The Inclusion Support (IS) Portal is a user-friendly web-based application where Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services can develop their Strategic Inclusion Plan (SIP) and apply for funding from the Inclusion Development Fund if the need is identified.
The IS Portal is a secure Government application and from 10th February 2020 access to the IS Portal is made via PRODA.
ECEC staff use their existing PRODA credentials to apply for access to the IS Portal. This has brought the authentication method in line with the Child Care Subsidy System.
ECEC services identify an Access Delegate for the IS Portal. The Access Delegate, once approved, has the authority to approve other users from their service.
A simple fact sheet is available from the Department to help new users. Click here for fact sheet.
Strategic Inclusion Plans
Services receiving support though the Inclusion Support Program must develop a Strategic Inclusion Plan (SIP), in collaboration with their Inclusion Professional. The SIP is a planning tool that enables ECEC services to plan for inclusion by documenting the barriers that are impacting on the successful inclusion of all children.
It works on a strengths-based approach to develop goals and strategies that will help educators feel confident in welcoming all families with diverse needs into their service.
SIPs also identify if additional support from the Inclusion Support Program is needed, such as Specialist Equipment or Inclusion Development Funding (IDF) and must be developed prior to any IDF applications.
The Inclusion Development Fund
Four streams of funding are available through the IDF to address barriers that cannot be resolved with support from an Inclusion Agency alone:
1. IDF Subsidy for an Additional Educator: Funding to increase the educator-to-child ratio in an environment to support the inclusion of a child or children with a disability and/or undergoing assessment for a disability.
2. IDF Subsidy for Immediate/Time Limited Support: Funding to immediately engage an additional Educator for a time limited period.
3. IDF Subsidy for a Family Day Care Top Up: The IDF FDC Top Up provides a fee top up payment to an Educator who is including a child with ongoing high support needs, where due to the child’s significant additional support requirements, the educator is unable to enrol the maximum number of children allowed under the National Law.
4. IDF – Innovative Solutions Support: This is a flexible funding option to allow services to fund an innovative solution to address barriers to inclusion. For example,specialist advice on including a child with additional needs, translating services or Indigenous language and cultural support projects.