NDIS-ECA approach: Frontline workforce perspectives of accessibility for young children

Beth Mozolic-Staunton, Chloe Calder, Janet Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review


Australia has a world-leading early childhood intervention initiative—the Early Childhood Approach (ECA) of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), which aims to minimise the long-term impacts of developmental delay and disability; however, thousands of children that the scheme is intended to support are missing out on crucial early intervention supports or experience difficulty accessing the scheme.

This study explored the factors that impact the accessibility of the ECA NDIS scheme for vulnerable children (aged 0–6) from the perspective of frontline
members of the early childhood professional workforce in urban and regional Australian communities.

A cross-sectional, explanatory survey including Likert scaled and two open-ended exploratory questions was administered to participants
(n = 58).

The majority (55.2%) of respondents reported that children commonly access the ECA at 4–5 years of age and 37.7% reported observing ECA referrals being made 3–6 months after developmental concerns were first identified, with only 10% of respondents reporting referral within 1–2 months. The main barriers identified by respondents included cost, lack of clarity and support of ECA processes and access, limited access to professional services, lack of diagnosis and supporting documentation, parent and caregiver SES, and understanding of the ECA and developmental delay. But the inverse of these barriers promoted the facilitation of ECA access.

It is recommended that early childhood professionals be consulted and engaged in decision making roles informing evolving policy, schemes, and services orientated to supporting early childhood development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-130
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2023
EventOccupational Therapy Australia 30th National Conference and Exhibition - Cairns, Australia
Duration: 21 Jun 202323 Jun 2023
Conference number: 30


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