Share or print this story.
06 November 2020

Early Childhood Partners: What they do and how to choose the right one.

Here at Leap in! we know that early childhood is a critical time for your child’s development.

Learning and growing happens more rapidly in the early childhood years and sets the foundations for future development.

During this period a child’s family learns about how to best support and nurture their child.

For parents of a child with a disability, often the first step in accessing or connecting with supports is contact with an Early Childhood Partner.

What is an Early Childhood Partner?

An Early Childhood Partner is an organisation that works with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to support children aged 0 to 6, and their families, under its Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) program.

What does an Early Childhood Partner do?

The role of an Early Childhood Partner (ECP) is to provide your child and your family with assistance. Early intervention is the best way to ensure children with additional needs get the right support in order to achieve the best possible outcomes throughout their life.

An ECP helps your child develop the skills they need to take part in daily activities and build strong foundations for his or her future.

Little girl pushing her slightly older brother in his wheelchair

Some things they can assist with are:

  • Connecting you with useful services in your area like community health centres, playgroups or peer support groups
  • Finding specialised Early Childhood Early Intervention support for your child – for example, a speech pathologist or occupational therapist.

If your child requires longer-term early childhood intervention support your ECP can also help you understand the potential role of the NDIS.

They can help you:

  • Request NDIS access
  • Develop your child’s NDIS Plan (if your child becomes an NDIS participant).

Which Early Childhood Partner is right for me?

Every child is unique. Your Early Childhood Partner will help tailor a support plan that takes your child’s specific needs and circumstances into consideration to achieve the best possible outcome.

Some things you may want to consider when selecting an Early Childhood Partner are:

  • Your family’s role in supporting your child’s development
  • An inclusive approach that is sensitive to different cultural, language and social backgrounds
  • The focus on daily life at home, at childcare or school, and in the community
  • A collaborative strategy that builds on the knowledge and skills of important people in your child’s life
  • Support is outcome focused and based on research and clinical evidence.

Finding an Early Childhood Partner near you.

To find an Early Childhood Partner that provides services in your local area, use the NDIS search tool located on their website.

Leap in! can help.

If you’re a parent of a child with a disability trying to navigate the NDIS, we are here to help. As Australia’s leading plan manager, we can help you get the most from your child’s NDIS Plan.

Our members tell us they like that they can…

  • Stay in control and track their budgets in real time on our family-sharing NDIS planning app
  • Get help connecting with the local supports they need, and
  • Put the family time saved on book-keeping tasks towards their child’s supports and outcomes.

If you’d like more information simply call us on 1300 05 78 78, chat online via our website or email


Further reading

Resources for parents of children with disabilities.

Questions we’re asked the most about the NDIS and children.

The benefits of play therapy in early intervention.