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Funding Essentials for long day care providers

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​​​The Queensland Kindergarten Funding Essentials from 2023 for long day care providers​ is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of kindy funding including eligibility, claims and payments, legal obligations, assurance, grants and subsidies.

The following information will support your service's operations and planning around the new kindy funding. Terms and conditions apply from 1 January 2023.

Eligibility criteria for long day care service provide​rs

To be eligible for funding, service providers must meet 2 sets of criteria.

Child eligibility crit​eria

A child must be at least 4 years of age by 30 June in the year they commence kindergarten. Service providers may only claim funding for each enrolled, eligible child.

Service provider eligibility criteria

Each service provider (individual long day care service provider) must:

Requirements for long day care service providers

In claiming and receiving kindergarten funding, service providers agree to and must:

  • adhere to the terms and conditions detailed in kindergarten funding service agreements
  • retain and provide on request any evidence to demonstrate compliance with kindergarten funding for up to 3 years, including early childhood teacher qualifications, staff rosters, room rolls, programming information, enrolment forms, policies and procedures, invoices, software provider reports, fee structures and family fee statements
  • spend funding for eligible children in the year for which the funding was claimed
  • adopt a fee structure that is not a barrier to participation by families, for example, fees charged for eligible children are not more than for any other age group at the service
  • ensure funding is used strictly in accordance with the spending rules, including to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for families, resulting in a fee reduction for eligible children after the Child Care Subsidy is deducted from the relevant fee
  • ensure enrolment policies and procedures are followed and:
    • prioritise enrolment of eligible children into approved kindergarten programs prior to opening additional programs or enrolling non-eligible children​
    • ensure claims are made for eligible children in one kindergarten program only
    • support family choice regarding the service provider to which kindergarten funding is applied, where a child attends multiple services
    • ensure enrolments are not refused for eligible children in an approved kindergarten program if funding has been claimed for that child by another service provider.
  • display the following information at all times an approved kindergarten program is being delivered:
    • approved kindergarten program provider certificate
    • kindergarten program operating times
    • name and qualifications of the early childhood teacher delivering the kindergarten program
    • fee structure clearly documenting the kindergarten program fees, including how subsidies are allocated or passed on to families.
      Please use the Statement of Fees 2023​ as an editable template for the information you are required to provide.​
  • use the online application in the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority portal to develop and upload a transition statement (with family permission) for each eligible child’s family in November of the kindergarten year. Read more about kindergarten transition statements
  • have a workforce plan that is reviewed at least annually and includes a range of strategies to attract and retain suitably qualified early childhood teachers. Read more about workforce planning.

Kindergarten funding grants for long day care service providers

Kindergarten funding is provided to service providers through 1 or more grants.

  • Base subsidy – provided for each eligible child who is enrolled in an approved kindergarten program.
  • Affordability subsidy – provided for each eligible child who meets 1 or more specified criteria.
  • Service location subsidy – provided to service providers (for each eligible child) where the service is located in an eligible remoteness category using the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) remoteness measure at the SA2 geographic level.
  • Educational need grant – provided to eligible service providers, determined by the Department of Education, to respond to children’s learning and development needs through provision of evidence-based initiatives.
  • Inclusion subsidy – provided to service providers to support inclusion of all eligible children in an approved kindergarten program irrespective of diversity of background or additional needs.

Kindergarten funding claim​s and payments for long day care service providers

Long day care service providers are funded through quarterly payments over a calendar year, based on information provided by service providers to the Department of Education through QGrants.

Affordability and service location subsidies are paid to long day care service providers in advance, with an acquittal process completed at the end of each quarter. Payments of the base subsidy are made on receipt of the acquittal.

Payments are made via electronic funds transfer.

Approved providers of long day care services have legal obligations relating to kindergarten funding and must have financial oversight of the use of grant funding provided to each service provider.

Each approved provider of individual or multiple long day care services is the legal entity that enters into a contractual relationship with the Department of Education. Legal obligations include:

  • reporting requirements
  • accurate submission of claims including agreement to the Kindergarten Funding Terms and Conditions
  • compliance with the Kindergarten Funding Category Guidelines and the Kindergarten Funding Essentials, including service eligibility and other requirements.

Approved providers must enter into a new service agreement with the Department of Education at the beginning of each calendar year to remain eligible to receive kindergarten funding. This agreement is provided under the Community Services Act 2007 and binds approved providers to the standard terms and conditions, Kindergarten Funding Category Guidelines and Kindergarten Funding Essentials.

Approved providers are legally bound to provide forecast and acquittal claims for each service provider, including those service providers submitting a ‘nil claim’.

When making quarterly claims, approved providers must ensure claims represent true and accurate information.

