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13 September 2022

Goodstart NDIS pilot program offers a great start to early childhood.

At Leap in! we are always excited to share stories about organisations that make a point of creating spaces and processes that are fun, safe and accessible for all Australians.

Goodstart Early Learning is one of them. The organisation is at the forefront of inclusive childcare and kinder programs. It is proudly not-for-profit and wholly focused on ensuring the best outcomes for all the children it enrols, the children’s families and the communities it serves.


NDIS and Goodstart.

A new pilot program, NDIS@Goodstart, marks the latest evolution in its child-centred care philosophy. Selected Goodstart locations have dedicated teams of allied health professionals who provide services under the NDIS.

Speech pathologists, occupational therapists and other support workers attend Goodstart pilot program centres to deliver supports in a way that integrates with the normal daily routine of the classroom. These centres enable the children who receive supports to work towards their NDIS goals alongside their friends in a familiar, fun environment.

The collaborative approach creates better outcomes for the entire classroom as it allows the child and the therapist to foster relationships with everyone in the classroom.

Part of the therapist’s time is spent on the floor with the children who receive supports and their peers, which means everyone can practice new skills and learn how to support each other. The sessions benefit the entire classroom, not just the child who receives the support.


Image description: Goodstart therapist sitting on the floor with a young child.


In one case a support worker was helping a child communicate how to share, take turns, and set boundaries. The other children in the class took the lead from the child who receives NDIS support and now everyone uses the same terms to ask to play.

The therapist also spends time one on one with the Goodstart educator to provide strategies on how to implement supports in the classroom on a day-to-day basis so children can work towards their goals even when the support worker is not present.

The NDIS@Goodstart program is in trial at 31 locations in Richlands, Queensland and Adelaide, South Australia and, if successful, the program will roll out to more centres. With 644 Goodstart locations around Australia the program has the potential to make significant improvements to how children and their families access NDIS supports.


Bringing therapy to the child.

Another benefit of bringing the therapist to the child means parents and caregivers will not have to take time off work for appointments or travel to the therapist’s office; a convenience that will benefit all families but be especially impactful for those with complex schedules or limited options for transportation. In fact, it may allow a greater number of children to have access to Early Childhood Intervention supports.

The program has already received a lot of positive feedback from parents. One parent shared that incorporating the Capacity Building supports into childcare has made it easier for the family to implement the new skills at home.

“The NDIS@Goodstart program gives children access to the services they need in an environment that is convenient for the parents and part of normal, everyday life,” shares Kirsten Hardy, Social Inclusion Project Manager at Goodstart. “Goodstart is driven by local community needs and has a rich social inclusion component to all levels of care and all service options.”


Image description: Overhead picture of a young boy reading a book.


Making childcare and early learning accessible to all children.

The organisation aims to make childcare and early learning accessible to all children regardless of any unique or challenging circumstances a child or a family may face.

The EChO Program, an abbreviation for Enhancing Children’s Outcomes, is another example of an inclusive initiative run by Goodstart. The program launched in 2015 and now operates in 40 locations.

The objective of the program is to improve outcomes for children who may require additional support from childcare and the community. It offers targeted support to more vulnerable members of the community, including children from refugee and low socio-economic families, or in instances where child safety is of concern.

If you are looking for a childcare or kindergarten option in your area Goodstart offers tours where you can meet the educators and learn more about the centre and the model of care.


Leap in! is here to help.

The Leap in! Crew is here to help you find the right supports and services to give your child the best possible start.  Call our team on 1300 05 78 78 or email


Further reading

Outside the box: Diverse therapy options for kids.

Therapy in disguise at the beach: Special Source Kids edition.

Therapy in disguise at the park: Special Source Kids edition.

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