Inclusion Support Program
The Inclusion Support Programme (ISP) is a key component of the Australian Government’s Child Care Safety Net and will provide support to 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.
ISP provides support directly to ECCC services, however families and children with additional needs benefit through improved inclusion and capability for mainstream ECCC services to provide quality inclusive practices and address barriers to include children with additional needs alongside their typically developing peers.
Support available through the ISP includes:
Inclusion Professional Support
Support from one of our inclusion professionals to assist services to build their capacity and capability through the development of a Strategic Inclusion Plan (SIP), which looks at the current capacity and capability of a service through a strengths based approach.
Specialist Equipment to facilitate and support the inclusion of a child or children with additional needs.
Funding from the Inclusion Development Fund (IDF) to address a barrier to inclusion that cannot be resolved through support from an Inclusion Agency or the Specialist Equipment Library (SEL).
The ISP has two primary objectives to:
Capacity & Capability
Support mainstream ECCC services to improve their capacity and capability to provide quality inclusive practices, address participation barriers and include children with additional needs alongside their typically developing peers.
Access to services
Provide parents and carers of children with additional needs with access to appropriate ECCC services that assist those parents to participate in the workforce.
Children with Additional Needs
While there is no national definition of ‘additional needs’, a range of risk factors may (but not always) lead children with particular characteristics to be vulnerable to sub-optimal learning and life outcomes. These include (but are not limited to):
- children with disability including those undergoing assessment for disability
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
- children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- children from a refugee or humanitarian background
- children with serious medical condition/s
- children presenting with language and speech delays
- children presenting with disruptive behaviour
Service Delivery Model
The ISP consists of three key elements:
Inclusion Agencies (IAs)
In each state and territory, an Inclusion Agency is contracted to assist eligible services build their capacity and capability to provide and embed inclusive practice in their delivery of early learning and care programmes. Section A of the Guidelines outlines the role of IAs and how ECCC services can access IA non-financial support.
Inclusion Development Fund (IDF)
The IDF provides funding to assist eligible services to address a barrier to inclusion that cannot be addressed by the support provided by an Inclusion Agency. Sections B, C, D, E and F of the Guidelines outline the Inclusion Development Fund and how services can apply for support.
Inclusion Development Fund Manager
A single national Inclusion Development Fund Manager is contracted to provide nationally consistent and equitable management of the IDF through assessing applications for funding and communicating outcomes to services. Section G of the Guidelines outlines the role of the Inclusion Development Fund Manager and how it interacts with services.