Kindergarten funding assurance for long day care service providers

The Department of Education conducts assurance reviews of approved kindergarten providers to monitor compliance against the requirements of kindergarten funding.

Assurance reviews are conducted by officers authorised under the Community Services Act 2007. The Community Services Act 2007 authorises investigating, monitoring and ensuring compliance of services in receipt of kindergarten funding.

Funding provided by the Department of Education will be recovered (or reimbursed) in full for all periods where:

  • the kindergarten funding terms and conditions, service eligibility criteria or requirements have not been met, or there is insufficient evidence to support compliance
  • there is insufficient evidence of:
    • appropriate expenditure of subsidies
    • support for claims, particularly where the claim falls outside the normal operating context of the service.
  • claiming anomalies or deliberate overclaiming have been identified
  • subsidies have not been passed on to families
  • grants have not been correctly applied
  • enrolment of an eligible aged child into the kindergarten program has been denied on the basis of parental choice as to the application of the funding in multiple service settings.

Long day c​are service provider grants

Base subsidy for ​long day care service providers

The base subsidy is provided to service providers for each eligible child enrolled in an approved kindergarten program.

Base subsidy amounts funded

Read the table of amounts funded through the base subsidy (appendix 4)​.

Base subsidy spending rules (inclusions)

A minimum of 75% of the base subsidy must only be spent on:

  • fee reduction for the kindergarten hours for each eligible child. Any funding allocated to reduce family fees is deducted after the Child Care Subsidy has been deducted from the relevant daily fee
  • improved entitlements for the early childhood teacher delivering the approved kindergarten program, including:
    • additional pay on top of their early childhood teacher award wage
    • lump sum bonus paid directly to the early childhood teacher
    • additional paid annual leave
    • payment of additional programming hours or non-contact times for the early childhood teacher (in addition to award entitlements for the early childhood teacher such as lunch break or programming time)
    • professional development (delivered by an accredited organisation) for the early childhood teacher specifically to assist them in delivering an approved kindergarten program
    • learning resources for the early childhood teacher to enhance the delivery of an approved kindergarten program.

A maximum of 25% of the base subsidy can only be spent on:

  • quality and age-appropriate resources specifically for eligible children
  • providing extracurricular kindergarten activities (provided all eligible children undertake the activity, the early childhood teacher is present and participating, and the early childhood teacher includes the activity as part of their curriculum), with no cost to families.

Base subsidy spending rules (exclusions)​

The base subsidy must not be used for expenditure on general items used in the operation of the service, such as:

  • early childhood teacher award wages
  • educator or support staff wages
  • renovations, maintenance and utilities (for example, rates, water, electricity)
  • furniture
  • general food and groceries
  • cleaning and hygiene products
  • service software programs and memberships
  • capital expenditure/improvements.

Base subsidy financial obligations

The approved provider (individual or multiple services) must be able to demonstrate to the Department of Education:

  • how the fee reduction was passed on to families for each eligible child in the approved kindergarten program
  • how the base subsidy was spent by each service provider for which the funding was granted
  • that the base subsidy was used for the relevant kindergarten cohort enrolled in the year for which the funding was claimed
  • that the base subsidy was used to directly enhance the approved kindergarten program for which the funding was granted
  • that kindergarten funding was not used to subsidise the delivery of other programs (for example, kindergarten programs for non-eligible children).

Each approved provider (individual or multiple services) must retain and provide on request evidence to demonstrate compliance with kindergarten funding – base subsidy. This evidence may include:

  • enrolment policy and procedures supported by enrolment forms
  • fee structure for the service
  • family fee statements
  • detailed cost centre reports
  • financial reports supported by receipts, invoices, bank account statements
  • early childhood teacher payslips/employment contracts
  • correspondence relating to negotiation of the early childhood teacher wage.

Affordability subsidies for long da​y care service providers

The affordability subsidies are designed to offset a family’s kindergarten fees. The affordability subsidies are provided to service providers for each eligible child who meets one or more specified criteria.

There are 2 affordability subsidies: Kindy Plus and Kindy Family Tax Benefit (FTB).

Affordability – Kindy Plus subsidy

The Kindy Plus subsidy is applied quarterly for each eligible child who meets 1 or more of the following specified criteria:

  • the family (including foster families and kinship care families as determined by the Child Protection Act 1999) or the child must present 1 of the following:
    • an Australian Government Health Care Card with the child named on the card​
    • a current Australian Government Concession Card
    • a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card or White Card
    • evidence of formal foster or kinship care arrangements.
  • the child is living in a formal child protection out-of-home-care arrangement
  • the child or parent identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • the family has 3 or more children of the same age attending a kindergarten program at the same time
  • the family and child have entered Australia under the Australian Government’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program or is in the process of seeking asylum and holds a temporary visa. Read the list of eligible visa card holders (appendix 5)​

The Kindy Plus subsidy is to be deducted from the parent/carer fees after the deduction of the Child Care Subsidy. It is designed to further reduce out-of-pocket fees for the kindergarten program.

