early childhood

NDIS News: Changes to improve the NDIS for children and families 

In October, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) published a progress update about changes to improve how the NDIS supports young children and their families. 

Following a three-month consultation, the NDIA is now changing to reset the early childhood intervention approach. It’s hoped these initiatives will deliver a better and fairer experience for young children and their families seeking support, guidance or access to the NDIS. 

The changes are part of the NDIA’s ongoing commitment to ensure families and carers have information that improves their knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions about what supports are most likely to benefit their child’s development. 

The progress update released outlines which recommendations were supported and completed, those that the NDIS is still working on, and the timeframes around the changes.  

The NDIA has completed four of the recommendations, including: 

New name for supporting children under seven 

NDIA is renaming the approach to supporting children younger than seven and their families to the ‘early childhood approach’ and publishing new, easy to understand operational guidelines. 

New NDIS operation guidelines for the early childhood approach 

It is the first time the NDIA has had a guideline specific to children. The early childhood approach will outline how best practice support helps get the best results for children younger than seven and their families. 

Clearer developmental delay criteria 

The third completed recommendation clarifies the interpretation and application of the developmental delay criteria. Clarifications will support NDIS partners and staff with more explicit guidance to make decisions and recommendations. It will help families to understand developmental delay and developmental concerns better. 

New early connection guidelines 

The fourth recommendation is to develop an early connections guideline to outline how the early childhood approach can support families and young children to reach their full potential, including a combination of family education, early supports, and connection to the community. It’s due to be published in October or November 2021. 

These changes will simplify how we talk about support for young children and their families and how we improve support for families and children when they no longer need the scheme. 

See the full progress update and further information. 

Find more information on the new early childhood operational guidelines.