Community Support Program

The Community Support Program (CSP) assists child care providers to establish or maintain viable services in parts of the country where they might not otherwise be viable or able to meet the unique requirements of the community, such as in disadvantaged or regional and remote areas.

The CSP provides support to child care services in the following ways:

  • Establishment and sustainability assistance to mainstream services, i.e. mainly those services that are approved to administer Child Care Benefit on behalf of families. There are a range of payments for mainstream services that depend on the type of child care service, its size and location. Further information on funding available to mainstream services is available below.
     
  • Budget Based Funding to non-mainstream services, i.e. services that provide child care in communities where mainstream services are not available or viable or where there is a need for Indigenous- focused or culturally competent services. Further information on this funding can be found on the Budget Based Funded Program page.

2016-17 Federal Budget

As announced in the 2016-17 Federal Budget, there will be a deferred implementation of elements of the Jobs for Families Package until July 2018. As a result, the CSP has been extended until 30 June 2018.

For those services that are eligible for the CSP, current funding agreements will be extended to cover 2016-17 and funding agreements for 2017-18 will be amended, with new terms and conditions reflecting program’s cessation on 1 July 2018.

New services that meet the eligibility criteria can also access CSP funding for care until 30 June 2018.

Services should take this additional time to review their service’s current business model with a view to making changes that will improve sustainability and viability over the coming years.

Community Support Program (CSP) application process for the 2016-17 financial year

  • Existing sevices currently in receipt of CSP will not need to complete a new CSP application form for 2016-17
    • Your service will be sent a CSP review form for you to complete and return to the Department of Education and Training.
    • If your service continues to meet the eligibility criteria as outlined in the Program Guidelines, your funding agreement will be extended for the 2016-17 financial year.
  • Services that are not currently in receipt of CSP funding can apply at anytime.

For Family Day Care (FDC) services, we recommend that you use the latest version of the FDC self-assessment tools to determine your geographical eligibility for FDC operational support funding BEFORE commencing a new CSP application form.

Mainstream Community Support Program

Mainstream services that are eligible to apply for CSP funding include:

Family Day Care

Family Day Care services support a network of educators who provide flexible care and developmental activities in their own homes for other people's children.

Eligibility for CSP funding is restricted to Family Day Care services that are the sole provider of Family Day Care in the area, with weighting towards services that provide care in regional, remote or disadvantaged areas.

Tools to assist Family Day Care services undertake an assessment of their eligibility are available below.

The self-assessment tools checklist will provide guidance on self-assessing current eligibility for Community Support Program funding. To complete the checklist, services will also need to refer to tables detailing the location of Family Day Care services and the number of Family Day Care services in each area

For further information, please call 1300 566 046 and request to speak with the child care team in your state or territory.

In Home Care

In Home Care is a flexible form of child care where an approved educator provides care in the child's home. Unlike other types of approved child care (such as Long Day Care and Family Day Care), In Home Care is only available to children in certain circumstances.

More information on In Home Care can be found here:

Outside School Hours Care

Outside School Hours Care services provide care before and/or after school and/or during vacation time. Some services may also provide care on pupil-free days during the school term. Not-for-profit and for-profit providers may operate Outside School Hours Care services.

Occasional Care

Occasional Care is centre-based child care that supports families by providing flexible care for children. Families can access occasional care regularly on a sessional basis, or irregularly. Occasional Care allows the flexibility to leave children for short periods of time in an early childhood learning environment to socialise and interact with other children.

More information on Occasional Care can be found here:

Long Day Care

Long Day Care is a centre-based form of child care and early learning. Long Day Care services provide quality all-day or part-time child care and early learning for children of working families and the general community. For profit and not-for-profit organisations, local councils, community organisations and employers may run these services.

Community Support Program Resources

More information is provided in the following documents including eligibility requirements and application processes for all of the service types eligible to apply for CSP funding.

Contact information

Further information is available by calling 1300 566 046 and requesting the Department of Education and Training’s child care team in your state or territory, or emailing CommunitySupportProgramme@education.gov.au