The Inclusion Support Program is a key element of the Child Care Safety Net under the Child Care Package, which aims to give the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children a strong start, while supporting parents into work.
The Inclusion Support Program’s objectives are to:
- support eligible mainstream Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services to improve their capacity and capability to provide quality inclusive practices for all children, to address access and participation barriers and to support the inclusion of children with additional needs, with their typically developing peers
- provide parents or carers of children with additional needs with access to appropriate and inclusive ECEC services that assist those parents or carers to increase their activity including work, study and training.
Inclusion Support available under the program
- Seven Inclusion Agencies across eight states and territories work with services to build their capacity and capability to provide inclusive practices and address barriers to inclusion experienced by children with additional needs. Inclusion Agencies establish a network of inclusion professionals to provide practical and tailored advice and support to services on effective inclusive practice, including techniques for improvement and solutions to address particular barriers.
Inclusion Development Fund and/or Specialist Equipment
- Additional support may be provided via the Inclusion Development Fund and/or the Specialist Equipment Library if inclusion barriers are identified that cannot be resolved through Inclusion Agency support.
Inclusion Development Fund Manager
- The Inclusion Development Fund Manager provides nationally consistent and equitable management of the Inclusion Development Fund including facilitating equitable access for all eligible ECEC services and assessing all Inclusion Development Fund applications.
Contact details for the Inclusion Agency in each jurisdiction and Inclusion Development Fund Manager.
Inclusion Support Program Guidelines
The Inclusion Support Program Guidelines provide information for eligible ECEC services on how the program operates, including eligibility requirements, the role of Inclusion Agencies and the Inclusion Development Fund Manager and how applications for funding support are assessed.
The guidelines have been updated to provide support for more young children with additional needs to participate in ECEC alongside their typically developing peers. The updated guidelines have a date of effect of 30 March 2020 (for children in ECEC from that date onwards) and replace the existing version. An information sheet that covers all of the changes can be accessed at the further information section below.
Inclusion Support Portal
The Inclusion Support (IS) Portal is a web-based application that is used by ECEC services to interact with the Inclusion Support Program. It provides step-by-step help for services to develop an online Strategic Inclusion Plan (SIP) and apply for funding through the Inclusion Development Fund.
Inclusion Support Portal has changed to PRODA
The authentication method for accessing the Inclusion Support Portal (IS Portal) has changed from AUSkey to PRODA. This brings the IS Portal into line with the authentication method for the Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS).
ECEC service users of the IS Portal will use their existing PRODA credentials (that is, the same PRODA credentials used for the CCSS
For most existing users, when accessing the IS Portal you should be automatically connected to the IS Portal once you enter your PRODA credentials.
For some users, there may be an additional step of selecting your organisation, role type and requesting access. Once your organisation’s access delegate has approved your access you will be able to use your PRODA credentials to the IS Portal.
Further information on accessing the IS Portal using PRODA can be found in the Inclusion Support Portal access using PRODA Fact sheet.
Further information on accessing the IS Portal can be found in the Inclusion Support Portal Information webpage and in the ISP User Guide.
Once access has been granted, users can log into the portal from the Inclusion Support Portal Information web page.
Further Information on the Inclusion Support Program
The following Information Sheets will soon be available:
- Inclusion Support Program Flow Chart for Families
- Inclusion Support Program Updated Guidelines
- Inclusion Support Program Documentary Evidence Requirements
- Inclusion Development Fund Innovative Solutions Support
- Inclusion Support Program User Guide
- Inclusion Support Portal
- Inclusion Development Fund Family Day Care Top Up
- Inclusion Support Program Compliance and Financial Integrity.
To contact the Department about the Inclusion Support Program, please email: InclusionSupportProgram@dese.gov.au