The Inclusion Support Program (ISP) is an Australian Government funded initiative that provides support to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services to build their capacity and capability to include children with additional needs in mainstream services.
The ISP aims to give all families access to quality care where their children, regardless of ability or need, can participate alongside their peers and are welcomed, respected and embraced as valued contributors to the community.
The ISP provides free support to ECEC services, including access to specialist equipment and funding.
The ISP consists of three key elements:
Inclusion Agencies (IAs) – in each state and territory, an Inclusion Agency is contracted to assist eligible services build their capacity and capability to provide and embed inclusive practice in their delivery of early learning and care programs. Section A of these guidelines outlines the role of IAs and how ECEC services can access IA non-financial support.
Inclusion Development Fund (IDF) – the IDF provides funding to assist eligible services to address a barrier to inclusion that cannot be addressed by the support provided by an Inclusion Agency.
Inclusion Development Fund Manager – a single national Inclusion Development Fund Manager is contracted to provide nationally consistent and equitable management of the IDF through assessing applications for funding and communicating outcomes to services.