Accept Difference. Support Connections. Formerly known as the Early Childhood Intervention Program - Coffs Harbour

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(02) 6652 8080


Early Connections – Coffs Coast are a registered NDIS Provider and have been awarded Third Party Verification. This process ensures that our services are of the highest quality and are in line with evidence based best practice as well as the National Disability Standards.

The NDIS scheme will commence in the Coffs Coast region in July 2017. Clients within the region who meet the NDIS eligibility will be phased in from this date. Please discuss this with your Key Worker or call our Program Manager on (02) 6652 8080 to discuss this further.

The NDIA (agency) will either meet with you or have a phone discussion about your child and the goals you have for them. Your funding package will be worked out with them and then you have the choice of who you would like to provide services for your child.

Early Connections – Coffs Coast staff will assist existing clients to go through preparations for the transition to the NDIS. This involves setting clear goals for your child and family and developing a Service Plan that outlines how our service can help you work towards these goals. The steps involved in developing this plan may include:

  • Enrolment into our program – this may involve an assessment such as an ASQ (Ages and Stages Questionnaire) and observational assessment. Additional therapy specific assessments may be required to determine eligibility. A Service Agreement / Enrolment form will be used to gather your information and outline our service delivery options.
  • The Key Worker will work through a Routines Based Interview with the family and sometimes child care/school staff in order to get a clear idea of the areas within your child’s daily routines you would best like to work on.
  • From the RBI a set of goals are set with you and a Service Plan if formed. Within this Service Plan you can discuss and choose which additional therapy or educational streams you would like access to and they will join your team. This team forms what is called a Transdisciplinary team and together they will work with you on your child’s various needs.
  • In the event that you choose to have individual therapies with us this can be arranged.

The goals in the Service Plan can be used in your discussions with the NDIS staff when they are assisting you in devising a funding package for you.

What Is The National Disability Insurance Scheme?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new way to provide funding and support to people with disabilities across the life course including children with developmental delays or disabilities. The NDIS is overseen by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Early Connections – Coffs Coast (Special Needs Support Group Inc.) is a registered and approved NDIS provider and is currently delivering services for children and families in the Coffs Coast region. This will continue under the NDIS when it rolls out here in July 2017. We will be working closely with NDIA to assist you to create an overall plan to address your child’s and family’s support needs and your goals and aspirations. Once you have a plan we can help you to identify and take action on the things that will make the greatest difference for your child and your family.

Who Can Access The NDIS?

You may be able to access NDIS funding if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your child has a developmental delay or disability that affects their ability to take part in everyday activities or affects their development
  • Your child is an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen who holds a Protected Special Category Visa
  • You are currently receiving services & support with us here at Early Connections – Coffs Coast. All communication from NDIS indicates that currently enrolled children WILL receive a package.

How Do I Know If I'm Eligible?

Use the Checklist to find out if you are able to receive assistance from the NDIS, and what the next steps are. For eligible residents of the Coffs Coast region your existing funding and supports will continue. These will remain in place until the NDIS is introduced to your area.

How Does It Work?

If you are eligible for the NDIS, you will receive funding on an annual basis to purchase the supports, services, aids and equipment that you have been assessed as needing. In addition, you can choose either to self-manage your own funds, in which case you make claims to NDIS personally, or you can request that Early Connections – Coffs Coast to do it on your behalf. As individual circumstances, conditions or needs change, families will be able to apply to have their funding plans adjusted accordingly.

I Live In The Coffs Coast? What Does This Mean For Me?

  • Early Connections – Coffs Coast is located in the heart of Coffs Harbour. We service the entire region from Nambucca to Middle Rock. This region will commence under the NDIS in July 2017.
  • We operate a flexible service. This means that our supports and services can be located/ conducted just about anywhere – home, school, preschool, Early Childhood setting, etc
  • Our existing service will continue to be funded by the State and Federal Government until July 2017.
  • Most of what we do will be similar to the way that we work now.
  • You will have more choices and flexibility as to how often you can receive a service from Early Connections – Coffs Coast.
  • We will keep you updated with information as it becomes available.

What Services Can I Access Under The NDIS Through Early Connections - Coffs Coast

We provide a range of support services to children 0 – 8 years old with a disability or developmental delay. Our services include:

  • A key worker for each family
  • A teamwork approach which involves staff from many different disciplines (speech therapy, occupational therapy, teaching, psychology, physiotherapy and social work) all able to offer support to you directly or via your key worker
  • Home visiting services from your key worker who will be an experienced therapist or teacher with specialised knowledge about children with disabilities or developmental delays
  • Visits to early childhood education and care services to support the inclusion of your child
  • Information and advice about your child’s needs and other services that may be relevant for you
  • Specialised group programs such as Hanen Programs
  • Coordination with other service providers as and when necessary
  • The NDIS would replace Helping Children with Autism and Better Start funding as this money would be included in your package.

I'm Currently Receiving Services and Support from Early Connections - Coffs Coast. What Will The NDIS Mean for me?

Early Connections – Coffs Coast will work alongside government as they have developed the NDIS, and will play an active role in the transition from current arrangements to the new scheme. We understand that undergoing a change this big can be challenging, so we will work with you to ensure that the transition to NDIS is tailored to your family’s needs. During the transition you can be assured that we will maintain our commitment to our vision: Every child develops meaningful relationships, participates and learns with the encouragement and understanding of their families, carers, educators and communities. This means that if we currently provide services to your child we will make sure your voice and choices are heard, and that we will continue to partner with you to develop personalised plans and goals that reflect your child’s needs.

Do I Need To Do Anything?

Early Connections – Coffs Coast will keep in regular contact with you from now on to keep you informed on the NDIS roll-out. In the meantime, we recommend you start gathering your documentation such as diagnosis reports, therapy reports etc and ideas about what you want for your child.

I'm Currently With Another Service Provider. What Will NDIS Mean For Me?

Increased flexibility and choice is what is encouraged under the NDIS. This means that many people can access different support from many services. To change discuss your options and choices please call us on 02 6652 8080.

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