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 programmes:

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

These programmes 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.

For more information please call the Early Intervention Helpdesk on 1800 778 581 or email early.intervention@dss.gov.au.

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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