We often hear from parents of children with a disability or developmental delay who feel confused about the NDIS and where to start. We can understand why, there is a lot of new information to take in when you tackle the NDIS for the first time. So, let’s start with Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI)…
What is the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach?
The ECEI approach is for children aged 0-6 years who have an early childhood disability or developmental delay and are not receiving disability supports already.
What is the purpose of the ECEI?
Early childhood intervention has been developed as a first point of call for families and aims to support and help children and their families develop the skills they need to take part in daily activities and achieve their ongoing goals.
How does it work?
Every case is different so you will be connected with an Early Childhood Partner who will help get you started. Some things they may help with include:
- Connect you with the most useful supports in your area (such as community health centres, educational settings and playgroups) for your child
- Provide some short term plans and intervention when it’s identified as the most appropriate support.
They will also help you start your NDIS application if it is determined that, after early childhood intervention, your child would be best supported long term with an NDIS Plan.
Getting your child’s first NDIS Plan in place.
If your child is eligible, you will work with the NDIA and your Early Childhood Partner to come up with your child’s first NDIS Plan. This can be another daunting time and often comes with a whole new set of questions. We’ve written a blog post called Are you prepared for your Plan meeting?
If you would like another helping hand, the team at Leap in! can help with this part of the process too. We can take you through steps and suggestions for your Plan meeting like:
- Start to prepare early and give yourself time to think big about what your child would like to achieve
- Make notes and keep a list of examples in the app so you have one easy and central place for all of your thoughts and information
- Encourage your key family, friends and/or support workers to join the app and connect with you so they can help with additional information
- Be ready to be as specific as possible so that you’re getting exactly what you need out of your meeting.
It’s also good to know that at the end of your NDIS Plan meeting, you will be asked how you want to look after the money in your Plan. There are three main ways to manage your Plan and its budgets (and you can change how you do this at any time, you just need to ask the NDIS) or you can choose a combination of options.
- Plan managed
This is where Leap in! can really help. As plan managers, the team at Leap in! will help you manage your money, pay your bills and keep track of the paperwork. You still have complete control of your Plan and budgets, but you have an on-hand team ready to assist. The NDIS adds extra funds in your plan to cover the cost of your plan manager.
- Self managed
You look after all your own invoices, organise paying your supports and keep all your own records.
- Agency managed
When you’re agency managed, the NDIA manages your plan for you and your registered service providers are paid directly. The downside to this option is you have no option to choose between disability providers and mainstream providers who aren’t NDIS registered.