Will the NDIS pay for swimming lessons? | MyCareSpace

Will the NDIS pay for swimming lessons for children?

2 young children with goggle and swim caps, swimming holding paddling boards

Will the NDIS pay for private swimming lessons for children?

A private swimming lesson is one where a child receives one-on-one swimming lessons. It is more expensive than a group lesson. A mother may ask for this funding if they feel their child is unable to fully take part in group swimming lessons without support. 

The NDIS would not usually fund private swimming lessons because: 

  • Although funded supports must help a child access social and economic activities, private lessons are unlikely to be value for money
  • All parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their child is safe around water, thus swimming lessons are an everyday expense faced by all households
  • It is not a disability-related expense that arises solely and directly because of a disability

For school-aged children, the NDIS will consider the state-government funded swimming program run through the child’s school.

This, or other mainstream services, might be a more appropriate way to fund or provide swimming lessons for your child. 

What about if my child has a goal to learn to swim?

If you have a goal for your child to learn to swim, the NDIS may fund any disability-related supports or assistive technology needed to help your child have the same opportunity to take part in swimming lessons as their peers.

This means they may cover supports your child needs to take part in swimming lessons (e.g a custom made floatie), but will not fund the cost of the lessons themselves.

Is there any NDIS funding I can use for swimming lessons?

The NDIS suggest that you can use your child’s existing capacity-building budget (usually spent on therapy) to work with their early intervention team to develop and share strategies with a qualified swim instructor. This can help your child be included in swimming lessons. 

Can I get funding for a Support Worker to help with Swimming Lessons?

  • For children 3 years and younger:
    Typically parents take part in swimming lessons with their child. This gives the child physical help and emotional support while in the water.
    For this reason, the NDIS won't generally include funding for this support in their plan because parents are expected to take part due to the age of their child.
  • For children older than 3 years:
    If a child still needs physical help and emotional support, the NDIS would still expect the family or carer to provide this if it is reasonable for them to do so. If the child does not have the informal supports to do this, the NDIS may consider providing funding for it.

Will the NDIS pay for group swimming lessons as a social activity?

The NDIS recognises the importance for all children to have the chance to take part in group activities. Group swimming lessons are a social activity and promote vital learning and development of skills in children, but will not fund group swimming lessons because these are day-to-day living costs. Everyone has to pay for them whether or not they have a developmental delay or disability. 

See the NDIS website for case examples


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