Media Release by The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

$900 000 for Workshops for Parents and Carers of Children with Disability

Thousands of parents and carers of children with disability will have greater access to information about the support available to them with the help of a $900,000 investment from the Rudd Government.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Amanda Rishworth, today announced the funding injection which will deliver close to 300 workshops over two years in locations across the country as part of the Federal Labor Government’s Better Start for Children with Disability initiative.

“The Rudd Government is committed to supporting children with disability and their families and carers, and we know that many people, particularly those living in a rural or remote locations, can find it difficult to access services and support,” Ms Rishworth said.

“Our Better Start Early Days Workshops aim to provide parents and carers all over the country with practical information about eligibility for Better Start funding as well as advice about the assistance that is available to them to help them care for their child with disability.

“The workshops will be delivered by non-profit organisations Carers Australia and the First Step Alliance consortium, with each organisation delivering a minimum of 140 workshops throughout Australia.

“Around 30 per cent of these workshops will be delivered to families living outside major metropolitan areas.

“We are working hard to give children with disability the best start in life and we know that investing in early intervention for children with disability before they get to school gives them the best chance of reaching their full potential.

“Under our Better Start for Children with Disability initiative, children under the age of seven who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Fragile X Syndrome, or moderate to severe vision or hearing impairments, are eligible for early intervention funding of up to $12,000.

“And at the beginning of this year, we invested a further $13.4 million over five years to expand the eligibility criteria to include children diagnosed with Prader Willi, Williams, Angelman, Kabuki, Smith-Magenis, CHARGE, Cornelia de Lange and Cri du Chat syndromes and microcephaly.”

Nearly 7,000 children across Australia have registered for the Better Start for Children with Disability initiative and accessed nearly 110,000 early intervention services since the initiative started in July 2011.

Carers Australia and the First Step Alliance are working together on the details of workshops including the timetable and locations. This information will be published at