click on the links below to access information, guides and application forms for each specific project type:

Project Plans

Developing a Project Plan is an important part of the planning process. Project plans show who will be doing what, and when and how it will be implemented.

Using the resources below, an Innovative Solutions Support Project Plan should be developed in consultation with your Inclusion Professional and your chosen Support Provider.

Please note: For Bilingual Support applications, a separate project plan is not usually necessary. However, if your proposed project is more complex than can be easily shown on the Application Form, please use the Project Plan resources below to develop a separate plan.

Submitting an Application

Services are required to upload their application from and relevant attachments to the IS Portal. Once submitted, each application is sent to the service's Inclusion Professional for endorsement and is then assessed by the Inclusion Development Fund Manager (IDFM).

Application Outcome

If funding is approved

The service will receive an email with a Letter of Offer attached, providing the details of their approved Innovative Solutions Case. This will be sent to the Service Provider email address listed on the SIP. This letter must be signed and returned to the IDF Manager at Once the agreement is executed, payment will be made directly to the service from the Department.

If funding is not approved

The service will receive an email with an Application Declined letter attached. This will be sent to the Service Provider email address listed on the SIP. The outcome of the assessment will be available as an ‘Assessment Outcome’ note on the IS Case.