Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Abbott Government Delivers Funding Certainty to Autism Centres

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister

The Abbott Government will deliver funding certainty to the families of children with autism who access early intervention services across Australia.

Funding is being extended to six autism-specific centres that employ an innovative early intervention model.

The Government will extend funding for the six Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres (ASELCCs) until the end of 2015, and will also develop new, individualised funding agreements with each centre for the next three years to the end of 2018.

The investment in the new three year agreements is estimated to be more than $16 million dollars.

These new funding agreements will provide certainty for these centres as we move to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and will allow them to continue their vital work helping children with autism.

Early intervention is the key to helping children with disability develop their capacity for participation at school and other settings, which in turn is crucial to helping them attain their goals now and later in their life.

Nationally, hundreds of children and their families will benefit, including more than 40 children in Tasmania.

These six centres, which were established in 2009, have a strong track record when it comes to delivering early intervention services for children with autism and their families.

This three year funding extension will grant the ASELCCs an opportunity to adapt their business models for a successful and smooth transition to the NDIS.

The individualised funding model will also allow each ASELCC to capitalise on its own strengths and better align its operations to the NDIS.

The Abbott Government is committed to a better deal for people with disability and their carers through the rollout of the NDIS, and in the meantime is working to ensure vital services are continuing to be delivered to those who need them.