Affordability – Kindy FTB subsidy​

The Kindy FTB subsidy is applied quarterly for each eligible child whose family was eligible for the Australian Government’s Family Tax Benefit Part A or Part B payment in the financial year prior to the kindergarten year.

The 2021–​​22 financial year is the relevant financial year for the 2023 kindergarten year (January to December). If a family was not eligible for the family tax benefit in the 2021–22 financial year, they are not entitled to the Kindy FTB subsidy for the 2023 kindergarten year.

Some families may receive confirmation of eligibility during 2023 as families have until 30 June 2023 to lodge claims for the 2021–22 financial year. In this instance, and where the child has been enrolled since the commencement of the 2023 kindergarten year, the family will be eligible for the Kindy FTB subsidy for the whole year. A claim for back-payment of the subsidy can be made by the kindergarten service.

A family can check their eligibility for Family Tax Benefit by visiting the Services Australia Family Tax Benefit website.

A child who is eligible for Kindy FTB will be eligible for fee-reduced kindergarten. The subsidy must be deducted from the family fees after the deduction of the Child Care Subsidy and is designed to further reduce out-of-pocket fees for the kindergarten program.​

Affordability subsidies funded amounts​​​

Read the details of amounts funded through both affordability subsidies (appendix 4)​.​​

Affordability subsidies spending rules

Affordability subsidies spending rules include:

  • affordability subsidies must only be used to offset the cost of kindergarten fees paid by families through reducing out-of-pocket kindergarten costs for each eligible child’s family. It is intended these payments are made after the Child Care Subsidy has been deducted
  • periodic fee deductions may be made on a daily/weekly/fortnightly/quarterly basis
  • the subsidies must be applied to each eligible child only. Affordability subsidies cannot be applied by the service provider to reduce the overall kindergarten fee for all eligible children
  • if a service provider claims the Kindy Plus subsidy for an eligible child, service providers are not able to claim the Kindy FTB subsidy for that same child
  • the full quarterly amount for subsidies must be passed on to each eligible child’s family, irrespective of how many weeks the child was at the service in the claim period. A credit on families’ accounts, after all out-of-pocket expenses are paid for each quarter, cannot be applied. All remaining funds must be used in accordance with the base subsidy spending rules
  • as the Kindy Plus subsidy is paid in advance, once a child is no longer eligible (for example, Australian Government Health Care Card or Concession Card expires), the service provider cannot claim the subsidy for that same child in subsequent quarters
  • a child eligible for the Kindy FTB subsidy will receive the subsidy or part thereof (if the child leaves the service) for the whole kindergarten year.

Affordability subsidies finan​cial obligations

The approved provider (individual or multiple services) must be able to demonstrate to the Department of Education how the affordability subsidies have been used to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for families whose eligible child/ren are enrolled in the approved kindergarten program.

Each approved provider (individual or multiple services) must retain and provide on request evidence to demonstrate the above. This evidence may include:

  • enrolment policy and procedures supported by enrolment forms
  • fee structure for the service
  • family fee statements
  • service management software program reports
  • evidence (including expiry dates) of any applicable veterans’, Health Care or Concession cards, kinship or foster care arrangements, or a copy of Services Australia letter confirming Family Tax Benefit eligibility for the current kindergarten year.

Service location subsidy for long day care s​ervice providers

The service location subsidy is provided for each eligible child to service providers located in an eligible remoteness category using the ABS​​ remoteness measure at the statistical area level 2.

The subsidy is designed to assist service providers to attract and retain qualified early childhood teachers to deliver an approved kindergarten program.

It is provided for each eligible child enrolled in the service through varying amounts.

Service location subsidy a​​​mounts funded

The subsidy is calculated as a per child amount multiplied by the number of eligible children enrolled in the service. Where eligible enrolments are fewer than 22 children (at the service), a minimum payment based on 22 enrolments will be provided.

The kindergarten funding service agreement includes a condition that the service provider must seek to maximise the number of eligible aged children enrolled in the program. As a condition of payment, the Department of Education may seek additional information or evidence from the service about activities to maximise eligible aged enrolments.

