We’re helping build the kindergartens Victoria needs.
All Victorian children can now enjoy 2 years of free kindergarten. Over the next decade, free kindergarten hours for 3-year-olds will increase from 5 to 15 hours a week. At the same time Four-Year-Old Kindergarten will become – doubling their play-based learning to 30 hours a week.
Since launching in 2020, Building Blocks grants have been laying foundations for these major reforms. They have helped local councils and other not-for-profit providers build, expand and modernise kindergartens across the state.
With joint-investment from the sector, we are creating more kindergarten places. Building Blocks is also making kinder buildings, playgrounds and equipment more inclusive for children of all abilities.
As well as the grants streams, the Department of Education offers the Building Blocks program. We work closely with local governments and not-for-profit providers to plan and build kindergartens in the areas that need them.
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Building Blocks grants
Building Blocks Grants - Capacity Building
This grants stream funds projects that create more kindergarten places for 3 and 4-year-olds. You can use these grants for building or expanding kindergartens.
Building Blocks Grants - Improvement
Grants for upgrades and minor expansions to, or investment in IT equipment for organisations offering a 3 and 4-year-old kinder program.
Building Blocks Grants – Inclusion
Grants to upgrade facilities, or purchase equipment, to provide safe and inclusive environments for kindergarten children of all needs and abilities.
Building Blocks Grants – Planning
Grants for planning and pre-construction work on kindergarten building projects that support the roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten across Victoria.
Your organisation can apply if it is:
- a Victorian local government (council)
- a not-for-profit community organisation that is a legal entity (for example an incorporated association, incorporated cooperative or Indigenous corporation)
- a Victorian government school
- a Victorian non-government school registered with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority or Catholic Education Commission of Victoria.
For-profit organisations cannot apply for any Building Blocks grants.
Submit your applications online through . You must be registered to use the Smarty Grants application system. Registration is free.
For assistance with the online application system, please email the Smarty Grants Support Desk or call 03 9320 6888 between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday. You can also consult the help .
We will not consider late applications.
To remain eligible for funding you must not enter into a contract or commence any works proposed in your application before we inform you of the application outcome.
Organisations that receive a grant must:
- agree to the requirements outlined in the guidelines (failure to do so may result in funding being withheld)
- enter into a formal Common Funding Agreement with the Department of Education (DE)
- complete the project within the timeframes specified in the CFA
- where applicable, follow the Building Blocks Acknowledgement and Publicity Guidelines (this may include working with us to hold events like sod turns and openings, and erecting signage)
- submit an acquittal form and the required supporting evidence for approval by the department when you complete the project
- agree that no additional DE state funding will be allocated to your project for cost overruns (you must cover any additional costs)
- agree that any leasing arrangements of facilities developed through the grant will not be used to yield commercial or near-commercial rents, and that the long-standing practice of charging services peppercorn or low rents is continued, with any rent charged to be applied to maintenance costs of the service.
You can request an example CFA by emailing Building.Blocks@education.vic.gov.au.
All projects must adhere to relevant building guidelines and regulations. Section 3 of the VSBA’s Building Quality Standards also includes information that may assist with design of a project. Additional conditions for projects involving government school sites are outlined from Section 2 of these guidelines.
Before submitting your application, we encourage you to review the following documents which further clarify your obligations for receiving Building Blocks funding:
There are other grants for developing early childhood facilities and services. You must advise the Department of Education (DE) of other funding applications for your project. We reserve the right to consider grant applications made for other programs offered by the DE or other government departments. We may also apply to other department agency-led grant programs for your proposed project where appropriate.
If you propose a project on land owned by the Department of Education (DE) you must contact the Early Childhood Grants team as early as possible in the development of your proposal to discuss the approach to land and project delivery. Contact Building.Blocks@education.vic.gov.au or phone (03) 7022 2652.
Applications for projects on DE land must include:
- a completed (see below for more information)
- a copy of any existing lease or agreement between relevant parties
- a detailed design of your proposal
- quotes from a qualified professional for projects less than $200,000 or one quantity surveyor report for projects of $200,000 or more.
Successful grant recipients must also enter into a lease agreement with DE (if not already) in addition to a CFA.
Applications for projects on department land are not required to provide a soil hygienist report. The VSBA will complete this requirement after you submit your application.
Land use proposal form
If the Department of Education and Training (DE) owns the land the site of the proposed project, you (the applicant) must complete the form linked above.
The form asks you to provide details on:
- your details
- the grant applied for
- your authorisation
- authorisation from the school council and principal
And for the form to be submitted with
- the current lease or agreement
- a site plan
- a proposed floor plan
If you have any trouble accessing this form, please contact email@example.com.
For more information about the Building Blocks Grants streams available and how to apply visit the frequently asked questions webpage.
Other early childhood infrastructure grants
In addition to the Building Blocks program, we have the following grants:
Early Childhood Refurbishment and Minor Works Program
Kindergarten grants for playground upgrades, roof repairs, landscaping, installing accessible ramps, fencing, kitchen or staffroom upgrades.
Reviewed 19 April 2023