How do early childhood partners work out the types of early connections suitable for your child?

Your early childhood partner will work with you and your child to gather information in different ways. This helps them work out which early connections are appropriate for you and your child.

They will look at all available information then talk with you about the next steps. Your early childhood partner will not make a diagnosis. If you would like to find out how to get a diagnosis, they’ll help you make contact with a health professional like your GP.

If your child is younger than 6 and there are delays in their development, the early childhood partner will work out whether your child is likely to meet the NDIS developmental delay criteria . If they do, your early childhood partner may recommend that you consider applying to the NDIS on your child’s behalf. If you decide to apply to the NDIS, your early childhood partner can support your family to apply.

If the information shows your child has developmental concerns your early childhood partner may offer early supports and they will continue to support your connections with mainstream services.

Your early childhood partner will support you, but they won’t be able to decide whether:

  • you should apply to the NDIS on your child’s behalf – this is a decision you must make
  • your child meets the eligibility requirements to become a participant of the NDIS – this is a decision we must make.

Remember, we take the collection of your personal information, and your privacy seriously. We keep all your personal information safe, and only collect what we need. We need to follow federal laws about how we look at your personal information, how we use it, and give it to other people.

The information handling guideline explains how we collect, store, use and share information about you, including sharing information outside the NDIA.

If you don’t understand the services available or feel like your child is not being supported the way you’d like, you should talk to your early childhood partner. If you can’t resolve your concerns, you can always contact us to provide feedback .

Parent information

Your early childhood partner will ask you about your child’s day-to-day life to understand your concerns, such as how they:

  • play
  • talk with other children
  • help take care of themselves
  • tell you what they need and want.


Your early childhood partner will work with you to develop an ecomap. This is a diagram which shows a map of all the connections, supports and services that you and your child have. It includes all informal supports like friends and family, and mainstream and community supports, like childcare or school. The ecomap helps us to see how much support each of these areas is providing you and your child, and how they interact. This helps the early childhood partner to work out what other supports and services might be helpful. It also helps to paint a picture of what is important to you and your child’s life.

Reports about your child

Your early childhood partner will look at information from doctors, therapists, and early childhood educators or school teachers if they are available.

Assessment tools

Your early childhood partner may use assessment and screening tools to help them to learn more about your child’s development and what they can do in everyday activities. These assessments and screening tools will show how your child’s development is different from other children of a similar age.

An example of a developmental screening tool your early childhood partner may use is called the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The ASQ is used along with other useful information such as observations and reports from teachers, reports from your child’s specialists who know them well, as well as other functional assessments that help to demonstrate you and your child’s needs.


Your early childhood partner will observe your child in familiar places such as home and childcare. They’ll see what your child is good at, their interests and the areas where they need more help. They’ll use this information to assess your child’s support needs.

This page current as of
24 October 2023
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