The National Disability Insurance Scheme

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  Published on Monday, 05 December 2016

The National Disability Insurance Scheme

Library Home  >  Cost of Child CareGovernment Policy & Quality Standards
  Published on Monday, 05 December 2016
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The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a federal scheme which provides support for people with a permanent and significant disability as well as their family and carers.

When fully implemented the NDIS will support around 460,000 Australians under the age of 65 through a variety of services such as assistance with personal care, access to the community, therapy services and essential equipment as well as information and referrals to existing services.

For the families of children with a permanent and significant disability the NDIS makes it easier to access the resources necessary to care for their children in the long term and it facilitates more opportunities for families to exercise choice and control in the decisions surrounding their child's wellbeing.

For people who meet the access requirements, which include having a significant or permanent disability, or a need for early intervention; living in an area where the NDIS has begun; being an Australian citizen, permanent resident of holder of Special Category Visa and be under 65, the NDIS offers a range of support services.

Information and referral
A key objective of the National Disability Support Agency is to provide a single destination for information and referral services for families and carers including:

  • easier access to information about support options
  • referral to relevant disability, mainstream, crisis intervention and community services and supports
  • help to build individual capacity through support such as diagnosis advice, peer support and skills development
  • links to local support groups, clubs, associations, initiatives or programs.

Support to access community services and activities
It can be challenging for people with a disability and their carers to access community services and this can lead to feelings of social isolation. Another goal of the National Disability Support Agency is to remove these barriers and make it easier for disabled people and their carers to access advice and assistance on how to join local support networks and community activities such as social, study, sporting or other groups via a network of local area coordinators.

Individual plans and supports
Eligible participants in NDIS may also receive an individual care and support plan, which may include:

  • personal care to support an individual in their home or the community
  • supports to assist people with disability to enjoy social and community interaction without relying solely on their carers
  • assistance with tasks of daily living, including help to improve a person's ability to do things on their own
  • supported employment services and help for people to move to work programs that prepare people with disability for work
  • carer training to make it easier for unpaid carers to look after their family members
  • services to support the health and wellbeing of carers such as access to support groups.

Early intervention
Early intervention to support people when there is good evidence this will improve function or delay or lessen decline is another important facet of the NDIS.

For information on what this means for preschool aged children read this factsheet: Supports the NDIS will Fund in Relation to Early Childhood about what supports the NDIS will fund in relation to early childhood and how to determine whether a support is funded by the NDIS or the early childhood system.

Funded supports
Depending on the needs of a participant an approved plan may also include funded supports; this may include one-off support to buy an item such as a wheelchair, or ongoing financial support to access disability services. For more information on this read this factsheet on examples of services and support.

The NDIS recognises the important role unpaid carers have in the lives of people with a disability and aims to better support them. As such, parents/carers of children with a disability entering NDIS have an important role in decision making about ongoing support needs, goal setting, assessment and planning for the future.

Under the NDIS everyone has their own individualised plan that is tailored to their support needs and personal circumstances. These services may be of direct and indirect support to carers as well as the child being cared for.

For more information about the role of carers under NDIS and how to access services and support visit the NDIS Family and Carers page.

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Thursday, 01 October 2020

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