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How To Apply For Early Childhood Intervention With the NDIS

Early childhood intervention (or early childhood services) aims to help children with developmental delay and/or disabilities and their families access support to promote their child’s wellbeing, community participation and development.

As children’s brains grow most during their early years, the earlier they receive early intervention services, the better the outcome will likely be.

Early childhood intervention promotes:

  • optimal chances of physical development
  • improved social and emotional outcomes
  • ability to participate in everyday activities
  • positive behaviours and ability to engage in learning
  • confidence, resilience and independence

In this blog, we explain early childhood intervention and NDIS eligibility, how to apply for early intervention and how accessing NDIS-funded early intervention through Everyday Independence can benefit your child.

Who is Eligible for Early Childhood Intervention?

The early childhood approach is designed for children aged up to eight years with developmental delay or disabilities and their families to access support services.

To be eligible for NDIS funding, you’re child must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and live in Australia. To meet early intervention NDIS requirements, your child has (or is likely to have) a permanent impairment, and supports would likely help them by reducing their need for support in the future.

To help you determine your child’s eligibility, see the NDIS eligibility checklist.

What are the Disability Requirements to Utilise the NDIS?

Your child is likely to meet the NDIS disability requirements if they have one or more impairments that are likely to be permanent and this impacts their ability to participate in everyday activities.

Developmental delay refers to children younger than six who have a substantial reduction in functional capacity and are likely to meet the NDIS developmental delay criteria.

Developmental concerns refers to children younger than six who may not meet the criteria of developmental delay but whose daily activities may be impacted compared to other children of the same age.

Where there are concerns about development, children under six do not require a formal diagnosis in order to get support through the early childhood approach.

How to Apply

Early Childhood Partners are local organisations that receive funding from the NDIS to deliver the early childhood approach. They will assist you to apply to the NDIS on your child’s behalf.

If there are no early childhood partners in your local area you can start by talking to your child’s GP, maternal and child health nurse, or early childhood educator.

If your child meets the criteria to become an NDIS participant, finding criteria are used to determine reasonable and necessary supports to put into place for your child.

Verbal application or access request form

Making a verbal application

You can call NDIS on 1800 800 110 to make a verbal access request. They will require the same information that is on the access request form.

Complete an access request form

Your Early Childhood Partner, GP, allied health and specialist medical professionals can assist you to complete an access request form and to gather evidence for the supporting evidence form. You can download the Access Request Form here.

Evidence required

To meet disability requirements, you need to have evidence that your child’s disability is permanent and is caused by at least one of the following impairments:

  1. Intellectual (communication, problem-solving, memory)
  2. Cognitive (thinking process, learning, decision making, ability to pay attention)
  3. Neurological (how their body functions)
  4. Sensory (how they see, hear, etc.)
  5. Physical (the ability to move parts of their body)

For more information about the evidence required to meet disability requirements, click here.

If your child does not meet the disability requirements, they may still be eligible for NDIS funding under early intervention requirements.

You will need to provide evidence that your child has one of the conditions on this list (List D) as part of your supporting evidence form. For children younger than six with developmental delay, the NDIS requires evidence from health, allied health or early childhood professionals who use multiple sources of information about the child’s ability to participate in everyday activities.

How Everyday Independence can Help you and your Family

Everyday Independence offers early childhood support services to NDIS-funded participants under eight years. A key worker is your main contact who coordinates your family’s plan, and delivers most of your child’s therapy.

They also coordinate sessions with speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, positive behaviour practitioners and habit coaches as needed to support your child’s development. Some of the skills we can support your child to build include:

  • Gross and fine motor skill development
  • Social and emotional wellbeing
  • Communication skills
  • Self-regulation and behaviour management
  • Personal care and hygiene
  • Healthy sleep habits

Early intervention supports increase the chances of achieving positive outcomes for your child and family. To apply for NDIS funding, fill out an access request form online or verbally with the help of an Early Childhood Partner, GP, health professional or early childhood educator. Be sure to submit the required supporting documentation.

Once your child has an NDIS, the Everyday Independence is happy to help your child build their skills and improve your family’s quality of life.

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