New early childhood approach guideline

For the first time a guideline for the NDIS early childhood approach is now available.

The early childhood approach is our nationally consistent approach to working with children younger than 7, who have a developmental delay or disability, and their families. Children who do not fully meet the definition of developmental delay and have developmental concerns are also supported through our early childhood approach. 

Your child doesn’t need a diagnosis to get help. We can connect you with early childhood partners who will help you access the right supports for your child’s needs. 

The early childhood approach recognises the rights of the child, and the important role the families play in supporting children to learn and develop.

It is important that a child can access relevant supports early, to ensure they reach their full potential. 

The early childhood approach guideline explains how our early childhood approach works. It also covers important information on:

  • the key factors of the early childhood approach, including the guidelines on best practice in early childhood intervention 
  • early childhood partners and what they do
  • how you can get support for your child and what happens if there are no early childhood partners in your area.

New name for an existing approach

This is the first time we have published the early childhood approach as an guideline, however the approach was launched (as the Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach) in 2016 and has been delivered by our early childhood partners. 

The early childhood approach has not changed, apart from the name. Renaming the ECEI approach to early childhood approach was a recommendation in our recent consultation paper ‘Supporting young children and families early, to reach their full potential’. We received positive feedback on this recommendation.

We will continue to update the guideline as we make improvements to the early childhood approach and respond to the feedback from the recent consultation around resetting the current early childhood early intervention reset.