Better Start

We are a registered provider for the Better Start for Children with Disability program through the Department of Social Services. This government initiative recognises the need for early intervention and aims to provide funding to children that have been diagnosed with:

  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • A moderate or greater vision or hearing impairment, including deafblindness
  • Prader Willi syndrome
  • Williams syndrome
  • Angelman syndrome
  • Kabuki syndrome
  • Smith-Magenis syndrome
  • CHARGE syndrome
  • Cornelia de Lange syndrome
  • ‘Cri du Chat syndrome
  • Microcephaly or
  • Rett’s Disorder.

Children who are aged under six years and have been diagnosed with one of these specified disabilities can benefit from early intervention funding of up to $12,000 (up to a maximum of $6,000 per financial year). Families have until their child turns seven to use the early intervention funding.  Our Better Start program offers a range of services including individual therapeutic intervention, hydrotherapy (aquatic physiotherapy), group sessions as well as equipment and resources to eligible children.

Better Start Funding can be used to increase access to early intervention services. For further information on eligibility and how you
can apply for funding please click here.

Early Connections – Port Macquarie & Hastings has qualified professional staff members currently providing the following Better Start services:

Individual Sessions

Individual sessions can be provided by our Speech Pathologists, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist or Psychologist in a range of settings which may include in your home, at our centre, in a community setting such as your child’s preschool or child care centre.

Some families need assistance with getting out and about with their child and so our service may help you to attend places like the park or shopping centre.

Group Sessions

  • Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy groups.

Accessing Better Start Services at Early Connections – Port Macquarie & Hastings

  • After receiving a written conclusive diagnosis of one of the disabilities listed above, contact the Registration and Information Service (RIS), which is operated by Carers Australia on 1800 242 636.
  • Phone our office to register your interest in receiving Better Start services from us.
  • Once you have received your Letter of Introduction from RIS, please call our office to arrange an appointment for an Initial Consultation. Please note that there is a fee for this visit.
  • This Initial Consultation will include developing an Individual Plan with one of our therapists which is an essential requirement of this service.

If you already have access to funding, we would be happy to assist you in deciding which of our programs would best meet the needs of your child.

Please contact our office for further information.

For further information on eligibility and how you can apply for funding please click here.