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Early childhood development programs

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The department provides early childhood development programs (ECDPs) and services to support children aged 0–5 years with significant educational support needs arising from a diagnosed or suspected disability in the categories of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), hearing impairment, intellectual disability, physical impairment, speech-language impairment and vision impairment.

Regions coordinate the delivery of ECDPs and services to provide early intervention to children who require intensive, multidisciplinary programs to develop skills and behaviours to maximise their participation in schooling.

These programs and services, which suit the local context, may include:

  • centre-based ECDPs that provide direct focused teaching for children with disability
  • ECDPs providing outreach services for children with disability to other educational settings (e.g. Kindergarten and child care services) or within their home
  • early childhood services including specialist teachers providing support to other educational settings or to the child's home—these services may be from an advisory visiting teacher with a specialisation in early childhood special education, hearing impairment, vision impairment or physical impairment.

All children who access ECDPs and services will have an individualised program or service plan developed. The individualised plan will outline the teaching focus and support that is provided to the child.

Where agreed, the ECDP or service, early intervention provider and/or kindergarten will work together with the child's future school to assist the child and their family to make a smooth transition to Prep.

For more information about accessing an early childhood development program or service contact your local regional office.

Schools that have an early childhood development program are listed in the Early childhood development program directory (XLS, 97KB).

It is important to note that whilst the department provides early childhood development programs and/or services, this is not considered an enrolment at a school. Parents/carers will need to enrol their child at their future state or non-state school before their child commences Prep.

Early childhood development programs and/or services are not an approved Kindergarten Program. Children with disability of eligible Kindergarten age who are attending an early childhood development program, are therefore also entitled to register at an approved Kindergarten program.

The Queensland Government has committed to keeping (ECDPs) fully operational until 2020, a year later than the NDIS transition. This will ensure certainty for families transitioning to the NDIS. The future arrangements of ECDPs will be reviewed in 2020.

Relevant resources

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Last updated 03 October 2018