NDIS for Services
NDIS for Services
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is already rolling out nationally in selected regions and will be fully implemented across NSW by 1 July 2018.
For children under the age of six, the NDIS is working with Early Childhood Providers to support families to access early childhood education intervention for children where required.
It is universally agreed that timely access to best-practice early childhood intervention is vital for children with developmental delay or disability to ensure that they achieve the best possible outcomes throughout their life.
How can services support families
The NDIS does not change the obligations of early childhood providers and services to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that children with disability can participate in activities on the same basis as other children attending the service.
Early Childhood Education services also play a role in supporting children with disability and their families to access the NDIS. A range of materials, including tailored information about access for young children aged 0-6, has been made available on the NDIS website, including an overview of the early intervention pathways.
Many more resources are available in plain and easy English, and in community languages, as well as materials for Aboriginal people. These can be found on the NDIS NSW website www.ndis.nsw.gov.au.
Samuel's experience in entering the NDIS
Newcastle based parents Michael and Kerrie say the most important change they've seen since their son Samuel was assessed and received an NDIS plan is that the focus is all about him, and ensuring he is given every opportunity to participate with other children.
As a toddler, Samuel was first involved in group based intervention through playgroup while undergoing multiple assessments and discussions with professionals. At the age of three, Samuel was referred to Hunter Prelude Early Intervention Centre to ensure he was fully supported within an early education setting and would have his individual needs considered in his program.
With the support of Hunter Prelude and his preschool, he was able to transition to an individual NDIS plan at age four, giving him access to the funding he needed to support his ongoing development.
Mum Kerrie commented how supportive the early education professionals have been.
"At the preschool, the room leader was so supportive and once his plan was in place, took the time to attend a transition to school meeting with the kindergarten teacher and his early intervention key worker, to ensure everything about Samuel was communicated."
"As a family, we have moved from focusing on what he needed to do to reach his milestones and keep up, to finding the supports he needs to be himself, to participate and interact with other children in his day to day life," Kerrie said. "It's been an important change, and it's really a wonderful place to be actually."
"We met with an NDIS representative for a pre-planning meeting, and we were able to map out our goals for him, and record details of his daily routine and activities with a strengths based approach.
"This really helped us when we met with the planner to document a plan outline formally, as we had done a lot of the thinking in advance," Kerrie said.
Now three years later, Samuel is in year one at school and is thriving, thanks to the focus on a holistic view of his abilities, and having everyone in his immediate world supporting his goals.
"Samuel is a much more confident boy, and more able to socially interact with adults and his peers. At four, he was struggling to communicate, and now we see him having a go at anything, and everyone is so accepting of him as an individual."
Kerrie said if parents have concerns about their child, it's important to have conversations, and think about what the goals are for them – but focus on the positives. She said the early education environment is a great place to have these discussions.