Inclusion Support Program

The Inclusion Support Program helps early childhood education and care (ECEC) services address barriers to inclusion. It helps children with additional needs participate in ECEC through tailored support and funding to services.

On this page:

About the program

The Inclusion Support Program (ISP) supports ECEC services to improve their inclusive practices. It does this through tailored support and funding to ECEC services who need it.

ISP supports services to:

  • address barriers to inclusion
  • build capacity and capability to include children with additional needs
  • implement quality, inclusive and equitable practices.

The program aims to:

  • provide children with additional needs the opportunity to learn and develop next to their typically developing peers
  • ensure all children have genuine opportunities to access, participate and achieve positive learning outcomes.

We fund ISP, which is a national program. Inclusion Agencies in each state and territory deliver the program. To do this, they work with a national Inclusion Development Fund Manager.

All ECEC services have a legal requirement to be inclusive.

Support options

The program offers 3 categories of support:

  • professional support
  • specialist equipment
  • funding.

Professional support

Inclusion Agencies in each state and territory provide free advice and support to services.

They work with services to identify and address barriers to inclusion.

Learn more about Inclusion Agencies

Specialist equipment

Each Inclusion Agency manages a Specialist Equipment Library. These libraries provide services with access to free equipment and resources to address barriers to inclusion.

The libraries include equipment like:

  • portable ramps
  • standing frames
  • specialised furniture
  • hoists, slings and harnesses
  • seating or posture aids.

Services access the Specialist Equipment Library through their Inclusion Agency.

Learn about accessing your local Specialist Equipment Library

Funding

The Inclusion Development Fund is for when professional support or specialist equipment cannot address barriers.

There are 4 categories of funding, for:

  • innovative solutions
  • immediate or time-limited support
  • additional educators
  • Family Day Care.

The national Inclusion Development Fund Manager oversees funding. Services must be endorsed by their Inclusion Agency to apply for funding.

Learn more about the Inclusion Development Fund

Eligibility

The program is open to Child Care Subsidy (CCS) approved services that provide:

  • Centre Based Day Care
  • Family Day Care, or
  • Outside School Hours Care.

In Home Care services are not eligible. Funding may be available to support children to transition from In Home Care to another care type.

Children accessing ISP support must meet CCS eligibility requirements.

Accessing support

Services must contact the Inclusion Agency in their state or territory to access ISP support.

Families who think the program may benefit their child should talk to their ECEC service.

Find contact details for your local Inclusion Agency

Program review

In March 2023, we commissioned independent consultants to review ISP. The review set out to:

  • examine the access to, affordability of, and quality of ISP services
  • examine the program's performance against effectiveness, efficiency and strategic policy alignment criteria
  • provide evidence-based findings to inform consideration of accessibility, future investment and policy settings.

The review’s final report was released in November 2023. The report:

  • detailed 21 findings
  • identified 21 short and medium-term opportunities to strengthen the program
  • recommended 5 longer-term opportunities to embed inclusion in the sector.

Learn more about the Inclusion Support Program review

Resources

Guidelines

The ISP guidelines has more information about the program.

Read the Inclusion Support Program guidelines

Inclusion Support Portal

The Inclusion Support Portal is an online platform where services interact with the program. We have resources to help services navigate the portal.

Learn more about the Inclusion Support Portal

Forms

Use the permission to share personal information form to gain consent to share a child’s personal information to access accessing support.

Fact sheets