Innovative Solutions Support changes

Changes to the limits for projects approved under the IDF Innovative Solutions Stream are being introduced to manage the current demand for the Inclusion Development Fund (IDF). These changes will continue to provide equitable access to this unique and flexible funding support for all eligible Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services, while ensuring the responsible management of available funds within the capped Inclusion Support Program.  Please use this link for further information.


Eligible services are those services that have been approved for the provision of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and include:
  • Centre-Based Day Care  including Long Day Care and Occasional Care
  • Outside School Hours Care including before, after and vacation care
  • Family Day Care

An Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) service may identify barriers to the inclusion of children with additional needs from the following groups within their service or local community:
  • children who have a disability or developmental delay, or are currently undergoing assessment for disability;
  • children who have a serious medical or health condition, including mental health;
  • children who are presenting with challenging behaviours or trauma related behaviours;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children;
  • Children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds;
  • Children from refugee or humanitarian backgrounds.

Identifying barriers to inclusion and designing an Innovative Solutions Support project

1. Identify the barriers to inclusion for children with additional needs

Where a service has identified a barrier to inclusion that cannot be addressed by the support provided by the IA, or other forms of IDF subsidy, the service may be eligible to apply for Innovative Solutions Support.

Services should complete a Strategic Inclusion Plan (SIP) in collaboration with their IA:
  • If the development of a SIP identifies a barrier or inclusion barriers for which additional funding support would not assist in addressing the inclusion barrier, the service may submit an application under the IDF Innovative Solutions Support.
  • Services complete their SIP online through the Inclusion Support Portal (IS Portal).
  • Different sections of the SIP are required to be completed depending on whether the application for Innovative Solutions relates to a particular care environment or the whole service.
Please note: If the application relates to a particular care environment, the service should identify Innovative Solutions as an inclusion strategy in the SIP.

2. Develop a project proposal

This proposal outlines the:
  • Barrier/s to inclusion
  • Solution to address the barriers to inclusion
  • Expected outcomes

3. Source a suitable provider

Contact potential providers to determine if they can deliver what the service requires to implement the solution project and achieve the intended outcomes. To ensure quality of service delivery and value for money, services may seek to obtain quotes from several providers.

Completing an application

Step 1: Create an Innovative Solutions Case on the portal

Select a start and end date and the expected duration of the project. Identify the care environment name if applicable.

Step 2: Case detail information

Outline the project proposal or attach the completed Project Proposal template to the Attachments tile on the case.
Complete the Budget Items in line with the project proposal and quote.

Step 3: Authorised personnel

The contact details of the authorised personnel who can be contacted at the service regarding the Innovative Solutions Support case must be added. This can include more than one authorised personnel.

Step 4: Notes

Notes can be added to a case by the service, IA and IDF Manager. Notes are not mandatory however; they can assist communication between the service, IA and IDF Manager.

Step 5: Attachments

Services must attach at least one quote for goods and services to support their funding proposal to the case. The Attachments section of the IS Portal will also allow services to view attachments relating to the case, including their Letter of Offer.

Submitting an application

Step 6: Endorsement

The IA must endorse the Innovative Solutions Case before submitting it to the IDF Manager for assessment. The IA may seek additional information from the service. This may occur through adding a ‘Service Action Required’ note to the case stating what the additional information is. The IA will be able to indicate if the outcome is routine or urgent.

Step 7: Outcome

The IDF Manager will assess the information in the Innovative Solutions Support Case and the SIP, where relevant.

The IDF Manager may seek additional information or clarification from the service. This is a standard part of the process. The service will receive notification via email to log into the IS Portal to view the ‘Service Action Required’ note and provide the information required. The case is required to be resubmitted, however the IDF Manager will monitor and prioritise assessment when the case is resubmitted.

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 idfminnovative@ku.com.au. 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.