Supporting young children and their families early, to reach their full potential

We are improving the way we support young children and their families.

We are doing this by implementing changes outlined in the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) reset.

Under the ECEI reset, we published a consultation document, outlining 23 recommendations aimed at improving the way we supported young children and their families.

Hundreds of people gave us feedback on the recommendations, which we are now implementing. 

You can read the latest update on how we’re progressing with the ECEI reset here

Key information about the ECEI reset project

  • We had an open discussion about the way we support young children and their families.
  • We’ve consulted and looked at evidence about the best practice approach for Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI).
  • We released two papers; the ECEI Implementation Reset Project consultation report  and Supporting young children and their families early, to reach their full potential.
  • These two papers covered the ECEI Implementation Reset project with the background to the project for context, areas for improvement and further detail on how best practice is intended to work. 
  • We’ve developed 23 recommendations to improve our ECEI approach.
  • We've received your feedback on these recommendations.
  • As a result of the announcement from the Minister for the NDIS on 9 July 2021, we will not be proceeding with independent assessments. This means some of the recommendations will require a different approach and are likely to take more time. 

Why we decided to reset the ECEI approach

Early childhood intervention (ECI) is the extra support given to young children who need it, early in their life, to help them build their skills so they can take part in everyday activities.

It is for young children who might have, or are experiencing, developmental delay or disability.

ECI provides parents, carers and families with the knowledge, skills and specialist supports to meet the needs of their child, to assist with their child’s development and to participate in family and community life.

We developed our current ECEI approach in 2016.

It was the first national approach to early childhood intervention, supporting children with developmental delay and disability, and their families to achieve their best outcomes. 

More than 70,000 young children and their families in Australia are currently benefiting from supports delivered through the ECEI approach.

Despite our best intentions, some children are not receiving best practice supports early enough, and families often tell us they are confused about how early childhood intervention can help them.

In addition, many think an NDIS plan is the only or best option for their child.

We know families need the NDIA to have simple processes. We also know families want clear information about where they can go to get help, and what help is available.

They don’t want added stress at an uncertain time. Families want processes that reduce confusion and frustration, and to get the help their child needs at the right time.

We wanted to understand these concerns, and work out how to fix them.

To do this, we talked to families, the early childhood sector and our early childhood partners about how we could continue to improve the way we support young children and families.

We found that we needed to reset the implementation of our ECEI approach to make sure children and families can get best practice support early, so young children could benefit the most benefit from early intervention supports.  

You can read more about the ECEI reset and the associated consultation papers here.

This page current as of
10 August 2022
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