The National Rural and Remote Support Service (NRRSS) supported therapists were registered and those that intended to register as Early Intervention Services Panel provider members with the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS). Funding for early intervention therapy was available from the from the following two DSS administered programs:
- Better Start for Children with a Disability (Better Start) Initiative
- Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) Package
Allied health peadiatric specialists are trained, skilled and experienced in working with eligible children with one or more of the disabilities listed under the Better Start and the HCWA programs. Better Start and HCWA fund the delivery of early intervention services that improve cognitive, emotional, physical and social development in the child’s first seven years. Improvement of these skills contributes to optimal development of children with disability or developmental delay.
The child’s ability to be part of family and community life is enhanced by the provision of relevant information, education and family centred support services to the children, parents, carers and families by early intervention specialists.
With support through the NRRSS, the therapist is able to connect with other rural allied health colleagues, share information, participate in e-training and access the results of research.