What is Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI)?
Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) is the way the NDIS supports children aged 0-6 years who have a developmental delay or disability, and their families/carers.
The ECEI approach supports families to help children develop the skills they need to take part in daily activities and achieve the best possible outcomes throughout their life.
Where do I start?
1. Call an ECEI Partner
If you have a child under 7 years of age and you are concerned about their development, you need to contact an ECEI partner.
You do not need a referral from a health professional (although in some cases it may be your GP or a therapist who refers you).
You do not need a diagnosis.
2. Meet with an ECEI partner
Your ECEI partner will meet with you and your family at home or in their offices. They may meet with you on multiple occasions and will discuss your concerns. They will learn about your background, your child's developmental progress and the impact on everyday life for you and your family.
Your ECEI partner will have experience with young children, having come from some kind of early-intervention background like a pediatric OT, speech therapist etc.
3. An ECEI partner will get you started
It is the job of the ECEI partner to help you find the supports you need. These may be basic and involve connecting with the community or they may be more complex and involve the necessity of NDIS funding. They will determine the level of support you need.
- Will connect you and your child with the most appropriate supports in your area, such as the community health centre, educational setting and playgroup
- Provide some short-term early intervention where it has been identified as the most appropriate support – for example, speech therapy or occupational therapy.
- Help you to request NDIS access if your child requires longer-term early childhood intervention supports. If your child becomes an NDIS participant the Early Childhood Partner will work with you to develop an NDIS plan.
5. When can a child access the NDIS using Early Intervention Requirements?
If your ECEI partner determines that your child needs longer term support for NDIS access, they will recommend that you apply for NDIS access.
Again, they will work with you to make this application. 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.
They will have a planning meeting with you and help craft an NDIS plan that will give you the best supports to help your child.
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.
6. What happens when you get your NDIS Plan?
Your ECEI partner will go through your plan with you. They will help you access the MyGov Portal and help you decide how you want to manage your plan.
They will help you decide how you can spend your NDIS funds and they will monitor your progress until your plan review. At this time your plan may renew if determined that your long term support is still needed.Otherwise you could exit the NDIS.
This continues until the child turns 7.
How do I know if my child has a developmental delay?
You don't need to worry about this. Your first stop is with your ECEI partner and they will determine this.
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.
- How ECEI works
- Types of Disability Evidence
- List D - Permanent Impairment/Early intervention, under 7 years – no further assessment required
- List A - Conditions which are likely to meet the disability requirements in section 24 of the NDIS Act
- Raising Children Network - NDIS FAQs
- Access to the NDIS - Early Intervention Requirements