NDIS Update: Children younger than 9 to be included in early childhood approach

The NDIA have announced some changes to their early childhood approach.

From July 1, 2023, the age of children supported by this approach will begin to expand to include children younger than 9. Previously, only children younger than 7 were included.

These changes aim to enhance support for children and their families during and after the transition to primary school.

Who will be affected by this transition?

  • Children currently receiving NDIS support who turn 7 after July 1: they will remain with their early childhood partner until they turn 9 if support continues to be needed.
  • Children younger than 9 who begin NDIS supports from July 1: they will be supported by an early childhood partner until they turn 9.

Children currently receiving NDIS support who turn 7 before July 1 will transition to a local area coordination partner as per the existing process.

What are the implications?

  1. More children will get specialised support: Now, children under 9 will get increased access to child-centred support that will better help them before and during the transition to primary school.
  2. Young children will get consistent support: If your child turns 7 after July 1, they can keep getting the same kind of supports until they're 9, which means consistent care during this important time.
  3. More children can access support: Even if your child doesn't have a diagnosis, they may still receive support before the age of 9, making sure they get the help they need.

Other things to note:

  • Eligibility requirements and the definition of developmental delay (s25 of the NDIS Act) remain unchanged.
  • Children younger than 6 with a permanent disability, developmental delay, or developmental concerns will continue to be supported by an early childhood partner, without requiring a formal diagnosis.
  • The changes ensure that the NDIA’s definition of young children aligns with the World Health Organization's (0 to 8 years of age).

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