Early childhood intervention: a group of children ride bicycles

NDIS News: Early Childhood Early Intervention Age Expansion

From July 2023, the age of children supported under the Early Childhood Early Intervention approach will progressively change over the next two years to include children up to nine. 

What is the early childhood approach?

Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) is the support given to children who have developmental delays or disability and need early intervention and specialist support services.

ECEI provides parents, carers and families with the information, skills, and specialist supports to meet their child’s needs, assist with their child’s development and participate in family and community life.

The ECEI approach was developed in 2016 and was the first national approach to early childhood intervention supporting children with developmental delays and disability. 

The NDIS kicked off a reexamination and reset of the ECEI approach to make sure children and families can get best-practice support early,

How will my child be affected by the ECEI changes? 

  • NDIS participants turning seven after 1 July 2023 will stay with their early childhood partner until they turn nine if they continue to need NDIS to support up to this age.
  • Children who are currently NDIS participants, who are turning seven before the 1 July 2023, will transition to a local area coordination partner, as is the current process.
  • Children younger than nine with a permanent disability, who are new to the NDIS from 1 July 2023, will be supported by an early childhood partner.
  • Children aged six and younger will continue being supported by an early childhood partner as usual.

There is no change to the NDIS eligibility requirements or the definition of developmental delay under the early intervention requirements (s25 of the NDIS Act). 

Children younger than six do not need a diagnosis to get support from an early childhood partner where there are concerns about their development.

Why is the ECEI age range changing?

Including children younger than nine under the ECEI approach is a deliverable under the recommendations outlined in the recent ECEI Reset. Changing the age ensures children and their families are supported by an early childhood partner during and after transitioning to primary school.

Changing the age range also aligns with the World Health Organisation’s definition of young children from zero to eight years of age.

How can I learn more about the ECEI Reset?

You can read the latest update on how the NDIA is progressing with the ECEI reset online.

You can also contact the NDIS by calling 1800 800 110, email enquiries@ndis.gov.au or using webchat.