Early Intervention Services for Children with Disability

Children playing with leaves

Children with a disability have the right to participate fully in their community and to have the same choices, opportunities and experiences as other children.

Research shows that support during the early years of childhood improves outcomes for children with disability. The early childhood years lay the foundation for all future development.

These early years are also critical for the whole family. This is when families start learning how to support and nurture their child, how to meet their child's needs, and how to adapt positively to having a child with a disability or a developmental delay.

The Australian Government offers early intervention services to children through two key programs:

  • Helping Children with Autism (HCWA)
  • Better Start for Children with Disability (Better Start).

These programs have helped over 58,000 children, their families and carers, to access over 2.1 million services they need, to a value of almost $437m. More information is available on the parents and carers page.

Throughout Australia, more than 2,800 service providers have registered to provide early intervention through HCWA, and more than 2,600 through Better Start. Information for new and existing providers is available on the service providers page.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is rolled out across Australia, children supported through HCWA or Better Start will transition to the NDIS.

Early Intervention Helpdesk

Tel: 1800 778 581

Email: early.intervention@dss.gov.au

Helpdesk opening hours

The Early Intervention Helpdesk will be closed from 11am Western Standard Time on Friday 19 October and will reopen at 9am Western Standard Time on Tuesday 23 October. Please send an email to early.intervention@dss.gov.au with your enquiry and we will respond on our return.

The Early Intervention helpdesk is located in Perth and is open during these times:

  • AWST (Perth) time – Monday to Friday : 09:00 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm.
  • Australian Eastern Standard Time – Monday to Friday: 11:00 am to 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm.
  • Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time (from first Sunday in October till the first Sunday in April) - Monday to Friday: 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

For other languages, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 and ask them to contact the Helpdesk for you.

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