Important aged-based changes for NDIS: ECEC providers take note
From 1 July 2023, the age of children supported under the early childhood approach of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will progressively change to include children younger than nine years of age, rather than children under seven years of age.
Currently the NDIS early childhood approach supports children younger than seven years, and their families. From 1 July 2023, the age of children supported under the early childhood approach will progressively change to include children younger than nine years.
This change will occur progressively over the next two years, with the changes aiming to ensure that children and their families are supported by an early childhood partner during and after they transition to primary school.
Children who are currently NDIS participants turning seven years of age after 1 July 2023 will remain with their early childhood partner until they turn nine years of age, if they require support up to this age.
Children who are currently NDIS participants, who are turning seven years of age before 1 July 2023 will transition to a local area coordination partner, as is the current process.
Children younger than nine years of age with a permanent disability, who are new to the NDIS from 1 July 2023 will be supported by an early childhood partner.
Including children younger than nine years of age under the early childhood approach is a deliverable under the recommendations in the ECEI Reset. This change aligns with the World Health Organisation’s definition of ‘young children’, which is zero to eight years of age.
From 1 July 2023, the NDIS will be updating its website and information to show:
- the age of children supported by NDIS early childhood partners includes children younger than nine years of age
- children who are nine years of age and older are supported by an NDIS local area coordination partner.
Children younger than six years of age will continue being supported by an early childhood partner if they have:
- a permanent disability
- developmental delay
- developmental concerns.
There is no change to the NDIS eligibility requirements or the definition of developmental delay under the early intervention requirements (s25 of the NDIS Act).
Children younger than six years of age do not need a diagnosis to get support from an early childhood partner where there are concerns about their development.
If parents have concerns about their child’s development or disability they should first speak with their doctor, child health nurse, early childhood educator or other health professional.
After talking with a child’s health or education professional, NDIS’ early childhood partners can help families connect to the right supports. Learn more about how to get help for children and find local early childhood partners using the links provided.
If parents live in an area with no early childhood partner and have concerns about their child’s development or their child is a participant, someone from the NDIA will continue to work directly with them and connect them to support.
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