IAHP Connected Beginnings Program

What is IAHP Connected Beginnings Program?

The IAHP Connected Beginnings Program is a grant opportunity which focusses on integrating early childhood, maternal and child health, and family support services in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to optimise children’s health and preparation for school. The organisations are Health service providers in Western Australia and situated near the lead agency site currently receiving funding. Organisations in other states were funded under previous grant opportunity rounds.



This grant opportunity is part of the broader Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) which contributes to Department of Health’s Portfolio Outcome 2.  – Health Access and Support Services. The Department of Health and the Department of Education and Training (Education) collaborate on the Connected Beginnings Program grant opportunity.

The Department of Health and the Department of Education and Training are working together on separate components of the Connected Beginnings Program.



The Program objectives focus on integrating early childhood, maternal and child health, and family support services in a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities so that children are healthy and best prepared for school.  The intended outcomes of the grant opportunity are improved health outcomes and the achievement of developmental milestones by children in the funded school communities so they are ready to start school, able to learn and thrive. 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 Indigenous 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.



For this grant opportunity, up to $1.25 million (GST exclusive) is available over three years.

The grant will run from 1 January 2020 (or the date of execution) to 30 June 2022.

  • The maximum grant amount is $0.625 million (GST exclusive) per organisation based on maximum of $0.25 million (GST exclusive) per annum
  • Grants cannot exceed the amount of available funds


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 24 December 2019.


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