DSC’s Annual NDIS Conference 2024

Sydney & Online, March 26-27

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NDIS 101

Allied Health / ECEI

What is an Early Childhood Partner?

Team DSC

The early childhood approach helps children younger than 7* and their families, access the right support, when they need it. It’s about giving children with developmental delay or disability, and their families, supports so children can have the best possible start in life. Children who do not fully meet the definition of developmental delay and have developmental concerns will also be supported through the early childhood approach.

If a parent has concerns about their child’s development, their first point of contact will usually be their doctor, child health nurse, or other health professional. They will help the family work out what supports they might need and may connect them to an Early Childhood Partner.

Early Childhood Partners are local organisations contracted by the NDIA (called Partners in the Community) to deliver the early childhood approach. Early Childhood Partners have professional teams with experience and clinical expertise to work with young children with developmental delay or disability and their families.

Your local Early Childhood Partner will:

  • work with families to understand their child’s needs

  • recommend what early connections are best for their child.


For children aged 7 years and older, a Local Area Coordinator will be their main point of contact for the NDIS and help to connect to supports, services and local activities.

*Note: Currently the NDIS early childhood approach supports children younger than 7 and their families.
From 1 July 2023, the age of children supported under the early childhood approach will progressively change, to include children younger than 9.

Artwork by Melissa Pym


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