How to access the NDIS or find services

The NDIS roll-out process is due to be completed by 30 June 2018 across all regions of NSW. The NDIS rolled-out across NSW was phased such that Year 1 districts commenced from 1 July 2016 and Year 2 districts from 1 July 2017. 

Year 1 districts which rolled out from 1 July 2016 include: 

  • Hunter New England
  • Southern NSW
  • Central Coast
  • Northern Sydney
  • South Western Sydney
  • Western Sydney
  • Nepean Blue Mountains 

Year 2 districts which rolled out from 1 July 2017 include: 

  • Northern NSW
  • Mid North Coast
  • Sydney
  • South Eastern Sydney
  • Illawarra Shoalhaven
  • Murrumbidgee
  • Western NSW
  • Far West

Access to the NDIS for children age 0-6

If the child is under 7 years and lives within one of these districts then their family should contact one of the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Transition Providers that covers the Local Government Area that they live within, which is available on the NDIS ECEI webpage.

Access to the NDIS for children 7 years of age and older

If the child is aged 7 years or older than their family needs to contact the Local Area Coordinator (LAC) for their area. Local Area Coordination in NSW is being delivered by Uniting and St Vincent De Paul Society. 

Contact Uniting about access to the NDIS in the following regions:

  • Illawarra–Shoalhaven
  • Nepean–Blue Mountains
  • Northern Sydney
  • Southern NSW
  • Western Sydney

Contact the St Vincent De Paul Society about access to the NDIS in the following regions:

  • Hunter New England
  • Central Coast
  • South West Sydney
  • Sydney
  • South East Sydney
  • Newcastle, Maitland and Lake Macquarie

Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach

The ECEI Approach is how the NDIS is working with Early Childhood Providers to deliver early childhood intervention for children aged 0-6 years. ECIA has been directly involved with the NDIA in co-designing the key elements that are critical factors for positive outcomes for young children with developmental delay or disability.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has listed the NSW Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Transition Providers on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) website, in a new section of the NDIS website that outlines information on the ECEI approach in NSW for families. The information for families, the list of providers and the Local Government Areas they cover can be viewed by clicking here.

The NDIA has also released several factsheets for families, including 'Accessing supports for my child', which outlines the ECEI Approach and 'Starting your plan'.

The type of supports offered will be different for every child and their family according to their individual needs.

ECEI Approach in NSW

The way the roll out of ECEI is occurring in NSW is different to the way it is rolling out nationally. In NSW a proportion of funding in existing block funding contracts is being extended by the State government disability department (ADHC) in funding ECEI. This arrangement will be in place until 30 June 2018.

For details on the NSW transitional approach to delivering ECEI, please click here.

To view the NDIS ECEI approach, please click here

Individual Funding Plan

Where a child receives an Individual Funding Plan, their family can choose how they would like to manage the funding within the plan. Information on the different plan management options is available at NDIS - Understanding your plan and supports.

Many families choose to access a registered NDIS service provider. More information about how to register as an NDIS service provider can be found in the NDIS - Provider Toolkit.

Information on pricing and payment of NDIS registered providers can be viewed by clicking here.

NDIS Provider Readiness Forums

ECIA NSW/ACT in partnership with the National Disability Insurance Agency, the Department of Family & Community Services, Ageing, Disability and Home Care, and National Disability Services will be holding a series of NDIS Provider Readiness Forums that focus on the essential information that providers will need to ensure they are ready to operate under the NDIS, the forums will cover:

  • Doing business with the NDIA as a registered provider
  • Participant phasing and funding transition update
  • Updates on emerging and critical policy developments
  • Q&A with key representatives from the NDIA, FACS, ECIA and NDS

Forums will be held across NSW with presentations and topics catering to the differing issues relevant to providers across the age spectrum.

Early Childhood Intervention Review: Nepean Blue Mountains/Hunter Trial Sites

Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT commissioned the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) to conduct research into the delivery of Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services in the context of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) roll out in the Nepean Blue Mountains (NBM) and Hunter regions in New South Wales. The research was funded through the NDIS Sector Development Fund.

The research aimed to develop an understanding of how ECI practice was currently changing in each NSW site, what opportunities existed for implementing ECIA’s Best Practice Guidelines under the NDIS and how ECI best practice developed under and was influenced by the NDIS roll out. It is the first research to examine the transition of a sector and its relations with government and the NDIA, with the goal of improving service quality in the context of the NDIS approach. Its findings have implications for how other sectors might adapt to the new opportunities.

The research report contains a literature review which examines ECI service transition and integration, including research on how ECI operates in other service contexts similar to the NDIS, as well as on families’ and service providers’ perspectives on effective ECI services. The research presents findings in relation to changes in services, collaboration, funding and business models, as well as implications for best practice. Case study examples are also provided throughout the report.

The research reflects ECI provider, private practitioner and a range of education, health and allied health employees who work closely with ECI providers’ experiences of the NDIS in a trial and early roll out site. Therefore, it is anticipated that some of the issues mentioned in the report will be addressed through changes put in place by the NDIA for the wider transition to the NDIS and full implementation, particularly, the Early Childhood Early Intervention approach and through ongoing engagement with the NDIA on policy issues.

The executive summary provides an overview of the findings from the research. In terms of ECI practice, the research highlights the lack of understanding of the Transdisciplinary model amongst families, providers and community partners, the increased visibility of the multiple providers working with families, challenges posed by the costs involved in collaboration and the need to ensure there are clearer understandings on what constitutes inclusion.

Click here to view the report.


In late 2016, ECIA NSW/ACT through a Request for Proposal process selected the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW to conduct an independent research project over a 20 month period focusing on:

1. How families of children are managing with the roll out of the NDIS and what (if any) issues need to be addressed for full scheme roll out.

2. How services are successfully transitioning to the NDIS (to assist other providers and to enable any issues for full scheme roll out to be addressed).

This information will form the basis of a series of reports to ECIA NSW/ACT members, the ECI sector, the NDIA and ADHC, so that we can better inform the sector on the changes and understand the impact of these changes on children, families and services. A copy of the Project Plan for this research is available at this link.

A Reference Group for the Implementation of the NDIS in the ECI Sector Research has been formed and has met on several occasions to inform this research project. The initial surveys and interviews for this project have now concluded and preliminary data will be drawn from this information. The second round of surveys and interviews are due to start in October 2017, allowing for a six month gap to review possible changes from the perspective of service providers and families.

The NDIS in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The NDIS commenced in the ACT on 1 July 2014 with a gradual transition which took place over 3 years. The NDIA and the ACT Government have websites that provide localised information about the trial in the ACT.

In May 2017 EACH Child became the ECEI Partner for the ACT.  For referrals please call 1300 00 EACH (1300 00 3224) or click here to access EACH’s website.  

ACT Child Development Service

The Child Development Service, funded by the ACT Government offers assessment, referral, information and linkages for children 0-6 years where there are concerns relating to the child’s development. The Service also provides Autism assessment for children aged up to 12 years.

The Child Development Service has an Intake Service and provides Drop-In Clinics for parents and other referrers to seek advice, find out if further services are necessary and where these services are available.

Access to speech pathology, occupational therapy, social work, physiotherapy, psychology, Child Health Medical Officers and Community Paediatricians is determined through a comprehensive intake and screening process.

The Child Development Service also assists families by referring, providing information and linking to other services and programs for example, playgroups, parenting programs, health services and housing. This could also include EACH Child the NDIA Early Childhood Early Intervention service partner in the ACT.

Click here to learn more about the Child Development Service.