Early Childhood Early Intervention

Early childhood early intervention (ECEI) is therapies, learning activity, and other community support for children under seven years with a disability, developmental delays and autism.

ECEI gives children the support they need to grow, thrive, reach their full potential, and participate in their communities. It also helps families support their children’s development.

How ECEI PHASE services look like

ECEI services provide individualised programs for children under seven years with a disability, developmental delay, or autism. These services support children’s families too.

A high-quality ECEI service:

  • considers and respect your family’s needs and circumstances when making decisions about your child’s learning and development
  • helps you and your family develop skills and strategies to support your child
  • supports your child to take part in and learn through everyday activities in familiar places
  • ensures that everyone is working together in your child’s best interests.

Consideration and respect for your family’s needs and circumstances

Parents, Carers and Informal Supports are the most important and influential people in your child’s life. This means it’s essential for ECEI services to think about what works for you when they’re working with you on a program of therapies and support for your child.

High-quality ECEI services and professionals will want to learn about your family, routines and interests, and what you enjoy doing with your child. This helps them:

  • build therapy suggestions of the activities you’re already doing well or enjoy – for example, if your child enjoys going to the local park, your child’s therapist could join you there to work with your child while they play
  • meet the needs of all family members – for example, they might suggest therapy activities that include your other children’s interests
  • make therapy appointments at times and in places that work for you – for example, they might shift positions, so you don’t need to leave work early
  • Work closely with your child’s School, Early Childhood teachers and can even arrange visits to observe your child in their school environment.
  • check that things are working well – for example, they’ll ask how you feel about how things are going in your work together and adjust their approach if needed.

To understand what works for your family, high-quality ECIE services and professionals must respect family diversity. This means that services and professionals appreciate:

  • your family’s religious and cultural background, values, beliefs, and languages
  • your family’s parenting arrangements, whether you’re raising children as a blended family, co-parenting family, single-parent family, LGBTIQ+ family and so on
  • gender diversity in your family, including respect for your and your child’s gender and preferred pronouns
  • your family’s choices, like where you live, whether your house is tidy or what your child is wearing
  • your family’s circumstances – for example, parents with intellectual disability or parenting as a teenager.


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