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If your child has been diagnosed with a disability or have delays that impact their ability to participate in home, social and community life, they may be eligible for government support. The Cairns ECEI Team can help with this guide to access funding for your child from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

What happens first?

Your child first needs to meet the requirements to access the NDIS. To utilise the supports from an Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Coordinator, your child should be between 0-6 years of age (see Mission Australia website for children over the age of 6). The NDIS process can take some time as we help you gather evidence to support their application. This evidence can include an official diagnosis from your child’s paediatrician, assessments from allied health professionals (such as speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists and physiotherapists), letters from school or day care educators and even observations completed by members of our ECEI team.

We will help you collate this evidence to ensure your child’s application is as strong as possible. We’ll support you to contact the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to register the application.

What happens when my child’s application is approved?

When your child has met the requirements to access the NDIS, one of our ECEI team members will contact you to arrange an appointment. These appointments can take in excess of two hours, depending on your child’s needs and goals.

We have some processes that we follow during these appointments, but most of the time is for you to share your observations and what you and your child would like to work towards. Afterwards, we may call or email you to clarify some information, and we may ask for your permission to observe your child at daycare or school. We try to establish a clear picture of your child to ensure that we can make accurate recommendations for them.


The next part for you and your family is to wait. Your ECEI Coordinator prepares a detailed report to support funding recommendations for your child. Every child’s plan is unique and individually tailored to their needs, circumstances and goals. The finished plan is then sent to the NDIA for approval.

What happens when the plan is approved?

When your child’s plan has been approved, your ECEI Coordinator will contact you to arrange another face-to-face meeting or a phone call. You will be guided through the plan in detail and shown how to access the NDIS portal to utilise your child’s funding. We will answer any questions you have, and will continue to support you throughout the period of your child’s plan.

No question is too silly, no concern is too great. We are here to support you.
Contact your local ECEI team on 1800 860 555, or email us on