Early intervention for a child with a developmental delay or disability is important in maximising benefit for the child and family. Providing quality intervention early in a child’s life reduces the possible need for longer term intervention and improves the functionality, inclusion and wellbeing of a child.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has worked with some of Australia’s leading early childhood intervention practitioners and researchers to design a best-practice approach that is family-centred and importantly, supports children to achieve good outcomes on a case-by-case basis. The Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach is in line with the Scheme’s focus on the individual – every child and their family will receive the right support to meet their goals and aspirations based on their needs, regardless of diagnosis. The approach is currently being implemented in New South Wales (Nepean Blue Mountains) and North Queensland (Townsville) regions for children under 7 years. It will be rolled out nationally, in line with the arrangements in the bilateral agreements between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.
So what does this mean for families, carers and providers of these children? Hear from the NDIA panel as they discussed the new ECEI approach, feedback from the Nepean Blue Mountains to date and how the NDIA will work with partners and participants so children and their families obtain the right supports to give them a good start in life.