Recognising that preschools may need extra assistance to support the educational participation of children with disability or additional needs in their service, the PDSP provides several funding options.
The universal disability loading is paid to all NSW community preschools, based on the total number of children eligible for Preschool Funding Model subsidies identified as enrolled at a preschool in the previous year's preschool census. Preschools do not have to apply for this loading. For more information about the universal disability loading and how to use it, click here.
Preschools can also apply for child focused targeted support at three different levels, according to the needs of a child at their service. Child focused targeted support applies to a specific child with a disability or additional needs and the funding must be used to support the education of that particular child. Preschools must talk with the child's family before submitting the application. For each child allocated child-based funding, preschools must develop an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) that sets out the agreed educational objectives for the child and how he or she will be assisted in participating in the preschool program. Northcott assesses all child-focused targeted support applications and determines funding allocations.
Which children are eligible for child focused targeted support?
A child must be at least three years old on 31 July in the year of funding and have one or more of the following disabilities or additional needs:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Behaviour and social/emotional disability (severe)
- Chronic health conditions
- Development delay
- Intellectual impairment
- Multiple disabilities
- Physical impairment
- Hearing impairment
- Vision impairment
- Speech/language (moderate and severe)
Depending on the needs of the child, child-focused targeted support is available at Level 1 funding, Level 2 funding or Level 3 funding.
What your preschool must do if your application is successful
Individual Learning Plan
If your application for child-focused targeted support is approved, you will need to develop a written Individual Learning Plan (ILP) for each specific child allocated funding. An ILP sets out what your preschool will do for the child, and must be developed in agreement with the child's parents or carers. An ILP may complement goals and aspirations included in a child's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support plan or other therapeutic plans. Every child's ILP must be reviewed every six months.
Preschools are required to report twice yearly on the progress of each child at their preschool receiving child-focused targeted support. This includes verifying that for each funded child:
- an ILP is in place;
- the plan has been reviewed;
- the educational objectives have been met; or
- the educational objectives have not been met and the plan has been adjusted.
Preschools are required to complete an annual acquittal for the PDSP funding to Northcott and NSW Department of Educatiton.
The acquittal includes both the universal disability loading and child-focused targeted support received, listing each child funded. The annual acquittal will:
- identify unspent funds for return to NSW Department of Education;
- certify that the funds have been expended in accordance with the PDSP Guidelines;
- certify that the attendance requirements for funding have been met;
- be signed by the Director and Chair of the governing body or organisational CEO for multi-service providers.
Preschools must submit the annual acquittal prior to the end of the year to be eligible for funding in the subsequent year.
The acquittal process is managed by the NSW Department of Education through ECCMS, consistent with the preschool's funding agreement.
Universal Disability Loading
The Universal Disability Loading provides funding to all preschools to support the educational inclusion of children with disability.
Level 1 Funding
Level 1 funding is for children who require moderate help or infrequent support to participate in preschool or be engaged with their learning at the same level as their peers.
Level 2 Funding
Level 2 funding is for children that need considerable assistance or frequent support to participate in preschool, engage at the same level as their peers and remain safe.
Level 3 Funding
Level 3 funding is for children that need constant and intensive support to attend preschool and engage at the same level as their peers