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Giving children with a disability a fairer go

Hispanic boy in wheelchair

Melbourne: The Andrews Labor Government is supporting hundreds more children with a disability by bridging the gap while they wait to enter the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos on March 27 announced $9.7 million to fund an extra 741 new Early Childhood Intervention Services places for Victorian kids, giving them support ahead of the full NDIS rollout in 2019, a press release said.

Early Childhood Intervention Services support families and children with special needs from birth to school entry, with services like speech and physical therapy, behaviour management, school transitioning or help with learning, sleep or feeding.

These services build on those already available through Maternal and Child Health Centres, childcare and kindergarten.

At the moment, almost 8,000 children in Victoria access Early Childhood Intervention Services support.

Victorian funded Early Childhood Intervention Services are currently transitioning to the NDIS, area by area, between July 2016 and June 2019.

Young children with disabilities and their families also receive assistance in understanding what the NDIS means for them and help transferring to the scheme through the Department of Education and Training.

The Labor Government is ensuring all people with a disability get the best support possible.

By 2019, Victoria will be investing $2.5 billion per year into the NDIS. For more information about the NDIS rollout in Victoria and the transition of services, visit vic.gov.au/ndis.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos said, “We’re giving more kids, more access to the right services – that’s only fair. Early intervention and support can make all the difference in transforming the lives of Victorians with disabilities and setting them up for the future, as well as having a positive impact on their families and carers.

“We’re ensuring more kids who are deemed eligible but waiting for an Early Childhood Intervention Services place now have a supported pathway into the scheme – and the opportunity to succeed in life.”

(TIW)

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