About the Early Childhood Early Intervention approach

The NDIA worked with a range of leading Australian early childhood intervention practitioners and researchers to design the ECEI approach.

The approach has been designed to identify the type and level of support a child needs to achieve their best outcome. A child’s early years are very important as they set up how they will learn and develop later in life.

The approach supports best practice in early childhood intervention  because it helps the child and family to build their capacity and supports greater inclusion in community and every day settings, meaning each child will be provided with opportunities to grow and learn.

How the ECEI approach works

In many areas around Australia, Early Childhood Partners deliver the ECEI approach. Early Childhood Partners are experienced in providing early childhood intervention and will provide assistance, advice and access to early intervention and support for your child. You don’t need assessments or reports when making contact with an Early Childhood Partner.

How to get support for my child

There are many ways you can get support for your child. If you have concerns about your child’s development or they have a disability, please visit the NDIS website, ndis.gov.au to see if the NDIS is available in your area.

The NDIS website will tell you when the NDIS is available, the Early Childhood Partner or other local arrangements.

You can also speak with your doctor, child health nurse, or other health professional, use the Contact Us page, call 1800 800 110 or visit your local Early Childhood Partner. They can help you to get the right support for your child and family.

How the ECEI approach works for existing NDIS participants

If your child is already an NDIS participant this will continue. We will talk to you about the best options for your child at their next plan review.

The ECEI approach when my child receives government funded supports

If your child is not currently supported by the NDIS, but they receive government funded disability or early intervention supports, they will continue to receive these supports until the NDIS is available in your area. We will contact you when the NDIS is available where you live, to discuss your child’s support needs.

Children to get faster access to NDIS supports

The NDIA is aware that some families are facing significant wait times when waiting for their first planning meeting to access ECEI services. A short term initiatives programs is currently underway in order to make an impact and reduce wait times.

More detail is available here (PDF).

Early Childhood assessments

Early Childhood Partners are teams of early childhood professionals including therapists and educators who deliver the Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach on behalf of the NDIS. 

How does an Early Childhood Partner assess my child’s needs?

They use their knowledge of child development to gather information about how your child does everyday activities. They will use this information to help you work out the types of supports your child needs.

Early Childhood Partners will get information in different ways, such as:

  • Parent information: You will be asked about your child’s day to day life. We need to understand your worries, such as how they:
    • play
    • get along with others
    • tell you what they need and want. 
  • Reports about your child: Information from people such as doctors, therapists, and teachers will be useful. The Early Childhood Partner might also suggest general hearing and vision tests. 
  • Early Childhood Assessment Tools: The Early Childhood Partner may use an assessment tool to understand how well your child can do everyday activities. This tool may include questions and activities that show how your child is going along with their development compared with other children of the same age.
  • Observations: The Early Childhood Partner may spend time watching your child in places such as home and childcare. They will learn about what your child is good at, their interests and the areas where they may need more help.

An Early Childhood Partner may use assessment information to work out your child’s support needs. They will talk with you about the next steps.

The Early Childhood Partner will not make a diagnosis. If you are looking for a diagnosis they will help you make contact with a health professional like your GP. 

This page current as of
8 November 2019