By Raising Children Network
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Young girl doing activity at early intervention playgroup
 
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) aims to make sure that children with developmental delay or disability get quick access to early childhood early intervention.

What is early intervention?

Early intervention means doing things as soon as possible to work on your child’s developmental and support needs.

Starting intervention early is the best way to support the development and wellbeing of children with disability or developmental delay. It can help children develop the skills they need to take part in everyday activities. Sometimes children who get early intervention might not need long-term support.

The NDIS approach to early intervention

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has a national approach to early childhood early intervention (ECEI) that gives children aged 0-6 years quick access to support that’s tailored to their needs.

This support might be information, emotional support or referral to other services like community health services, playgroups or peer support groups. Your child might also get sessions with early childhood early intervention providers in the short term or medium term.

This level of intervention might be all your child needs to reach his developmental goals.

If your child has intensive or longer-term support needs, your child might get an individualised NDIS support plan. This gives your child access to early intervention providers over the long term.

The NDIS also supports children aged seven years and over – the steps to support are different for children in this age group.

The supports and services that you’ll get under the NDIS aim to build on your family’s strengths and help you support your child’s development and quality of life. These supports and services will be different for every child because they’re based on your child’s and your family’s individual needs.

NDIS early intervention support: children aged 0-6 years

Call the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 1800 800 110 if:

  • you live in an area where the NDIS has been rolled out 
  • your child has a disability or developmental delay
  • you’re worried about your young child’s development – children aged 0-6 years don’t need a diagnosis of disability.

You might also be referred to the NDIA by your GP, child and family health nurse or paediatrician or your child’s preschool or child care educator.

The NDIA’s focus is on providing support straight away. The NDIA will quickly set up a meeting between you and an NDIS early childhood partner to talk about your worries and your child’s needs and goals.

Depending on your child’s needs, the NDIS early childhood partner might:

  • give you information or emotional support
  • refer you to other services like community health services, playgroups or peer support groups
  • provide or help you find early childhood early intervention support for your child – for example, a speech pathologist or occupational therapist
  • recommend that your child moves quickly to an individualised support plan
  • coordinate a combination of the options above.

You don’t have to pay for meeting with the NDIS early childhood partner, or for the information, referrals or early intervention support.

When your child needs an individualised support plan
If your child has intensive or longer-term support needs, your NDIS early childhood partner can recommend that your child moves quickly to an individualised support plan. This plan will outline the support that best meets your child’s needs and goals.

Your NDIS early childhood partner will help you develop the support plan for your child and submit it to the NDIA for approval.

Once the plan is approved, you choose the early childhood early intervention providers you want to work with. Your NDIS early childhood partner will also help you understand how to find providers, and what to look for in an NDIS provider.

You don’t have to pay for the early intervention support you get from providers in the plan.

Early intervention helps your child most when your child gets it in her everyday environment – for example, at child care, preschool or playgroup. Your NDIS early childhood partner might arrange support for your child in one of these places.

Video Early intervention and the NDIS approach

Download video   57.8mb
This video looks at how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) manages early intervention for children with disability or developmental delay. An adviser from the NDIS says it’s important that parents get quick answers, expert advice and intervention for their child as early as possible. This can happen without having to wait for a diagnosis. Parents say that using the NDIS to get help for their child has helped them feel supported and positive about their child’s future.
 

NDIS early intervention support: children aged over 7 years

The NDIS supports early intervention at any stage of life. But children older than seven years need to have a permanent and significant disability or developmental delay to get support.

Call the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 1800 800 110 if:

Your GP or paediatrician might also refer your child to the NDIA.

The NDIA will set up a meeting between you and an NDIA planner or an NDIS local area coordination partner to talk about your child’s needs and goals.

The NDIS professional will work with you to develop an individualised support plan that outlines the support that best meets your child’s needs and goals.

The NDIS professional will submit the plan to the NDIA for approval.

Once the plan is approved, you choose the providers you want to work with. Your NDIS professional will also help you understand how to find providers, and what to look for in an NDIS provider.

You don’t have to pay for meeting with the NDIS professional, for the plan or for the support you get from early intervention providers.

The NDIS is being introduced gradually and will be available everywhere in Australia by 2019-20, except for Western Australia where trials will continue. 
 
 
 
  • Last updated or reviewed 08-06-2016
  • Acknowledgements This article was developed in collaboration with and funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency.