The Early Childhood Approach

Assisting children who have a developmental delay or disability

graphic of leaves
Intereach is an Early Childhood Partner delivering The Early Childhood Approach (formerly Early Childhood Early Intervention) to assist children younger than nine years old who may have a developmental delay or disability, and their families/carers. The approach supports children and their families in developing the skills they need to participate in daily activities and achieve the best possible outcomes throughout their lives.

For the latest information about the NDIS, please visit

The early childhood approach provides families with Early Connections, including information about the supports and services available in their local community to help their child achieve their goals. The type of support provided is about what is best for the child and family. This might include:

  • Information and linkages to help the family access supports and services available in their local community;
  • Short-term early intervention supports if this is the best way to support the child (short-term early interventions is now known as Early Supports);
  • Building the family’s capacity and confidence to support their child; and
  • Where the child may require longer-term early childhood intervention supports, help to request access to the NDIS (the scheme).

Once a child has access to the scheme, the ECA Coordinator will work with the family to develop a plan that supports the child’s goals, explain the plan and support the family to link with their choice of providers. This process is outlined within the ECA Service Guidelines.

The service is guided by the National Early Years Learning Framework, Early Childhood Approach, ECA Best Practice Guidelines and NDIA legislation, guidelines and work practices. All ECA Coordinators are professionals with relevant training and qualifications who understand child development.

To learn more about the Early Childhood referral process   click here


how-can-we-help-576×576 quote icon in teal rectangle

"It's the perfect plan for Lachlan"

Kelly - ECA participant's mum

The Early Childhood Approach. How does it work?

The Intereach Early Childhood Approach team will need to discuss any concerns you have about your child’s development. You can contact us if you have any concerns about your child’s development. Families meet with an Intereach ECA Coordinator to determine the best supports for your child and family. We do this by acknowledging that as parents and carers you know your child best. We concentrate on understanding what your child can do.

Things discussed may include:

  • Understanding the goals you have for your child.
  • Connecting you with activities in your local community such as playgroups and parent support groups.
  • Connecting you with mainstream services including health services such as a child health nurse, community health, and education settings such as childcare, kindergarten or preschool.
  • Connections to practical information to help you understand your child’s development and their needs.
  • Connections with other families for peer support.
  • Connections to early supports, to build capacity in you and your child to promote everyday learning. Children younger than 6 do not need a diagnosis to get support from an early childhood partner where there are concerns about their development.
  • Support to apply to the NDIS, if you decide to apply on your child’s behalf.
Where is it available?

Early Childhood Approach services are available across the Murrumbidgee, Mallee, Loddon and Goulburn health districts.