About the program
The current Inclusion Support Programme was established by the Australian Government in 2016 as a key component of the Child Care Safety Net. The programme's purpose is to build the capacity of educators working in eligible early learning and child care (ELCC) services to provide inclusive practice for children with a range of abilities within mainstream services.
Public consultation on draft updated Inclusion Support Program Guidelines
The Inclusion Support Program (ISP) is a key component of the Government’s $1.2 billion Child Care Safety Net. The Child Care Safety Net aims to give the most vulnerable children a strong start, while supporting parents and carers to increase their activity including work, study and training. ISP has been operating since 1 July 2016, and the Guidelines are now due for review.
The objectives of ISP are to support early childhood education and care 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.
The Department of Education has now published draft updated ISP Guidelines and is providing stakeholders with the opportunity to provide feedback. The guidelines describe how the ISP will operate, including eligibility, application and assessment processes.
The department is encouraging feedback from services, peak bodies, disability advocates, parents, educators, Inclusion Professionals and other stakeholders. Feedback will be used by the department to inform the final ISP Guidelines, which are expected to come into effect from January 2020.
How to provide feedback on the draft updated ISP Guidelines
- Consider the proposed changes published on the ISP Guidelines consultation webpage at https://www.education.gov.au/have-your-say-updated-inclusion-support-program-isp-guidelines where you can find the consultation draft ISP Guidelines, a summary of the key proposed changes and a link to the survey questionnaire.
- Complete the short online survey on the guidelines (available until 11.59 pm AEST, Monday 11 November 2019) and/or
- Email your feedback directly to the department to InclusionSupportProgram@education.gov.au (by 11.59 pm AEST Monday 11 November 2019).
For any enquiries, please email InclusionSupportProgram@education.gov.au.
Inclusion Agency support
Gowrie SA is the Inclusion Agency (IA) for South Australia delivering free inclusion support services under the Australian Government’s Inclusion Support Programme (ISP). We provide assistance to all eligible Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) services to build their capacity to include children with diverse needs and/or backgrounds within mainstream services.
The Inclusion Agency will assist ELCC services to include all children by providing tailored inclusion advice and support from Gowrie SA Inclusion Professionals. The Inclusion Professionals are part of a multi-disciplinary team located in both the metropolitan area and regionally.
The main cohorts of focus under the Inclusion Support Programme guidelines include:
- Children with a disability or undergoing assessment
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
- Children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Children from refugee or humanitarian backgrounds
- Children with serious medical conditions
- Children presenting with language and speech delays
- Children presenting with disruptive behaviour.
Gowrie SA is working towards inclusion for all children and assists the following types of eligible Child Care Subsidy-approved services:
- Long day care
- Outside school hours care, including vacation care
- Family day care
- Occasional care
- Mobile services.
How will Gowrie SA support your service?
We have a large and diverse team of experienced Inclusion Professionals who will work directly with a service to:
- Develop and implement a tailored Strategic Inclusion Plan (SIP), which will support the Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).
- Assist educators and teams to critically reflect on their practices and identify barriers to and possibilities for inclusion.
- Acknowledge strengths and reflect on understandings of inclusion.
- Provide practical advice on quality inclusive practices to support educators to overcome barriers to a child’s inclusion.
- Access to all Inclusion Support Programme resources including specialist equipment.
- Facilitate access to funding streams to support more challenging inclusion barriers and endorse any funding applications.
- Support services to apply to become ‘Inclusion Aware.’
- Link with relevant community groups, services and organisations that support inclusion.
- Support educators to work in partnership with families and other support networks.
- Discuss available options regarding ‘Innovative Solutions’ funding.