NDS has strongly advocated for more NDIS commitment to early intervention support funding in the first few years of a child’s life. Therefore we welcome the Commonwealth Government’s announcement on 8 January 2019 that it will provide more than $25 million to deliver front line Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services under the NDIS.The Hon Paul Fletcher MP and the Hon Sarah Henderson MP announced that Wanslea Family Services will be the first NDIS Partner in the community to deliver ECEI services in Western Australia. Full details of the announcement can be found here.This initiative will support the implementation of the NDIS for children aged 0-6 years at a local community level and, in particular, help WA children with a developmental delay or disability to achieve better long-term outcomes.“Wanslea has a long history of more than 70 years ago in providing support for WA families experiencing hardships,” said Julie Waylen, NDS in WA State Manager. Wanslea, like many Western Australian service providers, offer support services to local communities, capitalising on their strong local connections. Improved access to therapeutic supports and assistive technology will help prevent or arrest problems in a child's early life and will ultimately boost their capacity to participate in education, employment and to live a good life in their community. It will also reduce the need for long-term support services and ongoing assistance from families and carers. Providing quality NDIS services early in a child’s life is critical to reducing the possible need for longer-term intervention. Wanslea joins Mission Australia and Advanced Personnel Management (APM) as an NDIS partner in the community. The other agencies were appointed by the commonwealth and state governments in December 2018 to provide frontline NDIS services in WA; delivering the scheme’s Local Area Coordination Services (LAC) by supporting people to implement their NDIS plans and access supports in their local communities. Mission Australia is delivering LAC services in the Central North Metro, South East Metro and North East Metro Service Areas while APM operates in the North Metro, Central South Metro, South Metro, South West, Great Southern and Inner Wheatbelt services areas.These organisations are the first point of contact for families trying to work through their child’s eligibility for the NDIS, playing a key role as an NDIS partner in the community to deliver ECEI and/or LAC services. The $25 million investment for NDIA Early Childhood Services in WA is intended to deliver front line ECEI services, helping children and families to engage with the NDIS, understand the role of the scheme in assisting their child’s development, and guide families to appropriate supports. Wanslea will establish ECEI services in Central South Metro, South Metro, South West, Great Southern, South East Metro and Inner Wheatbelt from February 2019. The NDIA has indicated that further consideration will be given to the delivery of ECEI services in the North Metro, Central North Metro and North East Metro service areas. NDS is hopeful that the investment in ECEI in WA will be extended to these areas as well.