School Funding

Universal Pilot Guidelines for Pre-Kindergarten 2023

3. Eligibility criteria

The ministry will assess pilot applications and determine funding based on eligibility, spending rules, program priorities and available funding.

To be eligible to participate, services must meet the eligibility criteria below.

1. Submit a Request for Expression of Interest by midnight on December 16, 2022.

Late requests will not be accepted except in exceptional circumstances.

2. Services must be in one of the selected pilot locations listed below:

  • Mount Druitt
  • Wagga Wagga
  • Kempsey–Nambucca
  • Bourke-Cobar-Coonamble.

To see if your service is located in one of the eligible sites, please check using the link to the Australian Bureau of Statistics website. (see ‘Location Limits’ for more details).

3. Within the scope, services and providers must be a licensed early childhood education and care service under the Children’s (Education and care services) National law (NSW) and regulations or the Supplementary Provisions Act.

4. Services and providers who are eligible to participate in these pilot projects and who should follow the process outlined in these guidelines include: long-term care homes, community preschools, outreach services, child and Aboriginal Family Services (ACFC) and Multipurpose Services for Aboriginal Children (MACS).

Department of Education preschools at all four sites are eligible to participate, but will be contacted separately about participation and do not need to complete an application through this form.

Preschools in the department should contact Early Learning [email protected] or telephone 1300 083 698 with any questions.

5. Provide a quality preschool early childhood education program by a qualified early childhood teacher in accordance with the requirements of the National Quality Framework, including using the Early Childhood Learning Framework.

6. Are assessed by ACECQA as meeting the national quality standard or better.

seven. Be willing and able to participate in a number of pilot activities, including but not limited to workshops, interviews, and testing features of the Service.

8. If you choose to try the “increase in attendance beyond 600 hours per year or 15 hours per week” feature, the service:

  • commits to not displacing children during pilots (e.g., offers appropriate strategies to avoid displacement)
  • has adequate licensed space, facilities and places to support any increase in enrollment in 2023.

9. Where a service is co-located on the site of a non-government school, the service will not be eligible for funding under the pilot project if that non-government school is operating for profit within the meaning of Section 83C of the Act. (NSW) Education Act 1990 (“the Act”) while receiving financial assistance from the New South Wales Government.

This includes, but is not limited to, where the non-government school is currently declared a non-compliant school or declared a for-profit school under the Act.

ten. Services must demonstrate that their authorized provider and any other authorized representatives, as required, support their participation in the pilot project and commit to:

  • Accept and abide by the terms and conditions of the “Universal Pre-K Pilot” once you have been considered a successful candidate.
  • Comply with regulatory requirements set out in national law and regulations when participating in pilots.
  • Ensure that the quality of practice and service delivery is not reduced during pilot activities.
  • Commit to participating in evaluation activities, such as interviews, focus groups and data collection. This may include the collection and sharing of data used by the state government and shared with the Commonwealth government.
  • Complete and submit relevant forms for the service, including data sharing agreements, consent forms and confidentiality agreements before the start of the design phase.