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$7.6M going to help kids in Tasmania through payment-by-outcomes investment


7 March 2022 at 4:03 pm
Nikki Stefanoff
“It’s Australia’s first social impact investment in the early years, the first for Tasmania, and the first with a mirrored payment-by-outcomes contract across government and philanthropy.” 


Nikki Stefanoff | 7 March 2022 at 4:03 pm


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$7.6M going to help kids in Tasmania through payment-by-outcomes investment
7 March 2022 at 4:03 pm

“It’s Australia’s first social impact investment in the early years, the first for Tasmania, and the first with a mirrored payment-by-outcomes contract across government and philanthropy.” 

Through a financial partnership between the federal government and the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Save the Children Australia has helped secure $7.6 million for Tasmanian children. 

The funding, paid out over the next three years, represents Australia’s first payment-by-outcomes impact investment in early childhood development. Payment by outcomes means the money is released only when Save the Children Australia delivers on predetermined outcomes. 

Those outcomes are part of Save the Children’s Play2Learn service, a specialist early childhood and parenting service which is being set up to serve around 300 children in at least 13 school districts in Hobart.

Over the next three years, Play2Learn will support children aged three to four from low socioeconomic backgrounds in the lead up to them starting kindergarten and formal education. 

Participation will be via referrals, including self-referrals, and the goal is for 70 children/families to enrol in the project during 2022. All this will go towards supporting the 40 per cent of children in Tasmania not currently engaged in early childhood learning. 

The service aims to drive improvements in child development and wellbeing, build capacity and confidence in carers to support children’s learning and development and sustain educational engagement at critical transition points.

Matt Gardiner, executive director of Australian services for Save the Children, told Pro Bono News that the Play2Learn project represented many firsts. 

“It’s our organisation’s first foray into payment-by-outcomes contracting,” he said. 

“It’s Australia’s first social impact investment in the early years, the first for Tasmania, and the first with a mirrored payment-by-outcomes contract across government and philanthropy.” 

Gardiner went on to say that with payments based on outcomes, everyone involved in Play2Learn will need to demonstrate real-time impact for the children and families they work with. 

Save the Children brought Paul Ramsay Foundation to the table to increase the investment amount offered by the government.

Paul Ramsay Foundation’s chief portfolio officer, Abhilash Mudaliar, said that supporting the payment-by-outcomes model was a good example of how philanthropy can help fund innovative approaches to improving outcomes for children.

“Play2Learn has enormous potential in giving kids an early ‘off ramp’ off the cycle of disadvantage before they’ve even set foot in a school,” Mudaliar said. 

“This innovative partnership will improve early childhood engagement, attendance in early childhood education, and broader developmental outcomes for many of Tasmania’s youngest children.

“Our hope is that this program will provide new evidence on what works and enable expansion of the approach to other geographies.”

Play2Learn is already being delivered by Save the Children across Australia via home visits and playgroups and has been shown to improve early childhood engagement, attendance and developmental outcomes prior to children starting kindergarten.


Nikki Stefanoff  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Nikki Stefanoff is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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