Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) is for children aged 0-6 who have a developmental delay or disability. The idea of the scheme is to provide timely and individualised short-term support for children and their families. If the child is deemed eligible for the NDIS, then the ECEI partner, will help to facilitate the transition.

In the Illawarra, Lifestart is the ECEI partner.

If you have a child who you think is eligible, you can contact Lifestart and be placed on a waitlist. When it is time fo your assessment, you will need to bring any completed letters from healthcare professionals, outlining delays and/or concerns. Its good to note that these meetings generally go for a few hours.

When the meeting comes around, you will be required to answer a questionnaire to assess capacity, along with identify concerns and/or delays in the following areas;

  • Physical development – gross motor skills, fine motor skills, sensory processing
  • Cognitive development – memory, attention span, knowing colours/numbers, identifying key people, safety awareness, concrete thinking styles
  • Language and Communication skills – how does the child communicate – KWS, verbal, gestures etc. speech clarity, ability to express own needs, receptive skills, following instructions, structuring sentences
  • Self-care skills – eating, feeding, are they a fussy eater? Sleeping patterns, dressing, toileting, brushing teeth/hair, bathing etc.
  • Emotional development – understanding own emotions, understanding others emotions, self-regulation skills, tantrums – what do they look like, responding appropriately to being told no, or to wait their turn etc.
  • Social skills – sharing, waiting, turn-taking, initiating play, eye-contact, ability to separate from parents, negotiating, pretend play, do they have friends, parallel play or ignore kids etc.


Not all individuals will be deemed eligible for the ECEI supports, so if this is the case, they will be linked in with mainstream and community supports. Others may be transitioned straight into the NDIS.

If you need anymore information or clarification, please contact us - 1300 554 260.

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