Access to the NDIS under ECEI | MyCareSpace
child playing

Access to the NDIS under ECEI

Bookmark this page in your Account

When does a child access the NDIS using Early Intervention Requirements?

A child will meet the early intervention requirements if they meet each of the following requirements:

  1. Under 7 years old AND

  2. Has been diagnosed with a condition/s on List D - the NDIA will be satisfied that the child meets the early intervention requirements without further assessment OR
  3. Is a child who has developmental delay AND
    1. the NDIA is satisfied that provision of early intervention supports is likely to benefit the person by reducing their future needs for disability related supports
    2. the NDIA is satisfied that provision of early intervention supports is likely to benefit the person by:
      • reducing the impact of the person's impairment upon their functional capacity to undertake communication, social interaction, learning, mobility, self-care or self-management 
      • preventing the deterioration of such functional capacity 
      • improving such functional capacity 
      • strengthening the sustainability of informal supports available to the person, including through building the capacity of the person's carer
    3. the NDIA is satisfied early intervention support for the person is most appropriately funded or provided through the NDIS 

When does a child have a Developmental Delay?

Developmental delay is a term used when a child is slower to reach, or has not reached age-appropriate developmental milestones.

For the purposes of the NDIS Act, developmental delay means a delay in the development of a child under six years of age that meets all of the following criteria:

  1. is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or a combination of mental and physical impairments; AND
  2. results in substantial reduction in functional capacity in one or more of the following areas of major life activity:
    1. self care;
    2. receptive and expressive language;
    3. cognitive development;
    4. motor development; and
    5. results in the need for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services that are of extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated

Note: 'Expressive language' is taken to include articulation and speech pronunciation and is considered to be a singular area of major life activity. A substantial reduction in functional capacity for either receptive or expressive language will suffice.

What is the Process to Gain Access to the NDIS Early Intervention

The Early Childhood Partner will be the first contact point for families. 

You’ll discuss your child’s needs and goals. You’ll talk about the support your child gets from family, friends, other services (like the education system) and community activities or service providers. And you’ll talk about how well this support works for your child.

You’ll also talk about general things like how your child usually manages daily activities, and more specific topics like how much support you think your child needs for certain tasks.

Your NDIS early childhood partner will work with you to decide on support for your child and family. Depending on your child’s needs, the NDIS early childhood partner might:

  • give you information or emotional support
  • refer you to mainstream services like community health services, playgroups or peer support groups
  • provide or help you find early intervention for your child – for example, speech therapy or occupational therapy.

If your child needs longer-term support, your NDIS early childhood partner can:

  • recommend that your child quickly moves to an individualised NDIS plan
  • help you request NDIS access.

If your child becomes an NDIS participant, your early childhood partner will help you develop the individualised NDIS support plan for your child. Your early childhood partner will submit the plan to the NDIA for approval.

Once the plan is approved, your child will start to get NDIS funding. You choose the providers you want to work with and start putting the plan into action.

Find an Early Childhood Early Intervention Partner

What Evidence is Needed to Support a Child has a Developmental Delay

Current best practice in early childhood intervention has moved towards functional based assessments using developmental screening tools to evidence the degree of delay in a child's development.

Developmental screening identifies areas in which a child's development differs from same age norms and identifies children presenting with developmental delay.

For example, the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory Computer Adaptive Test (PEDI-CAT) is one of the functional assessment tools used for children in this context.

Who can Provide Evidence of a Developmental Delay

Treating health professional

  • Psychologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech Therapist

Disability evidence (in preference order)

  • Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition (DSM-V)
  • Vineland adaptive behavior scale (Vineland-II)
  • World Health Organisation disability assessment schedule (WHODAS) 2.0 (17 years and over) or PEDI-CAT (16 years and under)

What happens if I am already receiving funding from HCWA or Better Start?

Funding for both HCWA and Better Start will transition to the NDIS. Once children transferring from HCWA or Better Start have a plan approved under the NDIS, their access to HCWA or Better Start funding will cease as they will then be eligible to receive funding under the NDIS.

See this FAQ