The Innovative Solutions Support is available through the Inclusion Support Program to assist eligible early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to fund innovative, flexible and responsive solutions to barriers to inclusion and embed inclusive practices.

Innovative Solutions Support provides flexible funding to empower services to carefully consider their inclusion challenges and take on an active role in finding solutions and build their capacity and capability to include children with additional needs.

The Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment (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.

What can the Innovative Solutions support be used for?

Innovative Solutions funding can be used to fund solutions to barriers to inclusion, other than subsidising the employment of an Additional Educator, or support that is provided by Inclusion Agencies or available through other sources. Projects can be focused on a particular care environment, the whole service or a group of services.

Projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cultural advice and mentoring including services from cultural experts, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders.
  • Bilingual support such as bilingual workers and translating and interpreting services to support the enrolment of a new child and family into the service.  
  • Mentoring and coaching from specialists, including educators learning new practices and approaches and collaboration with specialists to determine and implement strategies to include a particular child or children.
  • Specialised training essential to a child’s enrolment, such as specific instruction to support the inclusion of a child with complex support needs.
  • Facilitating networking and community engagement, such opportunities for professional conversations with other ECEC services, and visits to services and agencies.
There is no specified limit for a single application for Innovative Solutions Support. The Inclusion Development Fund Manager can approve applications for funding up to $10,000.  Applications over $10,000 will be initially considered by the Inclusion Development Fund Manager, who will make a recommendation to the department, based on the value for money assessment of the proposed application against the application criteria.

IDF Innovative Solutions Support cannot be used for the following purposes:

  • Purchasing specialist equipment or resources
  • Medical and therapeutic interventions
  • Settlement services for migrants
  • Support more appropriately funded through an alternative IDF stream
  • Support more appropriately funded by the State/Territory or the Australian Government or other agencies or programmes

Stories from Services

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Information for potential providers/suppliers

This information will assist providers who may be engaged to help services to implement their Innovative Solutions Support project. It will help providers to understand the purpose of this funding stream, the application process and the role of providers.

Applying for IDF funding for Innovative Solutions

IAs will assist eligible services to apply for IDF funding for Innovative Solutions. Most services will apply for funding on the user-friendly IS Portal

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Resources for Services applying for IDF funding

Resources are available to provide information about the ISP Programme and applying for Innovative Solutions funding on the IS Portal

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Payment of IDF funding for Innovative Solutions

IDF Innovative Solutions Support is paid upfront to the service’s nominated account. An expenditure/acquittal process is completed at the end of the project.

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