Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability - Independent adviser to the WA Minister for Disability Services - Keeping government informed

National Disability Insurance Scheme in Western Australia

Discussion Paper: Early Childhood Intervention

Why is Early Childhood Intervention an important part of the NDIS in WA?

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is the process of providing specialised support and services for infants and young children (0-8 years of age) with disability and/or developmental delay, and their families, in order to promote development, well-being and community participation. ECI for a child with developmental delay or disability has been shown to improve outcomes for the child in the long term. A family-centred approach ensures that service providers work in partnership with families to determine the appropriate support, based on their needs, to build capacity within homes, schools and communities settings.

How has ECI worked under the NDIS in Western Australia?

Over the past three years the NDIS has evolved through various trials around the country and in Western Australia we have seen the approaches of both the National Disability Insurance Agency trial in the Perth Hills and the WA NDIS trial in the Lower South West and Cockburn/Kwinana. In all trial areas, the following key aims of ECI have remained relatively consistent.

  • A focus on a family-centred approach to build on family and carer strengths;
  • An emphasis on inclusion by supporting a child in a range of mainstream settings; and
  • Planning supports around a family’s goals for their child.

What has been learnt about ECI during the trials?

We now have two years of feedback from individuals, families, carers, service providers and advocacy groups about ECI, and have heard that:

  • Some Planners and Local Coordinators require more knowledge of ECI approaches and the National guidelines for best practice (see http://www.ecia.org.au/resources/best-practice-guidelines), in particular around the role and importance of Functional Needs Assessment.
  • There is confusion regarding eligibility and entry into ECI within a NDIS, uncertainty about what ECI supports and services the NDIS can provide, and what ECI is more appropriately delivered by mainstream systems such as education and health.
  • Families require support to build capacity to be equal partners in ECI and make informed decisions.

What do you think?

  1. What currently works well in Early Childhood Intervention?
  2. What do you want in a quality Early Childhood Intervention Service?
  3. What would make Early Childhood Intervention more accessible in your area?
  4. What areas of improvement could you suggest?
  5. Do you have any other comments or concerns about Early Childhood Intervention?

You may provide feedback by completing a short survey here.

If you require the discussion paper in an alternative format or would like an alternative way to provide feedback please contact the Secretariat:

Telephone: 1800 857 354
Email: feedback@macd.wa.gov.au
Post: NDIS in WA
c/o PO Box 494
West Perth WA 6872

This discussion paper is available in Word, PDF and Easy Read version for download [DOCX 61 KB] [PDF 325 KB] [Easy Read DOCX 799 KB] [Easy Read PDF 320 KB].

Feedback on this discussion topic is due by Friday 16 September 2016.