Early childhood continence consumables


Julie asks for funding for continence supports for her 5-year-old daughter, Ashleigh, who has a developmental delay or disability. This means Ashleigh’s continence needs are well above what is typical for other children her age.

Would we typically fund this?

Yes, we would typically fund continence supports for participants five or older who regularly experience incontinence, day or night. The cost is likely to meet our funding criteria. We suggest Ashleigh’s plan includes funding for a continence assessment as well as continence products. This means Julie can get expert help to:

  • explore any medical cause for the incontinence
  • support her with toileting strategies
  • advise her on products.

Why would we fund this?

Australian families typically toilet train their young children, and pay for nappies, pull-ups, wipes and mattress protectors. It is not unusual for typically developing children to use nappies at times up until age 5.

Most children are toilet trained by 5 years old, with some still wetting the bed. This means that children 5 and older who still need continence supports due to developmental delay or disability are likely to meet the criteria. It is an additional living cost incurred solely and directly as a result of their disability needs.

Our funding for early childhood continence usually covers:

  • a continence assessment from a clinical nurse
  • everyday items such as nappies, disposal wipes and mattress protectors. 

It may also include:

  • access to additional support from professionals to help parents with toileting strategies,
  • assistive technology support.

To work out whether a support is reasonable and necessary for your child, we look at the information you give us against the NDIS Funding Criteria.

What else might we fund?

We may fund children younger than 5 if their disability-related medical condition means they need:

  • more expensive continence support or have higher care needs than children of a similar-age
  • disposable urinary catheters, please refer to Continence Consumable Guide .

Case example

Five-year old Kirra has been diagnosed with autism. Her family has been helping her increase her self-care skills. While she is starting to show some toileting awareness, she is still needs pull-up nappies through both day and night. 

Based on Kirra’s mother’s report, we include funding in Kirra’s plan for three hours of support for a continence nurse to:

  • undertake a continence assessment
  • support the family with strategies to help Kirra’s with self-care. 

We also include funding, based on Kirra’s age and current level of functioning, to cover:

  • five pull-up nappies a day
  • one pull up nappy a night
  • mattress protectors
  • continence aids, such as bags and wipes.

Kirra and her mother attend a continence clinic for the continence assessment with a nurse. The nurse assesses Kirra and gives her mother advice on strategies to help Kirra develop better self-care with toileting. Kirra and her mother also work with an occupational therapist who helps them incorporate strategies into daily routines. We fund this through the allocated capacity building budget in Kirra’s plan.

To work out whether extra funding for continence supports are reasonable and necessary, the planner considers the information and recommendation from Kirra’s mother against the NDIS Funding Criteria.

In Kirra’s case, the planner decides:

  • Kirra needs the items as a direct result of her disability
  • Kirra’s needs are substantially greater than other children her age  
  • the NDIS is the most appropriate way to fund the supports as they relate to her ongoing functional impairment and Kirra needs them to help with daily life 
  • the continence assessment will provide more evidence of Kirra’s progress and future support needs at the next scheduled plan review.

The planner decides that Kirra’s supports are reasonable and necessary and approved funding for continence consumables. The planner recommends that Kirra’s family buy the consumables month-by-month. This means they get the right amount and pull-up nappy size doesn’t change.

For more information, refer to;

This page current as of
20 April 2021
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