Q and A - 9 April
The Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach is for children from birth until their seventh birthday with developmental delay or disability. The ECEI approach is a nationally consistent, evidence based, best practice approach to Early Childhood Intervention which delivers positive, functional outcomes for children and their families.
Early Childhood Partners with expertise in Early Childhood Intervention are delivering the ECEI approach on behalf of the NDIA.
Children and their families work with an Early Childhood Partner, who will gather information about the child and family. They will connect the family to local services like Playgroups, day care centres or health programs.
Some children may require a short period of support from the Early Childhood Partner to support their development such as how they are communicating or doing things for themselves. The Early Childhood Partner will also teach families what they can do at home to support their child's development.
For children who have longer term support needs, the Early Childhood Partner will help families to make an access request to the NDIA for their child and develop an ECEI plan.
We've got a great animation that talks more about ECEI, watch it here.
To prepare for your meeting with the Early Childhood Partner you should think about the goals you have for your child and the outcomes you would like them to achieve in the coming 12 month period.
The Early Childhood Partner can help you to identify the short and longer term goals you have for your child.
Before the planning meeting, you might like to think about goals in the different areas of your child's life, like self-care, participating in daily activities and developing relationships.
You may have a goal such as, 'we would like our daughter to be more independent in her self-care including being more tolerant of tooth brushing, learning how to wash her hands, and to dress herself.'
At the planning meeting the Early Childhood Partner will work with you to gather information about your child's developmental and functional needs to get an understanding of the amount of support required for your child to achieve the identified goals and outcomes. The Early Childhood Partner will also talk to you about supports your child and family receives through mainstream service systems, the local community, family and friends and any funded supports.
The ECEI approach is based on best practice in Early Childhood Intervention and recognises that families have the greatest impact on a child's development and that children learn best through every day experiences and interactions with familiar people in familiar contexts.
Under the ECEI approach Early Childhood Partners work with families to build their skills and capacity to continue to support the child's development when they are at home, out and about or with their peers. The Early Childhood Partner will provide guidance and assistance to families with therapy strategies that can be integrated into daily family life and will help the child to participate in their community.
Yes, parent training/capacity building can be funded in a child's plan where the support/training is required to meet the goals in the child's NDIS Plan and meets the reasonable and necessary criteria.
For example, Auslan training may be funded to support the capacity of the parent and/or family of a child with hearing impairment to promote their child's inclusion and participation in daily activities through increased communication skills and if it is deemed reasonable and necessary.
The NDIS is not intended to replace other mainstream services. Inclusion and access for everyone is a shared responsibility and other government services continue to play a critical role in supporting people with disability and their family and carers.
General parent programs are regularly offered through community supports (such as Triple P program) and counselling for parents is available through mainstream services and the Early Childhood Partner will work with families to
Further information about support for carers can be found on the Support for Carers page.
In considering in home support needs, Early Childhood Partners assess the responsibility and extent of support required for families/carers to care for a child with a disability in comparison to the caring role and responsibility for all parents of young children.
In home supports can be funded in plans for children 0-6 years with developmental delay or disability, when this additional support need is evidenced and meets the reasonable and necessary criteria.
Our Psychologist has recommended that we try the computer program Cogmed with our ASD, ADHD son to help increase working memory. Can this be claimed under NDIS and if so would purchasing the software go under Consumables or Capacity Building?
There are many considerations when determining the type and level of support that will be included in a participant’s NDIS plan. One of these is that any funded support in a plan needs to be directly related to a participant’s developmental delay or disability and is likely to be effective (evidence based) and beneficial to the participant.
There have been many studies done measuring the effectiveness of Cogmed. Although some studies report positive results, the studies and systematic reviews that are the most reliable find that although Cogmed might improve the specific skills taught in the programme, there is no evidence that this generalises to any other area of functioning.
The NDIA would therefore not support the funding of a participant to undertake Cogmed training.
The NDIS does not provide funding for an everyday cost that other parents would pay for like play equipment.
We may fund equipment or assistive technology which is directly related to the child’s disability and is proven to help a child reach their goals and improve development or functioning.
Funding for assessments for assistive technology (things like walking frames and wheelchairs) can be included in the Capacity Building/ Improved Daily Living Skills budget, under Individual assessment, therapy and/or training.
Once the assessment has happened and you are ready to purchase it, equipment itself will come out of the Capital Budget. Find out more about budgets and assistive technology.
The ECEI approach provides an opportunity for children aged 0-6 years of age with developmental delay or disability to access timely, targeted and individualised short term support, build on family strengths and available community and mainstream supports. Early Childhood Partners will work with families and carers to link them into programs in the community which help them to support their child.
Under the ECEI approach, children who require longer term disability supports are supported to access the NDIS and will develop an NDIS plan with the Early Childhood Partner.
Existing programs such as Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) and Better Start early intervention support will progressively transition to the NDIS, as children in those programs access the NDIS while other aspects of these programs will continue to operate until June 2019 (South Australia and the ACT excluded). Programs and resources include:
- Early Days workshops, PlayConnect playgroups, Better Start Playgroup community events and the Raising Children Network website
- Better Start Registration and Information Service (RIS) provided by Carers Australia
- Autism Advisor Services provided by Autism Associations in each state and territory
- Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres (ASELCCs).
Early Days Workshops
Early Days workshops are for mothers, fathers and other family carers of children aged six years or younger who have recently been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or are going through the ASD assessment process.
Early Days workshops:
- give parents and carers the latest evidence-based information on ASD topics
- help to start building the skills needed to promote their child’s early development
- help build a personal plan that can put into practice at home with their own child and family.
- Information about transitioning to the NDIS
Better Start Registration and Information Service
The Better Start Registration and Information Service (external) helps families by providing information about Better Start, registering eligible children and informing families about services and other forms of assistance they may be entitled to.
Children 0-6 years of age with developmental delay or disability can access Early Childhood Intervention through the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach without becoming a participant in the Scheme.
The ECEI approach provides an opportunity for families and carers to access timely, targeted and individualised short term support, build on family strengths and available community and mainstream supports. Children who require longer term disability supports will be supported through a reasonable and necessary NDIS plan.