Media Release by The Hon Sarah Henderson MP

Government funds early intervention blueprint for children with disability or developmental delay

The Liberal National Government has commissioned peak organisation Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) to deliver the first national early intervention blueprint for young children with disability or developmental delay.

Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, said the market-focussed blueprint will chart a course to maximise the capabilities of frontline early intervention services to 2030.

“Research shows that the right market support for children with disability or developmental delay generates the best longer-term social and economic outcomes for them, their parents and carers, the community and society,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The right intervention can lead to a person with disability going on to a fuller, more engaged life.

“The Government’s $300,000 investment for the development of the blueprint underscores its commitment to early intervention.”

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, said the new blueprint will support the successful delivery of early intervention services, both inside and outside the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS.)

“It will provide valuable evidence about the challenges and opportunities facing the sector due to changes in the market,” Ms Henderson said.

“Improving the capacity of service providers, parents and carers to navigate and adapt to these changes will deliver the best possible outcomes for children with a developmental delay and their families.

“Almost 40,000 children and their families are currently accessing early childhood intervention supports through the NDIS to give their children the best start during their first six years of life.

“Almost 29,000 children aged 0 to 6 have an approved NDIS plan and more than 11,000 are receiving support through an ECEI Partner.”

Chief Executive Officer, Early Childhood Intervention Australia, Yvonne Keane said the blueprint will build on its national best practice guidelines developed in 2016 as part of transitional work for the NDIA.

“The blueprint will help to give parents and carers choice and control by setting out the pathway to grow a comprehensive, best practice network of early childhood intervention services,” Ms Keane said.

Development of the blueprint will be in consultation with sector leaders, service providers, parents/carers and professional service organisations and the National Disability Insurance Agency.