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CLS Preschool Funding Program


Funding for Preschool Children

In support of maintaining mother tongue and heritage languages in preschool children, the Victorian government is funding, for the first time, up to 1,000 preschool children per year over 2020-2022 enrolled in accredited community langauge schools.

There is extensive research and an increased understanding of the value of maintaining mother tongue or heritage languages, particularly for preschool-aged children, both at home and through ongoing formal instruction. Research also confirms that mother tongue literacy lays a cognitive and linguistic foundation for learning additional languages, including English.

Learning in another language in preschool offers unique opportunities for children. The play-based pedagogy of early childhood can be an effective way to support language learning because it can create a space where language is used for genuine two-way communication. The preschool program should actively use play to expose children to the language.

Education experts have found that there are many benefits to children learning in another language at a young age, including:
  • increased literacy
  • cognitive flexibility
  • bolstering self-esteem and wellbeing
  • strengthened cultural identity.

Expression of Interest (EOI) Process:

Accredited CLS must first apply for and be granted approval from the Department before they can apply for per capita funding for preschool children. This is done via an online expression of interest (EOI) process.

The first and second EOI rounds have already closed. A third EOI round will open later in October 2021.


2021 CLS Preschool Grant Application:

the applications for preschool funding are now open. Only appoved preschool community language school can apply for preschool funding in 2021.

As per the process for school-aged funding, applications must be submitted via SmartyGrants. You will need to enter your preschool child enrolment data into an Excel spreadsheet which can be downloaded from the online application form. Instructions for completing the preschool data spreadsheet was emailed to approved CLS.

Applications will be processed based on the information you provided in your expression of interest, including:
  • Having children who are four years of age as at 30 April 2021 and who are Australian or New Zealand citizens, permanent residents or hold temporary visas
  • Having all required policies and checks in place
  • Delivering the language program at your nominated campus(es).
If any of these details have changed, you may no longer be eligible to apply for funding in this round. If this is the case, you will be invited to apply for funding in 2022, subject to you meeting the eligibility requirements.
Before applying, please ensure that you have read and understood the terms and conditions provided in the online application form.

Applications close on Friday 16 April 2021. If you have any queries, please contact


Please refer to EOI CLS Preschool_Guideline Document for more information.


In this page:

Funding for Early Childhood
EOI Process
2021 Grant Application

Other Sections:

About Us
CLV Membership
CLS Funding/Accreditation
Child Safe Standards
Professional Learning
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