Up to $250,000 is available from the IAHP Connected Beginnings Program to provide continuity in integrating early childhood services in the communities.


IAHP Connected Beginnings Program

The IAHP Connected Beginnings Program aims to improve the way early childhood, health and family organisations and services work together to support families and children starting school ready to learn and thrive. This includes addressing health and developmental issues and ensuring that services are delivered in a culturally safe way. The Collective Impact approach supports organisations to work with communities, building in community at the foundation of the model to determine the priorities, and how to measure success.



Connected Beginnings is part of the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP). This is a targeted non-competitive grant opportunity to provide organisations with an opportunity to renew Connected Beginnings funding for up to three years from 2019-20 to 2021-22, to provide continuity in integrating early childhood services in their communities.

The Department of Health and the Department of Education and Training are working together on separate components of the Connected Beginnings Program. Connected Beginnings focusses on integrating early childhood, maternal and child health, and family support services in a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities so that their children are healthy and well prepared for school.



The integration of early childhood, maternal and child and family support services by the Connected Beginnings Program aims to reduce the disparity of education outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their non-indigenous peers by addressing service fragmentation, early identification of issues, and timely access to needed services that can be delivered in a more holistic manner.



The Australian Government has allocated up to $9 million (GST exclusive) over three years from 2019-20 for the Health Connected Beginnings Grant Opportunity.

Funding will be based on the organisation’s 2018-19 budget. It is anticipated that grants will be no more than $250,000 per annum, per organisation.


Eligible Projects

The scope of health services delivered under the IAHP Connected Beginnings Program includes the following:

  • Antenatal care services that may include providing advice about healthy eating and physical activity, referrals to other health services, referrals to support services, referrals to specialists, parenting advice, social and emotional wellbeing, and antenatal consultations;
  • Postnatal care services that may include breastfeeding support/information; parenting advice about providing supportive and nurturing healthy environments, nutrition and healthy eating support, and midwife consultations;
  • Child health services that may include child health and development checks, breastfeeding support, hearing screening, specific clinical interventions (such as eyes, ears and oral health activities), provision of parenting advice to mothers and families with children up to five years of age, and responses to identified social and developmental health needs through referral to support services as well as early intervention services, improved linkages and collaboration with a range of early childhood services;
  • Child and adult immunisation; and
  • Establishment of additional service coordination capability required to deliver Connected Beginnings health services including, for example, the introduction of processes that allow for appropriate sharing of child/family level personal information (with privacy protections).

Applicants should demonstrate evidence-based and evidence-led approaches in the delivery of activities where possible.

Any expenditure funded by the Program must be directly related to:

  • embedding a Collective Impact approach for Connected Beginnings service integration, in collaboration with the lead agency (Section 1.3); and
  • developing and implementing culturally appropriate health services, projects and activities, delivered on or adjacent to the site of the lead agency in an outreach capacity, where suitable infrastructure exists, aimed at improving the health, wellbeing and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from the antenatal stage to school age to ensure they are healthy and are well prepared for school.

Applicants will need to demonstrate how their proposal will utilise existing infrastructure to support collaboration (or that gaps are being addressed through another funding mechanism) as part of their application. Connected Beginnings is not a health service capacity building initiative. Funding is not intended for basic physical infrastructure (such as buildings) or service infrastructure to expand existing programs.

Eligible expenditure items are:

  • Fees for service if required through a third party organisation (such as temporary staff or locums when a specialist service is not typically available in the region);
  • Salaries and on-costs for new/additional staffing to support the Program for time limited periods during the term of the funding agreement;
  • Travel and accommodation associated with the Program;
  • Office and/or staff accommodation, including rental or leasing costs associated with the Program;
  • Related management and administration costs; and
  • Dissemination of information materials.

There are minimal funds available to facilitate plant and equipment necessary to establish a safe and appropriate environment for delivering health care services at the lead agency site up to, but not exceeding, $10,000 (GST inclusive) in total for the period of the grant agreement. This funding is to be itemised in your budget in the Application Form.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible to apply for the IAHP Connected Beginnings Program, you must be one of the organisations listed at Section 3.1 of the Guidelines and have received an invitation to apply from the department.

Organisations invited to apply for funding in this process are:

  • Health service providers that are located practicably close to the relevant lead agency site that is to receive funding under the Education stream of the Program; and
  • Health organisations already receiving Connected Beginnings Program funding.

Organisations may include State and Territory governments and organisations, or their subsidiary service providers. Applications by subsidiary service providers must be accompanied by a letter of support from their parent organisation confirming that they are a subsidiary service provider of that organisation.



Applications close 31 January 2019.


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