Read the details of amounts that can be claimed (appendix 4)​.​​

Service location subsidy spending rules​

The service location subsidy must only be used to attract and retain qualified early childhood teachers, including:

  • assisting the early childhood teacher with relocation costs
  • subsidising rent for the early childhood teacher
  • paying above award wages
  • paying a bonus in addition to their wages
  • providing additional paid annual leave
  • subsidising flights to and from the community to the early childhood teacher's home base
  • accessing professional development for the early childhood teacher specifically to assist them in delivering an approved kindergarten program
  • purchasing learning resources for the early childhood teacher to enhance their delivery of an approved kindergarten program.

Service providers must prepare and retain an annual Service Location – Early Childhood Teachers plan specifying how the funding will be used to attract and retain early childhood teachers. Download a sample template​ in an editable format.

Service location subsidy financ​​ial obligations

The approved provider (individual or multiple services) must be able to demonstrate to the Department of Education how the service location subsidy has been spent by service providers for the purpose of attracting and retaining a qualified early childhood teacher.

Each approved provider (individual or multiple services) must retain and provide on request evidence to demonstrate the above. This evidence may include:

  • early childhood teacher payslips/employment contract
  • correspondence relating to negotiation of the early childhood teacher wage
  • financial reports supported by receipts, invoices, bank account statements
  • annual Service Location – Early Childhood Teachers plans.

Educational need grant for lon​​g day care service providers

The educational need grant (Kindy Uplift) is provided to eligible service providers to respond to children’s learning and development needs through provision of evidence-based initiatives. Kindy Uplift is designed to strengthen children’s access to, and meaningful participation in, the full range of kindergarten experiences.

The Department of Education determines service and funding eligibility.

Educational need grant – Kindy​ Uplift amounts funded

Read the details of amounts that can be claimed for educational need (appendix 4)​.

Educational need grant – Kindy Uplift spending rules​

Kindy Uplift must be used to fund programs, resources, educational supports and professional development to build educator capability, support inclusion and improve children’s learning and development with a focus on 1 or more of the priority areas:

  • social and emotional capability
  • physicality
  • thinking and responding
  • oral language and communication
  • access and inclusion
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access and inclusion (from 2024).

Service providers must submit an annual Kindy Uplift plan to demonstrate how the funding will improve outcomes for eligible children. Each Kindy Uplift plan must be approved by a Kindy Uplift advisor allocated to the service.

Kindy Uplift must not be used for any costs not directly related to the delivery of the approved Kindy Uplift plan.

Educational need grant – Kindy​ Uplift financial obligations

Each approved provider (individual or multiple services) must be able to demonstrate to the Department of Education how Kindy Uplift was spent by each service provider for which the funding was granted.

Each approved provider (individual or multiple services) must retain and provide on request evidence to demonstrate compliance with kindergarten funding – educational need subsidy.

This evidence may include:

  • enrolment policies and procedures supported by enrolment forms
  • financial reports supported by receipts, invoices, bank account statements
  • an approved Kindy Uplift plan specifying a focus on 1 or more of the 5 priority areas.

Each approved provider (individual or multiple services) must acquit this funding at the end of each calendar year. This acquittal must be submitted through QGrants on or before 28 January of the following calendar year.

Inclusion subsidy for long day care service pr​​​oviders

The inclusion subsidy (Inclusion Ready) is provided to service providers to support inclusion of all eligible children in an approved kindergarten program, irrespective of diversity of background or additional needs. Funding is provided to ensure all eligible children meaningfully participate in kindergarten on the same basis as their peers.

The Inclusion Ready subsidy is provided to service providers for each eligible child enrolled in an approved kindergarten program.

The Inclusion Ready subsidy is provided to service providers to:

  • improve kindergarten participation and attendance for all children
  • ensure children with diverse backgrounds or additional needs are provided with adjustments, supplementary to the strategies and resources already available
  • engage in professional development to ensure educators support children and families to feel welcome, engaged and culturally safe
  • support the transition into kindergarten or Prep for children with diverse backgrounds or additional needs.

Inclusion subsidy am​ounts funded

Read the amount funded through the inclusion subsidy (appendix 4)​.

Inclusion subsidy spending rules

The Inclusion Ready subsidy must be spent to improve access and participation for all children, including those with diverse backgrounds or additional needs. Funding must be spent on programs, resources, equipment, educational materials, professional development, or visiting partners or specialists.

Inclusion subsidy financial obligations

Each approved provider (individual or multiple services) must be able to demonstrate to the Department of Education how the inclusion subsidies were spent by each service provider for which the funding was granted.

Each approved provider (individual or multiple services) must retain and provide on request evidence to demonstrate compliance with kindergarten funding – inclusion subsidy. This evidence may include:

  • enrolment policies and procedures supported by enrolment forms
  • financial reports supported by receipts, invoices, bank account statements.
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Last updated 23 January 2023