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Our early childhood approach is about supporting you and your child as an individual.
There are many different types of supports available, starting with providing you with information, connections to mainstream and community services, and receiving support from early childhood professionals, including early childhood teachers, educators, or allied health professionals.
You can also get support and advice from our early childhood partners. Your child doesn’t need a diagnosis to get these supports. We call these supports early connections.
Our early childhood partners will connect you to the services that best meet the needs of your child. For some children younger than 6 with developmental concerns, this may include connection to early supports.
For some children younger than 6 with developmental delay or younger than 9 with a disability, it may help to apply to the NDIS. If your child meets the eligibility requirements and becomes a participant, our early childhood partners will help you and your child with your NDIS plan.
Our early childhood approach also includes community capacity building. This means we work with community and mainstream services, like childcare, to increase their awareness and ability to support children with delays in their development or with disability.
We focus on this because early childhood education and the opportunity to interact with other children is a critical factor in child development and wellbeing.
Early connections are for children younger than 9 and their families. It’s all about giving quick access to supports that meet your child’s needs.
Early connections can help you support your child’s development regardless of whether they’re eligible for the NDIS.
Your early childhood partner will talk with you about the different ways you and your child can receive early connections.
This might include:
- understanding the goals you have for your child
- connecting you with activities in your local community such as playgroups and parent support groups
- connecting you with mainstream services including health services such as a child health nurse, community health, and education settings such as childcare, kindergarten or preschool
- connections to practical information to help you understand your child’s development and their needs
- connections with other families for peer support
- connections to early supports, to build capacity in you and your child to promote everyday learning, if your child is younger than 6 and has developmental concerns
- support to apply to the NDIS, if you decide to apply on your child’s behalf.
An early childhood partner provides these early connections with the funding we give them. They complement what is already available in your local area through mainstream services such as health and education.
Early connections are available to you without the need for a medical diagnosis or confirmed developmental delay.
Learn more about early connections.