Early Intervention

What is Early intervention?

Early Intervention provides support for babies and young children who have a developmental delay or disability. It aims to promote the child's development and inclusion.
It plays an important part in the development of children with Down syndrome.

A range of services are available from birth to 6 years of age, including physical therapies and speech and language therapies.

You can receive further information about these services from Specialist Children's Services - brochure

All about disability and early intervention: a video by Raising Children network - In this short video, disability experts talk about what early intervention is, how you get it and what it aims to do. They say it’s important to start early, but it’s also never too late to start. They talk about choosing a service provider and funding options. A parent describes her experience with early intervention.

Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS) Department of Education and Early Childhood Development - families can self refer or may be referred by professionals such as paediatricians or early childhood nurses.

Waitlisted for Early Intervention?

Some areas have long waiting lists for Early Intervention services so we recommend that you contact the Intake Worker at Specialist Children's Services as soon as possible to put your name down for a service in your area (see list of numbers below).

Pathways - Raising Children Network have visual path overviews, the diagram on 'While you're waiting for Early Intervention' may be useful whilst on a waitlist.

Better Start - The Better Start for Children with Disability initiative provides funding for early intervention services. All children with a confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome, including those with mosaic Down syndrome, are eligible for Better Start funding. The funding is designed to suppliment existing Commonwealth and State and Territory government services, it is not intended to replace or reduce disability support services that are provided in each jurisdiction. Better Start funding can be used to access services from Better Start providers whilst on a waitlist for Early Intervention services. We recommend that you register for Better Start as soon a possible, even if you are intending not to utilise it straight away.

Useful links

Making a start: Building support for your child and family - a booklet that aims to help families understand what support is available and how to make informed choices for their child and family. Hard copies of the booklet can be made available to families free of charge by contacting Carers Victoria on 1800 242 636

Down Syndrome Education Online - Overview of development of infants with Down syndrome 0-5years.

ECIS Intake contact numbers:
  • North Eastern Victoria - Metro: 1300 662 655 / Rural: 1800 627 391
  • North Western Victoria - Metro: (03) 8393 4512 / Rural: 1300 363 514
  • South Eastern Victoria - Metro: 1300 720 151 / Rural: 1300 720 151
  • South Western Victoria - (03) 9291 6500