Up to $110M is available from CCCF to address barriers to child care participation, particularly targeting disadvantaged and vulnerable families and communities.
Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Program
The Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Programis is part of the Australian Government’s Child Care Safety Net, which contributes to giving the most vulnerable children a strong start in life while supporting parents into work.
The new Child Care Package that commenced in July 2018 is designed to make the child care system more affordable, more accessible, more flexible and targeted to those who need it most. The package contains two key components – the Child Care Subsidy and the Child Care Safety Net.
The objective of the Support for the Child Care System program is to:
- help families participate in social economic life of the community by promoting and supporting quality and affordable child care; and
- assist services to improve access and inclusion for vulnerable or disadvantaged children and families, including children with disabilities and their families.
The Child Care Safety Net contributes to the Support for the Child Care System program, in which the CCCF is one of three activities announced under the package. The CCCF aims to support child care services to address barriers to child care participation, particularly targeting disadvantaged and vulnerable families and communities.
The objectives of the grant opportunity are to:
- support eligible child care services in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities to transition to and operate viably under the new child care system
- support the longer-term sustainability of eligible child care services.
The intended outcomes of the grant opportunity are:
- child care services operating in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities are able to address (or have increased capacity to address) community level barriers to child care participation
- increased number of children from vulnerable or disadvantaged families and communities accessing child care
- increased sustainability of child care services operating in disadvantaged communities experiencing viability issues, including in areas with fluctuating and/or low short-term demand
- increased availability of child care places in disadvantaged communities with high unmet demand through capital works projects.
CCCF will provide funding under three categories, called program ‘elements’. Each element intends to fund a specific type of activity. The elements are (in order of grant funding priority):
- Sustainability Support: helping eligible child care services operating in areas of limited supply improve the viability and sustainability of their service.
- Community Support: helping eligible child care services to work with other organisations and families to identify and address community level barriers to child care participation. The engagement must ultimately result in increased child care participation.
- Capital Support: helping eligible child care services by contributing towards the cost of modifying, renovating, extending or building child care facilities (‘capital works’). These capital works must result in more child care places in areas where there is unmet demand.
The Australian Government has approved funding of approximately $110 million per annum (GST exclusive) for the CCCF. Within this allocation, there is approximately $21.8 million (GST exclusive) available under this grant opportunity: up to $11.5 million in 2019-20 and $10.3 million in 2020-21. The value of money awarded under this grant opportunity cannot exceed the total funding available.
Sustainability Support grants can be used for activities such as:
- implementing changes to business practices and introducing innovative solutions to improve the sustainability and viability of a child care service
- meeting standard child care operating costs during transition to a more sustainable business model
- helping with the costs of providing child care in unviable markets where a service is providing the most effective model of care for the community.
Community Support grants can be used for activities such as:
- linking child care services with relevant local organisations to work together to address community level barriers to child care participation and ultimately deliver increased child care utilisation
- building relationships with vulnerable and disadvantaged families with children who currently do not use child care
- providing transport assistance to facilitate attendance by isolated families
- developing and implementing a community stakeholder engagement plan for a child care service.
Capital Support grants can be used for proposals such as:
- extending or modifying an existing child care centre
- extending or modifying a community centre or other building that will be used for child care
- building a new child care centre.
Any building built, extended or modified using grant funding from the capital works element must be used for the intended purpose for an agreed period (called the designated use period). The designated use period will be agreed between the department and the applicant, and will reflect the level of government funding.
To be eligible for this grant opportunity, at the date of application lodgement, you must be:
- a Child Care Subsidy (CCS) approved operator of an approved child care service under Family Assistance Law, and
- your service must be providing child care in a CCCF priority area (refer to section 4.3); OR
- 50 percent or more of children attending your service must reside in a CCCF priority area OR
- 50 percent or more of your educators must be delivering care in a CCCF priority area (for family day care services), or
- you must be an approved operator of an In Home Care service that was a previous recipient of funding under the department’s Community Support Program, during 2017-18.
The approved provider can apply for funding with respect to a single approved child care service or a number of approved child care services that the approved provider operates. While both for-profit and not-for-profit services are eligible to apply, funding preference will be given to not-for-profit services.
Applications from consortia are acceptable, as long as you have a lead applicant who is solely accountable to the Commonwealth for the delivery of grant activities and is an eligible provider under the Family Assistance Law.
Applications close 5 April 2019.