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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 in exceptional circumstances 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.

While the department provides ECDPs 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.

Continued funding for ECDPs

The Queensland Government will continue to fund ECDPs beyond 2020. The funding was announced in the 2019–20 State Budget in June 2019. Read the ECDP fact sheet (PDF, 220KB) for more information.

ECDPs play a different but complementary role to National Disability Insurance Scheme Early Childhood Early Intervention (NDIS ECEI) supports, and to kindergartens.

ECDPs 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.

Eligible children can also access NDIS ECEI supports and services.

For more information about accessing an ECDP or service, contact your local regional office.

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

Relevant resources

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Last updated 12 June 2019