Understanding Early Childhood Early Intervention

Understanding Early Childhood Early Intervention



What is Early Childhood Early Intervention?

In simple terms, Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) means supporting children who are not developing at the same rate as their typically developing peers.

Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) is specialised support which helps children to improve their development, increase their wellbeing and helps them to participate with others in their communities.

Providing intervention early in your child’s life may reduce their need for ongoing support later in life.


What are Early Childhood Partners?

There are Early Childhood Partners available in your local area who can assist with identifying the needs of your child, becoming your key contact to assist you with navigating and implementing the supports that your child needs and to help you to access any funding which your child may be eligible for.


What does Early Childhood Early Intervention look like?

Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) often begins with support from your child’s health team such as their GP or paediatrician. They will assist you to contact an Early Childhood Partner. You may also choose to get in touch with the Peak Body for children with Developmental Delay, Xavier. We can complement the support you receive from your Early Childhood Partner by providing a listening ear, additional resources and information about inclusive providers and supports in your area.

The ECEI approach understands that families know their child best and Early Childhood Partners will work with families to learn strategies to practice with their child in everyday activities and routines, at home and in the community. ECEI supports are provided to children from birth to around school age, and can be tailored specifically for your child to give them the best possible start in life. Support may include:

  • Occupational therapy – developing fine motor skills and helping children find the self-sufficiency to complete daily tasks
  • Speech therapy – improving a child’s communication, both verbal and non-verbal
  • Physiotherapy – helping children develop the gross motor skills used for movement and coordination
  • Support and counselling – helping children create new relationships and strengthen existing ones, or learning skills for emotional and behavioural regulation
  • Assistance to access community activities – such as playgroup and early childhood education and care services.


How does ECEI funding work?

It is important to know that your child does not need to have a diagnosis in order to access assistance. The following are terms used by the NDIS in ECEI to assist with determining what kinds of supports are available to your child. When considering development, the following areas of functioning are considered:

  • self-care;
  • receptive and expressive language;
  • cognitive development;
  • motor development;


Developmental Concerns: Developmental Concerns is the term used by Early Childhood Partners to identify children who do not qualify as having Developmental Delay or Global Developmental Delay, however there are some minor delays in their development.  If your child is under 6 and has some developmental concerns, you are eligible to access your Early Childhood Partner free of cost. They assist you in connecting with local community supports. They can also connect you with Queensland Health who can assist you with developing a health plan for your child using the therapies available via Queensland Health. Or you may choose to have the Early Childhood Partner connect you with a private health practitioner of your choosing whose support would be covered at your own cost.


Developmental Delay: Developmental Delay means a delay in the development of a child under 6 years of age that results in substantial reduction in functional capacity in one or more of the areas listed above and requires support from a combination of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services that are of extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.

If your child falls into this category an Early Childhood Partner can assist you at every step to identify your child’s needs, identify therapies required, plan and coordinate supports and assist you with applying for funding.


Global Developmental Delay: Global Developmental Delay is a diagnosis used by paediatricians when there is a significant delay present in several of the areas of functioning listed above and the child is too young to participate in further testing and/or more investigation is required. Global Developmental Delay is a diagnosis which can only be confirmed by a Paediatrician and typically means that the child will go on to be diagnosed with a disability in the future.

If your child falls into this category and is under 7 years old an Early Childhood Partner can assist you at every step to identify your child’s needs, identify therapies required, plan and coordinate supports and assist you with applying for funding.


For More Information

NDIS Early Childhood Approach

Early Childhood Early Intervention Video

Or call us on 1800 XAVIER and we’ll be happy to help.