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Developmental Concerns

What can educators do when they have concerns about a child's development?

Boy stacking duplo

Children may begin preschool with a diagnosed disability or NDIS plan already in place or, during their time at preschool, educators and families may become aware of differences in a child's development indicating that they may benefit from specialist support. The three pdf documents below contain flowcharts that explain how educators can link children and families with specialist support based on their current situation.


Please note: it is possible that a child may have an NDIS plan without having a diagnosis of a disability. In these circumstances, preschools need to continue to monitor child’s developmental progress in collaboration with early intervention providers. The early childhood partner can provide relevant information about diagnostic assessment services as needed.

If educators have concerns around a child's development it is important to gather detailed observations and data. This documentation can provide a more comprehensive picture of the child's development across domains, their strengths, interests, any concerns/needs and help you to track progress. Referring to documentation can support you to share your knowledge of a child's development with families and other professionals. This information can support families to understand more about their child's strengths and needs within the social context of preschool and to access information about the support available through the NDIS early childhood approach. Documentation gathered may also be useful to support an application for funding through the Disability and Inclusion Program.

Your KU Preschool Inclusion consultant can share a range of tools to support you to observe children and collect data, such as the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ).

Raising concerns with families about a child's development may be daunting for educators. For families, hearing or noticing that your child may be have some difficulty with their development or behaviour may be surprising, anxiety provoking, or in some cases even provide a sense of relief. For helpful strategies and insights regarding raising concerns with families, watch this excellent webinar presented by Marina Bailey

If a family wishes to seek a developmental assessment or intervention for their child they may ask you where to go to access support. While the options, both private and public, differ from region to region, the best place to start is generally with the local National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) early childhood partner.

Seeking developmental assessment and intervention may be confusing or overwhelming for families. The following tip sheet has been created to help families know what to expect when seeking help for their child.


National Quality Standard links for the content on this page:

QA1 Educational Program and Practice

1.3.1 Assessment and Planning Cycle

1.3.2 Critical reflection

1.3.3 Information for families

QA6 Collaborative Partnerships with families and communities

6.2.2 Access and participation

6.2.2 Community engagement