A plan to resolve delays and backlogs for children with disability accessing Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) supports through the NDIS has been announced by the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert.
The six-month plan will be implemented by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) with key initiatives that include:
- Working with ECEI partners to secure additional resources to ensure children receive early childhood supports in a timelier manner
- For those children who have been found eligible for the NDIS, but who are likely to experience a wait time of greater than 50 days between an access decision and getting a plan, the NDIA will provide a standardised interim plan for six months. These interim plans will be replaced by a full NDIS plan no later than six months after being issued
- For new participants who are not categorised as complex and who are not transferring from an existing Commonwealth, state or territory disability program will be given a standardised interim plan for $10,000
- For those who are transferring from an existing Commonwealth, state or territory disability program their interim NDIS plan and funding package will reflect their existing support levels. If, however, that amount is lower than $10,000 they will also receive the $10,000 standardised interim plan for up to six months
- For participants with complex support needs, they will immediately be streamed to an NDIA Early Childhood specialist to develop their plan and appropriate funding package
The NDIA will also provide additional support to ECEI partners in areas experiencing delays by redirecting available NDIA ECEI planners to assist with planning activities.
“The NDIS has the potential to be a game-changer for families and children with significant and permanent disability or developmental delay to meet their goals and engage in the community,” the minister said.
“I know this is already the case for many children in Australia. But I also know that unnecessarily complex processes have the potential to discourage families who are already doing so much for their children. I have been working with the NDIA to identify what more can be done to reduce the backlogs that are currently being experienced by families in some locations.”
As at March 31, 2019, there were more than 11,500 children aged 0-6, receiving supports through the ECEI approach.
For more information on the NDIS and ECEI visit: www.ndis.gov.au
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