This literature review was commissioned by the Office for Children and Early Childhood Development, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), as part of its Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS) Reform Project (Stage 2): Developing Options and Next Steps. This Project aims to significantly enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of Victoria’s ECIS system and improve outcomes for children with a disability or developmental delay and their families.
Early childhood intervention services (ECIS) support children with a disability or developmental delay from birth to school entry and their families. ECIS provides special education, therapy, counselling, service planning and coordination, assistance and support to access services such as kindergarten and child care. The services funded through DEECD are provided by government Specialist Children's Services teams and non-government Early Childhood Intervention agencies. In addition to the services provided by ECIS teams and agencies, the state and federal governments fund a range of complementary programs to support young children with developmental disabilities and their families. These include initiatives to support families (My Time parent groups, Family Support Packages), services to support inclusion (Preschool Field Officers, Inclusion Support Facilitators), and funding to support particular disability groups (Helping Children with Autism packages). These additional services and supports, together with the ECIS teams and agencies, make up the totality of early childhood intervention provision for young children with disabilities.
The focus of the literature review is research on contemporary Australian and international evidence-based service delivery models for children with a disability, developmental delay or additional needs aged 0-8 years.