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The National Disability Insurance Scheme Early Childhood Approach

Find out about the NDIS early childhood approach (formally known as ECEI approach) in your local area

Heather and Emma talking at entry

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) early childhood approach (formally known as the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach) is specifically designed for children aged under seven years who have a developmental delay or disability. The early childhood approach supports families to help their child develop the skills to take part in daily activities and achieve the best possible outcomes throughout their life.

A parent or educator, with parental permission, can contact the local NDIS early childhood partner (for example Lifestart or Northcott) if concerns about a child’s development have been identified. Children aged under 7 years do not need to have a diagnosis of disability to access early childhood support.

The NDIS early childhood partner will discuss the concerns with the family and may contact the preschool, to find out more about the child's developmental strengths and difficulties.

As every child is different, the NDIS early childhood partner will tailor support to the child’s individual needs and circumstances. They will provide the family with information about supports and intervention services in the local area.

They may also:

  • Connect the child and family with the most appropriate supports in the local area, such as community health centres, and playgroups,
  • Provide some short-term early intervention where it has been identified as the most appropriate support and
  • If the child requires longer-term early childhood intervention supports, the early childhood partner will help the family to request NDIS access and develop an NDIS plan.

There are a number of organisations across the country providing services as NDIS Early Childhood Partners. The partner allocated to support a child will be dependent on the child/families home address.

Below are the partners operating in each of the regions your preschools are located. For more specific information about whom to refer a family to, contact NDIS on 1800 800 110.

To learn more about the early childhood approach watch this recorded webinar.

Central Coast region

Illawarra region

Nepean Blue Mountains region

Murrumbidgee region

Northern Sydney region

South Eastern Sydney region

Sydney region

Western Sydney region

National Quality Standard links for the content on this page:

QA6 Collaborative Partnerships with families and communities

6.2.2 Access and participation

6.2.2 Community engagement