All children have the right to be included in children’s services. We know from research that all children benefit from belonging to, and participating in, quality inclusive child care.

An inclusive children’s service provides a unique opportunity for children to play, develop and learn together with children of their own age. These relationships are the foundations for learning and provide a powerful way of belonging to a group and developing a sense of who they are.
When children are included you will see them:
  - Feel safe and valued
 -  Be encouraged to do things on their own
  - Be supported to contribute
  - Make their own choices
  - Play with their friends
  - Have opportunities to learn new things
  - Participate in the programme alongside their same age typically developing 

The Inclusion Support Program

The Inclusion Support Program (ISP) assists early childhood and child care services (ECEC) to include children with additional needs by providing tailored inclusion advice and support from the NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency. The ISP also provides specialist equipment and funding  options to address inclusion barriers where required, so that all children are able to participate  meaningfully and experience a true sense of belonging within the programme.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Click here to download
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Information for Families brochure

Children with additional needs

While there is no national definition of ‘additional needs’, the Inclusion Support Program recognises that there are children who may need or require specific considerations or adaptations to participate fully in when Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services (although not all children with additional needs will require support).

Additional needs may arise for children who:

  • have a disability or developmental delay
  • are presenting with challenging behaviours
  • have a serious medical or health condition, including mental health
  • are presenting with trauma-related behaviours.
Meeting the needs and requirements of:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • children from refugee or humanitarian backgrounds
may also require specific considerations, such as cultural support, to ensure that these children are able to participate fully in ECEC services and experience positive outcomes.

Parent consent forms

There are two parent consent forms that you may be asked to complete. Each of them has a different purpose.

1. NSW/ACT Inclusion Agency (IA) Consent – Permission to Share Personal Information                                                                                                                                                                        

    This form gives permission for educators in your child’s service to discuss and share information about your child with an Inclusion Professional.
    To access a copy of this form, click on a language option below:



2. Department of Education, Skills and Employment Consent – Permission to share personal information for the purposes of the Inclusion Support Program

    This form gives permission for information about your child to be linked to a service’s application to access Inclusion Development Funding on the Australian 
    Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Inclusion Support Portal. Your child's service will provide you with a copy of this form if needed.


  What is the role of an Inclusion Professional

    Inclusion Professionals (IPs) support educators to develop a Strategic Inclusion Plan that takes into consideration the whole room
    your child is part of. The plan is not focussed on your child alone, or any one child specifically. Instead, the plan identifies what the  
    service needs to do to support educators to include all children.

    Inclusion Professionals  support educators to develop a Strategic Inclusion Plan that takes into consideration the whole room your 
    child is part of. The plan is not focussed on your child alone, or any one child specifically. Instead, the plan identifies what the  
    service needs to do to support educators to include all children.

Eligible Services

Inclusion Professionals provide free support to all Commonwealth funded children’s services including: 
  • Centre Based Day Care services (CBDC)
  • Outside School Hours Care (inclulding Before, After and Vacation Care);  and
  •  Family Day Care services (FDC)

  Accessing support

   Support is provided when requested by the service your child attends and may include assistance to:
  • Identify relevant professional learning opportunities
  • Facilitate team meetings to discuss inclusion
  • Reflect on policies, practices and procedures
  • Provide networking opportunities for educators
  • Access to the Inclusion Agency website and other resources such as newsletters and sector updates
  • Provide support to apply for additional program supports (if required)
Providing educators with access to funding supports is not the primary role of an IP.
A diagnosis of a disability alone does not mean that funding for an additional educator is the best type of support for educators and services.

   Inclusion Development Fund (IDF)

    There are four streams of funding available to assist services. Each stream has different eligibility criteria, application processes  
    and approved funding purposes. The Inclusion Agency assists the service to identify the most suitable funding stream. All
    applications for funding are assessed by the Inclusion Development Fund Manager (IDFM).
    The four unding streams include:
     - IDF Subsidy for an Additional Educator
     - IDF Subsidy for Immediate/Time Limited Support
     - IDF Subsidy – Family Day Care Top Up
                                                                        - IDF Innovative Solutions
 Please click here to access more information about these funding streams,  child eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions
Ways the IDF subsidy can be used
  • To increase the educator to child ratio to support inclusion of all children in centre based care environments for a limited or longer term period; or
  • To provide a fee top up payment to FDC educators who cannot enrol the maximum number of children due to the impact of including a child with significant high support needs; or
  • To support flexible and alternative solutions to address inclusion barriers in the service which are not funded under other IDF support streams and addressed through support provided by the Inclusion Agency.
The IDF subsidy cannot be used
  • For one to one support
  • For respite care
  • To provide therapy or early intervention supports
  • When children are being funded to participate in state funded preschool or kindergarten programs
  • To provide medical/nursing assistance