Early intervention blueprint commissioned to support children with additional needs
Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) has been commissioned by the Federal Government to deliver the first national early intervention blueprint for young children living with a disability or developmental delay.
Federal 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”.
Mr Fletcher pointed to research showing “that the right support for children with a disability or developmental delay generates the best longer term social and economic outcomes for them, their parents and carers, the community and society.”
“The Government’s $300,000 investment for the development of the blueprint underscores its commitment to early intervention because the right intervention can lead to a person with disability going on to a fuller, more engaged life,” Mr Fletcher said.
Assistant Federal 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,” she added.
Ms Henderson said that almost 40,000 Australian children and families currently access early childhood intervention supports through the NDIS, and that “improving the capacity of service providers, parents and carers to navigate and adapt to these changes will deliver the best possible outcomes for children”.
Currently, Ms Henderson said, almost 29,000 children aged zero to six have an approved NDIS plan, with more than 11,000 receiving support through an early childhood early intervention (ECEI) partner.
ECIA CEO Yvonne Keane said the blueprint will build on the organisations national best practice guidelines, developed in 2016 as part of the transition process to NDIS.
“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.
The blueprint will be developed in consultation with sector leaders, service providers, parents and carers, and professional service organisations, sitting alongside contributions from the National Disability Insurance Agency.