What isISS?

The Inclusion Support Subsidy (ISS) is paid to support eligible child care and early learning services to support the inclusion of children with ongoing high support needs in care environments with typically developing peers.

In centre based services the ISS contributes to the costs associated with employing an additional educator to increase the educator to child ratios in the care environment attended by a child or children with ongoing high support needs.
ISS is not for one to one support for individual children. To demonstrate the need for ISS, the service must focus on the barriers to inclusion and needs within the care environment as a whole, and show how educators will work as a team to facilitate the inclusion of all children.

In home based services such as Family Day Care and In Home Care the ISS is a payment in recognition of the impact on the carer of the additional care and attention required by children with ongoing high supports needs.

ISS may be available to eligible child care and early learning services to assist them to build their capacity to include a child or children with ongoing high support needs. Children with demonstrated ongoing high support needs include children:
  • with assessed/diagnosed disability;
  • who are undergoing continuing of disability; or
  • from a refugee or humanitarian intervention background.
Child care and early learning services eligible to access ISS are services approved for Child Care Benefit (CCB) and services funded under the Budget Based Funding (BBF) program.

ISS Information for Services brochure

ISS Information for Families brochure

How does ISS assist centre based services?

For centre based services, ISS is a contribution towards the cost associated with employing an additional educator to increase the educator to child ratio in the care environment.

ISS assists educators in centre based services to work as a team to implement inclusive strategies and changes to practices. For example, an additional educator may enable a service to plan more small group activities for the children, or operate a free flow indoor/outdoor program, or use different approaches and aids to assist children with communicating with educators and their peers.

ISS is not for ongoing one to one support for individual children. The increased educator to child ratios, subsidised through ISS, is to assist educators to implement the identified strategies at key times of the day. All educators, including the additional educator, work as a team and are involved in the care and education of all children in the care environment.

How does ISS assist home based services?

In Family Day Care (FDC) and In Home Care (IHC) ISS is an additional payment in recognition of the additional care required by children with ongoing high support needs.

Home based educators and carers implement strategies and changes to their program and practices. The educator may make changes to how they plan to use the physical care environment and experiences offered to meet all children interests and abilities and/or using different approaches and aids to assist children with communicating with educators and their peers.

ISS is paid to the Educator or Carer in recognition of the additional effort which is required by the educator or carer to include a child with ongoing high support needs. Eligibility for ISS includes consideration of a number of factors such as the number, ages and needs of other children in the care environment, and the care and education required due to the child’s times of attendance. ISS does not subsidise the child care fees paid by parents.
 

Eligibility for ISS

Child care and early learning services eligible to access ISS are:
  • Services approved for Child Care Benefit (CCB) including:
    • long day care;
    • outside school hours care (including vacation care);
    • family day care;
    • occasional care; and
    • in home care.
  • Services funded under the Budget Based Funding (BBF) program, including:
    • Flexible/innovative services;
    • Mobile ECEC services;
    • Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services
Eligibility for ISS does not mean an automatic entitlement to payment. ISS may be available to eligible child care and early learning services to assist them to build their capacity to include a child or children with ongoing high support needs.

How much does the ISS pay?

ISS is paid to eligible child care and early learning services and is limited to a flat hourly rate which is determined by the Australian Government and indexed annually.

The Inclusion Support Subsidy is limited to an annual capped allocation. Eligibility for ISS does not mean an automatic entitlement to payment.

In Centre Based services ISS is paid directly to services. In Home Based Services, payment is made to the service or scheme who are required to directly pass the payment to the Educator or Carer.

How does ISS help services to continuously improve their capacity to include all children?

As part of the ISS application process services and educators develop an Inclusion Improvement Plan (IIP). Through implementing this plan services and educators build their skills and knowledge, and make changes to their program and practices, which helps them to include all children, including children with ongoing high support needs. The outcomes of this plan will benefit children who attend the service now and also those who enrol tomorrow, or anytime in the future.

Who funds and administers the ISS?

The Inclusion Support Subsidy (ISS) is funded by the Australian Government under the Inclusion and Professional Support Program.

KU Children’s Services, in partnership with Include Me, is the National Inclusion Support Subsidy Provider (NISSP) and is responsible for the assessment and approval of ISS applications.

Claims for ISS are made via the Child Care Management System (CCMS), except for Budget Based Services who submit claims for payment to the NISSP.