Understanding funding for inclusive childcare



At Xavier, we believe that every child has the right to participate in mainstream childcare environments such as early learning centres (sometimes called long day care), outside school hours care, vacation care and kindergarten.  However, for children with disability and high support needs this can be challenging. Our Inclusion Advisor is currently working with families and childcare providers to help make inclusive childcare possible. One of the ways that we’re supporting families is helping them to understand how to access funding for their child to participate in mainstream childcare.

What support does your child need?

The first step is to consider what kind of support your child will need in a mainstream childcare environment. If your child requires what is known (in the NDIS) as High Intensity Daily Supports or specific personal support, then your child may require a Support Worker to be with them at childcare for all or part of the days that they attend.

What are High Intensity Daily Supports?

Children who require support with the following may be regarded by the NDIS as requiring High Intensity Daily Supports:

- enteral nutrition, especially naso-gastric feeding 
- tracheostomy
- urinary catheter
- emergency post seizure medication
- mealtime management plans
- other specific health-related requirements

It can also include management for diabetes, epilepsy, pressure wound and stoma care where there are other related risk factors involved.

How are
High Intensity Daily Supports provided?

High Intensity Daily Supports are regarded as high risk and need to be managed by Support Workers with the necessary skills and knowledge. Under the NDIS, a child who requires High Intensity Supports must be assessed by a Health Care Practitioner who will complete a health care assessment and plan. The Health Care Practitioner will train and provide ongoing monitoring of the plan and the Support Worker. Teachers and Educators do not meet these requirements and therefore a Support Worker is required to ensure the appropriate care.

What type of funding is available?

There are two types of funding as follows:

  1. Inclusion Support – this is funding that can be accessed by a childcare provider to support them to provide an inclusive environment for a child (or children) with high support needs. It can be used to buy additional resources, to train Educators or to fund additional Educators to increase the Educator to child ratio. This funding cannot be used to provide one-on-one support for a child.
  2. Support Worker – If your child requires High Intensity Daily Supports, you may be eligible to access funding for a Support Worker to be with your child in mainstream childcare for all or part of the days that they attend. Funding for a Support Worker is requested by families as part of their child’s NDIS plan.


How do I know how much funding to request?

 It is important to calculate what you need in your child’s NDIS plan, this can be broken down into three areas.

  1. Contact hours - How many contact hours will your child spend with the Support Worker at the service? This will be determined by your booking at the service and your child’s support requirements. For example, do they need ongoing support throughout the day or at specific times such as during mealtimes?
  2. Assessment - How much time is required for a Health Practitioner to complete an assessment and provide ongoing monitoring of the Support Worker? Xavier can organise this and provide a quote for these supports.
  3. Training - What individual training will a Support Worker need? It is best practice to have more than one Support Worker trained to support your child to ensure that there can be consistency of care. These costs are dependent upon the needs of your child. We can also work with you to work out what funding to request for training.


Next steps

Our Inclusion Advisor is available to discuss your child’s specific requirements and provide information and advice on all aspects of inclusion for your child with complex disability into mainstream childcare.

For more information and to talk about your individual requirements, call Angela Ebbage, Inclusion Advisor, Xavier on 1800 XAVIER or email intake@xavier.org.au