- Our early childhood approach is how we support children younger than 9 and their families
- Your early childhood partner can help connect you to the right supports, we call this early connections.
- Early connections make sure you get the right supports and services to help with your child's individual needs. You can get early connections through our early childhood partners.
What is the early childhood approach?
The early childhood approach helps children younger than 6 with developmental delay or children younger than 9 with disability and their families to access the right support when they need it.
Children younger than 6 do not need a diagnosis to get support through the early childhood approach where there are concerns about their development.
Learn more about our early childhood approach and how we work with young children and their families.
Getting help for your child
If you have a concern about your child's development, your first point of contact will usually be your health or education professional. This person may be your family doctor, early childhood educator or child health nurse.
If your child’s health or education professional agrees there are developmental concerns, our early childhood partners can help connect you to the right supports.
Children younger than 6 do not need a diagnosis from a medical professional to access support through our early childhood approach. Early childhood partners will work with you to understand your child’s needs.
- Talking to you.
- Asking for information prepared by the professionals who know your child well.
- Observing your child in their usual environment.
- Using assessment and screening tools to understand your child’s development.
Early childhood partners will connect you to the supports and services that best meet your child’s needs.
Early connections are part of our early childhood approach to support children younger than 9 and their families. They are funded by the NDIS and available when your child is younger than 6 with delays in their development, or younger than 9 with disability.
Early connections support your child regardless of whether they are eligible for the NDIS.
Early connections make sure you get the right supports and services to help with your child’s individual needs. We know that providing quality supports early in a child’s life can improve their long-term outcomes and opportunities.
Early connections can support your child’s development, your family’s wellbeing and help your child and family take part in the community.
This might include connections:
- with mainstream and community supports.
- to practical information that's relevant to your child’s development.
- with other families for peer support.
- with early supports
- to apply to the NDIS.
Learn more about how NDIS early childhood partners help children younger than 9 connect to the right supports and services in our early connections guideline.
Your early childhood partner may offer a short period of early supports if your child is younger than 6 and has developmental concerns. The short period will usually be between 3 to 6 months, or up to 12 months.
Early supports are designed to build capacity in you and your child to promote everyday learning across natural settings, including your home and other environments.
Your early childhood partner will work with you to better understand your child’s strengths and needs. They will determine what kinds of supports may meet your child’s needs, including how long your child may need early supports for.
This information will be put into your child’s early support plan.