A key component of the Child Care Safety Net is the $550 million Inclusion Support Programme (ISP). The ISP commenced on 1 July 2016, following the closure of the Inclusion and Professional Support Program (IPSP).
The ISP assists Early Childhood and Child Care (ECCC) services to build their capacity and capability to include children with additional needs in mainstream services; providing them with an opportunity to learn and develop alongside their typically developing peers.
Managing the program
To ensure the Inclusion Support Programme is delivered consistently across the country, the Department has contracted seven Inclusion Agencies (IAs) and one Inclusion Development Fund Manager (IDFM).
Inclusion Agencies (IA)
There is one IA for each state and territory, except for New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, which is serviced by a single IA.
Agencies will work with eligible ECCC services to assist them with increasing and improving their ability to include children with additional needs.
Inclusion Development Fund (IDF)
The IDF provides funding to assist eligible ECCC services to address a barrier to inclusion that cannot be resolved by support provided by an IA.
Inclusion Development Fund Manager (IDFM)
The IDFM ensures Inclusion Development Fund is managed fairly Australia wide. This is achieved by applying a consistent approach to assessing funding applications and communicating outcomes to services.
Inclusion Support Portal
The Inclusion Support (IS) Portal is a user-friendly, simplified web-based application that is used by child care services to interact with the ISP. 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.
Accessing the IS Portal
Once access has been granted, users can log into the portal from the Inclusion Support Portal Information webpage.
Stakeholders and ECCC services can read more about the program, including its objectives and types of support available, in the ISP Guidelines.
The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) documents are also available:
- FAQ: IDF Innovative Solutions Support
- FAQ: IS Portal
- FAQ: IDF Family Day Care Top Up
- FAQ: Change of Service Ownership
- FAQ: Documentary Evidence
- FAQ: Compliance program
To contact the Department about the Inclusion Support Programme, please email: InclusionSupportProgramme@education.gov.au