From July 1, 2023:
The age of children supported under the early childhood approach will progressively change from 7 to include children younger than 9.
What the change means: Broadly, the change has been made to reflect international understandings of young children as those under 9 years of age. For some children the change will mean greater continuity of care in the first years of school as they remain with their Early Childhood Partner until age 9 rather than 7.
What the change doesn’t mean: Many professionals are aware that children under 7 can access the NDIS through the Early Childhood Approach without a formal diagnosis. There have been misunderstandings that the new age change will mean children may access the scheme in this way up until the age of 9. This is not the case. It is critical that children with no formal diagnosis are referred before their sixth birthday as they will not meet the NDIS developmental delay criteria beyond six years of age. There is no change to the NDIS eligibility requirements or the definition of developmental delay under the early intervention requirements (s25 of the NDIS Act).
For more information, visit the NDIS website or contact the Early Childhood Partner in your community.
Need help supporting a family through the NDIS process? Access an easy-to-read guide for professionals here.