Early Intervention Support for Children with Disabilities
17 May 2011 at 12:17 pm
National peak body Carers Australia has been selected to provide a dedicated registration service to better support parents of children with specific disabilities in accessing early intervention support.
The service is part of the federal government’s Better Start for Children with Disability initiative, which will see $146.5 million invested over four years to help children under six who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, Fragile X syndrome and vision and hearing impairments.
Carers Australia will deliver the new Registration and Information Service from 1 July 2011 with $10.94 million in government funding over four years.
Announcing the funding, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas says this will give parents and carers access to the early intervention funding and information they need to give their child the best possible start in life.
McLucas says the Registration and Information Service will be the entry point for parents to register eligible children for early intervention services and therapies under the Better Start initiative.
Parents can register with Carers Australia over the phone or in person at Registration and Information Service offices based in every capital city and in regional centres.
Under Better Start, eligible children will be able to register to access funding of up to $12,000 (up to a maximum of $6,000 each financial year) for services provided by members of the Better Start Early Intervention Service Provider Panel.
The funding will help parents pay for early intervention services including speech pathology, audiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, orthoptics and others.
Children in outer regional, rural and remote areas will be eligible for an additional one-off payment of $2,000 to help meet the costs of accessing services such as travel and home visits.
In addition to registration, Carers Australia will also provide information to families about the range of other services and support that they may be entitled to access.
For more information on the Better Start initiative, call 1800 989 530 between 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).