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Early Childhood Service providers may apply for funding to support the cost of delivering preschool programs. This funding is provided by the Commonwealth Government under the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood education, which is administered in South Australia by the Department for Education.
To be eligible for funding, services must:
- deliver a preschool program in accordance with the Early Years Learning framework (EYLF)
- employ a registered early childhood teacher with an approved 4 year university qualification
- ensure the teacher is registered with the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia (TRB)
- offer and provide all eligible children an annual provision of 600 hours of preschool or 15 hours per week over 40 weeks of the year (families can choose to claim this entitlement across multiple service providers)
- operate a service that holds a service approval with the Education and Early Childhood Services Registration and Standards Board of South Australia
- agree to the conditions set out in the funding and service agreement.
All children are required to be enrolled and attending school by the age of 6 as per the Education and Children's Services Act 2019.
Local government area (LGA) subsidy
The LGA subsidy is a general subsidy which sites receive per capita for every eligible preschool enrolment based on the number of hours the child is enrolled. The funding is meant to support the cost of employing an early childhood teacher. The level of the subsidy is linked to the Australian Bureau of Statistics SEIFA index of relative socioeconomic disadvantage (IRD) of the local government areas where the service is located.
The subsidies are based on a full time equivalent enrolment or 15 hours per week:
Category 1 - Providers in the lowest 20% (highest disadvantage) - $2480
Category 2 - Providers in the 21% to 40% range- $2150
Category 3 - Providers in the 41% to 60% range- $1850
Category 4 - Providers in the 61% to 80% range - $1550
Category 5 - Providers in the highest 20% (lowest disadvantage) – $1230
Remote area subsidy
There is $600 per annum per child available for services located in remote and very remote locations of South Australia as determined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics accessibility remoteness index of Australia (ARIA).
The subsidy level will be provided by the Preschool Policy and Programs team on application. For an indication of the category ranking and remoteness eligibility see categories and remoteness eligibility by local government area.
Targeted child subsidy
The targeted child subsidies help the child through a reduction in fees for the family.
There is $1850 per annum per child available if the child is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) and children of families holding one of the following:
- health care card
- pensioner concession card
- temporary protection visa
- humanitarian visa
- asylum seeker bridging visa
- Department of Veteran Affairs gold card.
Children with a recognised disability subsidy
There is $3080 per annum per child available for children with a recognised disability or medical condition who need additional support to participate in preschool. It is only available to children who are entitled to a health care card with a CD (child disability) code.
See preschool funding for children with a disability for further information.
Funding for the Universal Access preschool program is paid quarterly and administered through the Non-Government Preschool Data System (NGPDS). Payments are made via electronic funds transfer.
The preschool data collected from services each school term will be used as the confirmed enrolments for grant payment purposes. Payments are made in advance and adjusted in accordance with the actual enrolments for each term.
Follow the steps as outlined in the non-government preschools term data submission instructions (PDF 2.1MB).
Children are only eligible to access 15 hours of government funded preschool per week. They may access this entitlement in more than 1 centre. Preschool providers, both government and non-government, must make sure that they do not make a funding claim for over 15 hours of government funded preschool per week.
To assist in this process services must have a signed disclaimer (PDF 309KB) from the parent/s confirming that the child is not enrolled in more than 15 hours.
Early childhood services must provide the department with the following information about enrolled children for funding assessment and reporting purposes:
- full name of child
- child’s gender
- child’s date of birth
- usual residential address of child
- full name of child’s parent/s or guardian/s.
Before making a funding claim for a child, the service must ensure that:
- parents or guardians sign the collection of information – privacy statement in the disclaimer (PDF 309KB)
- the privacy statement is stored securely at the site.
To apply for preschool funding under Universal Access, please complete the funding application package (PDF 510KB) and return to the Preschool Policy and Programs team.
Preschool Policy and Programs
Phone: 8226 2794
Email: education.ecsupport [at] sa.gov.au
Mail: GPO Box 1152, Adelaide SA 5001