New pilot program sees NDIS and Goodstart Early Learning collaborate
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > New pilot program sees NDIS and Goodstart Early Learning collaborate

New pilot program sees NDIS and Goodstart Early Learning collaborate

by Freya Lucas

September 30, 2022

A new pilot program, NDIS@Goodstart, marks the latest evolution in its child-centred care philosophy. The NDIS@Goodstart program is in trial at 31 locations in Richlands, Queensland and Adelaide, South Australia and, if successful, the program will roll out into more centres.


Selected Goodstart locations have dedicated teams of allied health professionals, such as speech pathologists, occupational therapists and other support workers who provide services under the NDIS.  


The support workers integrate their offerings with the normal daily routines of the classrooms, enabling children receiving support to work towards their NDIS goals alongside their friends in a familiar, fun environment. 


By bringing therapists to the child parents and caregivers do not have to take time off work for appointments or to travel to the therapist’s office; a convenience that will benefit all families but be especially impactful for those with complex schedules or limited options for transportation. 


In turn this flexibility may allow a greater number of children to have access to Early Childhood Intervention supports.


“The NDIS@Goodstart program gives children access to the services they need in an environment that is convenient for the parents and part of normal, everyday life,” Kirsten Hardy, Social Inclusion Project Manager at Goodstart said. 


The collaborative approach creates better outcomes for the entire classroom as it allows the child and the therapist to foster relationships with everyone in the classroom, a representative explained. 


In a similar way to inclusion support workers, the therapists spend a portion of their time working with the child/ren receiving support and their peers, allowing all children to benefit from their presence, learn new skills, and be inclusive. 


In one case a support worker was helping a child communicate how to share, take turns, and set boundaries. The other children in the class took the lead from the child who receives NDIS support and now everyone uses the same terms to ask to play. 


Therapists also work one on one with educators to provide strategies on how to implement supports in the classroom on a day-to-day basis so children can work towards their goals even when the support worker is not present.


With 644 Goodstart locations around Australia the program has the potential to make significant improvements to how children and their families access NDIS supports.


Learn more about the NDIS@Goodstart initiative here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button