How can my child access the NDIS?

Your child’s pathway to enter into and access the NDIS will depend on a number of factors.

The first step to accessing the NDIS is meeting the eligibility criteria. 

Eligibility factors are:

  • place of residence and citizenship status

To be eligible for the NDIS your child must live in a NDIS roll out area and also be:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • the holder of a permanent visa, or
  • the holder of a Protected Special Category Visa.
  • their age
    • 0 -6 years old
    • 7-18 years old, and
  • their needs
    • developmental delay
    • diagnosed disability, and
  • whether they currently receive disability supports
    • currently receives disability support 
    • doesn’t currently receive disability supports and never has, and 
    • doesn’t currently receive disability supports but used to.


My child is 0 – 6 years old, how can they access the NDIS?

What is the ECEI approach?

The NDIS has developed the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach to assist children 0-6 years of age with developmental delay or disability. The ECEI approach is a tried and tested method and acknowledges that children have special needs that require different support to adults.

Who will work with my family so we can access the NDIS when my child is 0-6 years old?

To deliver the ECEI approach, the NDIS has partnered with early childhood organisations, known as an Early Childhood Partner. The Early Childhood Partner is the point of contact for parents who feel their child has developmental delay or disability.

Depending on your child’s needs the Early Childhood Partner may refer your child to mainstream and community services, and monitor your child’s progress.

If the Early Childhood Partner determines that your child is best supported by a NDIS plan, they will request NDIS access for your child. Once this is confirmed,
the Early Childhood Partner will develop your child’s plan.

The Early Childhood Partners in Victoria are:

  • Barwon – Barwon Child, Youth and Family
  • Central Highlands – Latrobe Community Health Service
  • Inner Eastern Melbourne – Link Health and Community
  • Inner Gippsland – Link Health and Community
  • Loddon – Intereach
  • North Eastern Melbourne – Brotherhood of St Laurence
  • Outer Eastern Melbourne – Link Health and Community
  • Ovens Murray: Merri Community Health Service
  • Wimmera South West: Latrobe Community Health Service
My child is 7-18 years old with diagnosed disability, what will their NDIS pathway be?

If your child is 7-18 years of age with a diagnosed disability, then they will progress through to the NDIS access and eligibility process. They will have a NDIS planning meeting with the NDIS Planner or a Local Area Coordinator (LAC). Then they will receive a NDIS plan.


My child has developmental delay, how do they access the NDIS?

If your child has developmental delay, they will need to meet the following criteria for early intervention to access the NDIS:

  • the developmental delay results in a mental or physical impairment or a combination of both, and
  • results in substantial reduction in functional capacity in one or more of the following areas of major life activity:
    • self-care (e.g. ability to dress, feed, toilet etc.)
    • receptive and expressive language (e.g. ability to understand and speak language)
    • cognitive development (e.g. intelligence, ability to learn at kindergarten etc.)
    • motor development (e.g. coordination, muscle control etc.), and
  • results in the need for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services that are of extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.

Your child’s doctor, paediatrician, maternal health care nurse or allied health clinician can do assessments and provide evidence that your child has developmental delay. Yooralla has a team of specialists who can also assist you and your child with assessments.

My child has diagnosed disability, how do they access the NDIS?

If your child has a disability that is listed on the NDIS website then there is no need to meet early intervention criteria as your child has a confirmed disability and is likely to be eligible for the NDIS.

Whether they currently receive disability supports

My child already receives disability support, so what do I do now?

If your child has a diagnosed disability or developmental delay, and is currently receiving funded disability support, then your child should automatically transition to the NDIS and you do not need to contact the NDIS. They will contact you. However, if you are unsure about whether this applies to your child, you can contact the NDIS up to six months before it is available in your local area.

Those disability support funding programs may include:

  • Early Childhood Intervention Service (ECIS)
  • Help for Children with Autism (HCWA)
  • Better Start
  • shared supported accommodation (SSA)
  • Individual Support Package (ISP)
  • respite, and
  • student transport.

If your child is under seven years old and is receiving Better Start and HCWA funding, and no other funding such as ECIS, contact the NDIS or Early Childhood Partner at the time of NDIS roll out in your area to confirm if your child will automatically transition.

Read more about how to prepare for your child’s planning meeting in Yooralla’s free guide to the NDIS for your child.

My child is not currently accessing support for their developmental delay or disability, what should I do?

If you do not currently access disability services, but you believe your child meets the eligibility criteria, then your point of contact, after the rollout date of the NDIS in your local area, is the Early Childhood Partner in your community.

If your child is older (well into primary school or in secondary school), the NDIS will provide you with an Access Request Form that you will need to fill in. Yooralla has developed a booklet to assist with that process, a guide to Accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

My child used to receive funded support but they don’t now, what should I do?

It is likely your child will not be known to the NDIS and will not be in the group of children who will automatically transition to the NDIS.

In this case, we recommend that you contact the NDIS or the Early Childhood Partner in your area to discuss the best options to support your child.

When is the NDIS coming to our area?

Find out when when the NDIS is rolling out across Victoria.


For NDIS enquiries or to purchase services using NDIS funding, please contact us:

Phone: 1800 966 725

To find out more about  the NDIS, please contact our Community Engagement team:

Phone: 03 9666 4500

Stay informed on the NDIS!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Personal Details

Sign up to receive stories and updates