Early Childhood Early Intervention

What is the NDIS ECEI approach?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme has introduced the Early Childhood Early Intervention approach for all children aged under seven years with a developmental delay or disability. ECEI replaces the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) and Better Start For Children with Disability (Better Start) programs, which no longer operate in states where NDIS Early Childhood Partners are established.

Anyone seeking support or information for a child in this age group can contact their local Early Childhood Partner or the NDIA on 1800 800 110.

Find out more about the steps involved in the NDIS ECEI approach.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

Individuals with autism in Victoria between the age of 5 and 65 are eligible to apply for funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The NDIS is how the Australian Government now provides support to Australians with a disability, mental health issues and chronic illness. It provides funding for “reasonable and necessary” supports for people to access what they need to to live and enjoy their life. Every NDIS participant has an individualised plan listing their goals and their allocated funding.

Funding can be allocated in three types of support areas:

Core – supports enabling you to complete activities of daily living and work towards the goals that meet your objectives,

Capital  – investments, such as assistive technology, equipment and home or vehicle modifications and funding for capital costs such as Specialist Disability Accommodation,

Capacity Building – supports to build independence and skills.

More information about the NDIS and applying for a funding can be found at the NDIS website or by calling them on 1800 800 110. Comprehensive and easy to follow information can be found through Amaze, a government-funded autism advocacy and information service.

The NDIS has also prepared a range of resources explaining many aspects of the scheme, including in Easy Read formats.

Centrelink  Assistance Payments

There are a variety of Centrelink assistance payments are available for carers of a person with autism/disability.

Eligibility for payment varies and it is best to make an appointment with Centrelink to discuss your individual circumstances.

Some of the payments are means tested and will require you to supply information about your income and assets and supporting documentation from your child’s paediatrician or GP may be required.

Payments available include:
Carer Payment (children under 16 years with a disability)
Carer Payment (caring for someone over 16 years)
Carers Allowance (child under 16)
Carers Allowance (person over 16)
Carers Supplement
Disability Support Pension
Child Disability Assistance Payment
Concession cards

For further information about disability and carer payments please contact Centrelink.
You can also get support via the Centrelink Carers Line by phoning 13 27 17.

Mental Health Care Plan

If you or someone you care for is experiencing mental health issues – including depression and anxiety – it is a good idea to visit your doctor to get a Mental Health Care Plan. The plan identifies what type of health care you need, and spells out what you and your doctor have agreed you are aiming to achieve. It also may refer you to local mental health services. Once you have a Mental Health Care Plan, you are eligible to receive up to 10 individual and 10 group appointments with allied mental health services – such as psychologists – within 12 months.

You can also find useful support at Beyond Blue (phone 1300 22 4636).