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Service Provider Resources

What is the Preschool Disability Support Program?

The Preschool Disability Support Program (PDSP) supports children with additional needs in NSW community preschools. This replaces the Supporting Children with Additional Needs (SCAN) program, and the Intervention Support Program (ISP) for community preschools. Preschools can use this funding for additional staffing, the purchase of specialised equipment, or training of preschool educators to support the educational inclusion of children with disability at their service. The PDSP funding is offered at three different rates that the preschool will apply for according to the needs of a child. The program also includes a Universal Disability Loading that is paid to all preschools on the basis of the total number of children eligible for Preschool Funding Model (PFM) subsidies identified as enrolled at the preschool in the previous year’s preschool census. In 2017, metropolitan preschools will receive $60 per eligible child per annum, and rural and remote preschools will receive $75 per eligible child per annum. Preschools will not have to apply to receive the Universal Disability Loading.

Why has the PDSP been developed?

The PDSP has been developed following recommendations made in the Review of NSW Government Funding for Early Childhood Education by Professor Deborah Brennan. Further research has been gathered from SCAN brokers and 176 preschools, as well as a comprehensive review of the literature about placing children with a disability in inclusive early childhood education settings. 

Which services can get PDSP funding?

The PDSP is a specific program for community preschools in NSW. To be eligible for this program, a provider must receive funding under the NSW Government Preschool Grants Program. For long day care and early intervention services, the Department’s Intervention Support Program continues to operate and is unchanged.

How is the level of funding determined?

To receive the Level 1 ($45 per day) rate of funding, eligibility needs to be assessed by a professional such as a GP or teacher with a qualification in Special Education. For the Level 2 ($90 per day) and 3 ($120 per day) rates, a child must have a formal diagnosis from a relevant specialist such as a paediatrician or speech pathologist.

Who is the PDSP program manager?

DEC has appointed Northcott as the PDSP program manager. Northcott will administer the PDSP on behalf of DEC. To access support and discuss the PDSP, preschools can contact Northcott by phone or by email: 1800 455 522 or pdsp@northcott.com.au.

What support will preschools get?

Northcott will provide telephone and online support for all preschools. This will include advice on applications, available funding, and how to access support, training and resources to help preschools improve educational outcomes for children with a disability or additional needs. Northcott will also conduct an annual state-wide training program, which will initially assist preschools transition to the PDSP. In subsequent years, the training program will be developed and refined based on the identified learning needs of preschools and any feedback received. 

When should preschools submit an application for PDSP targeted funding?

Applications for child-focused targeted funding can be submitted during 2017's Main Funding Round, which is open from October 10th 2016- November 4th 2016. A second funding round for 2017 will also be open between April 26th 2017 - May 24th 2017.

What reporting will be required?

Preschools that receive PDSP funding will need to report twice per year, stating that each funded child has an Individual Learning Plan, and whether previously agreed educational objectives have been met. Preschools receiving funding must submit an annual report certifying that funds have been spent in accordance with the program guidelines. The PDSP program manager will also conduct an annual audit program to ensure that preschools are following the guidelines for funding.

What is an Individual Learning Plan?

An Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is a document that sets out the agreed educational objectives for a child with a disability, and how these objectives will be achieved. The ILP should be developed in consultation with the child’s family, so that everyone understands how the child will be included in the preschool program. All children receiving PDSP funding must have an ILP in place, and this must be reviewed twice per year. ILPs do not have to be long or complicated documents. Often, one or two pages that clearly set out a few simple objectives will be appropriate. 

How will the Intervention Support Program be affected?

The Department’s Intervention Support Program (ISP) will continue to be available for a range of education providers across NSW. Community preschools now have a dedicated funding program.