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Strengthening‎ Early Years


The Strengthening Early Years National Open Grant Round is a partnership between Paul Ramsay Foundation and Australian Communities Foundation.

The Strengthening Early Years Program by the Paul Ramsay Foundation aims to support families and children to ensure that every child has the opportunity to thrive upon school entry. In particular, we recognise the critical importance of the developmental period between conception and age two. Equally, we need to also ensure that parents are well supported to flourish during the early years of their child’s life.

To do this, Paul Ramsay Foundation seeks to source, seed and support ‘promising programs’ that are working with families with children aged prenatal to two years old. One mechanism for achieving this is through the National Open Grant Round described in these guidelines. One of the primary objectives of this nationwide open grant round is to extend PRF’s reach into communities with which the Foundation does not have a long history of partnering.

Before you apply, read the guidelines below or download here.


Paul Ramsay Foundation aims to break the multiple and complex cycles of disadvantage in Australia. Through one of the Foundation’s focus areas – education – the Foundation seeks to promote the life-changing influence of education, skills, and training throughout people’s lives.



Recipient organisations must:

  • be Australian charities registered with the ACNC
  • be focused on children and families, with a particular emphasis on families with children aged prenatal to 2 years old
  • operate in Australia

Focus Areas

This program aims to support families and caregivers with children (aged prenatal to two years old) who are at risk of entering school demonstrating developmental vulnerability.

This nationwide open grant round seeks to support innovative practices which lead toward two key program outcomes:

  1. Caregivers and parents in target cohorts have the capability, resources and support they need to feel confident in their caregiving ability; and
  2. Children in target cohorts and communities have strong, positive relationships that support positive physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language, cognitive and communication skills.


When assessing applications, we will look favourably upon those that:


  • support best practice that directly addresses one or more of the above-listed outcomes
  • are informed by evidence
  • operate in geographic locations that are commonly under-resourced
  • aim to support children who are more likely to identify as developmentally vulnerable on two or more domains of the AEDC

Organisation capability

  • have adequate governance frameworks and infrastructure to support the work

Innovation and collaboration

  • have a demonstrated commitment to meaningful participation of lived experience in program design and/or delivery
  • demonstrate strong partnerships in their community
  • demonstrate ability and willingness to learn

Ability to scale

  • are potentially scalable and/or replicable

These are priorities only and applicants do not need to possess all of the above attributes to be eligible to apply.

Target populations

This program will support organisations that engage with families with children aged prenatal to two years old who are at greater risk of demonstrating developmental vulnerability upon school entry. This may include, for example, children from:

  • very remote areas
  • low SES areas
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • language backgrounds other than English.


The Foundation will support projects of any geographic scale in the Australian context – local, state/territory or national, that seek to have a positive impact on early years development for Australia’s most vulnerable children.

Use of funds

Funding can be used for:

Funding cannot be used for:

  • general fundraising appeals
  • projects or organisations that are partisan in nature
  • retrospective activities
  • non-charitable activities.

Grant values and application process


Grants of between $250,000 and $750,000 (total) for a period of up to five years are available and amounts will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Interested applicants must complete an Expression of Interest (EOI). Full applications are by invitation only, based on the outcome of the EOI process.

EOIs are now closed.

Full Applications open: 21 September 2022
Full Applications close: 5pm AEDT 7 October 2022 (invitation only)


Grants of between $50,000 and $250,000 (total) for a period of up to five years are available and amounts will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Successful recipients will be required to attend an initial information session (with online options) and submit annual progress reports and one final acquittal report upon project completion. 

Applications open: 16 August 2022
Applications close: 5pm AEST 21 September 2022

How to apply

We are no longer accepting applications via our website.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications in mid-November.