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Firstchance and the NDIS

Firstchance welcomes the potential that the NDIS brings to ensure that families receive the supports they need to ensure their quality of life, now and into the future.

Firstchance will play a vital role in the introduction of the NDIS in NSW as the first early childhood intervention service to transition to the scheme.

We look forward to being able to continue to provide quality, specialised supports to even more children/young people and their families.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Please note that the information provided below may change as the NDIS changes and develops. We will update information as soon as we are aware of any changes.

What is the difference between the NDIS and the NDIA?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is known as NDIS. It is basically the legislation that was passed by the government to set up the Scheme to support people with a disability.

The National Disability Agency is known as NDIA. It is the government organisation which makes the NDIS happen. NDIA employs a range of staff to support people with a disability and their families to plan for their life and provides the funding to support this to happen.

Do I need to register for the NDIS?

To confirm whether your child is eligible for services as part of NDIS please contact NDIA on phone 1800 800 110. If eligible, and you are living in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie (LGA), you need to first register with NDIA before receiving services from Firstchance.

How can Firstchance assist me with the NDIS process?

If you are eligible and you currently receive support from Firstchance we can provide you with information about what these services are called under NDIA. We can also help you to prepare for your planning meeting with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

How will NDIS affect the services I receive from Firstchance?

Once you are part of NDIS they will allocate you funds to purchase Early Intervention Services. You can then purchase these services from Firstchance. It’s up to you to decide which of the services you would like to receive from Firstchance.

My child/young person is already enrolled with Firstchance – will my family receive the same services as they are receiving now?

It is up to you to decide which services your child/young person needs when you meet with your NDIA planner. You might choose to purchase services that are very similar to those that your child/young person currently receives, or you may like to consider some of our other services – we’re happy to have a chat about the options available for your family.

My child already receives funding through a BetterStart or Helping Children with Autism package. What does this mean for NDIS?

If you are only receiving BetterStart or Helping Children with Autism funding, you will be notified by the Commonwealth Government Service when you need to transition to NDIS. At present you can continue with this funding until:

  1. your child turns 7 years of age. OR
  2. your funding is spent.

Please be aware that if you choose the second option, NDIA will not provide any additional funds for your child for other services.
If you already receive other services with Firstchance these will be transitioned across to NDIA. We suggest that you first register with NDIS and look at what other types of support your child is eligible for under NDIA.

What budget will be allocated to spend on services for my child?

Planners employed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) will assess your child/young person’s needs and determine an allocation of funds for you to access the support your child and family requires.

How much will Firstchance support services cost?

Firstchance charges are in accordance with the fee schedule set by NDIA.

Who do I contact to find out more?

Linda Rolland – Program Manager
(02) 4910 3130
Additional Resources
National Disability Insurance Scheme website – http://www.ndis.gov.au/

Services and Supports offered by Firstchance under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Firstchance can provide a range of services as part of the NDIS.

To make it easier for you we have used the same wording that National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) uses to describe supports and then explained what you can expect from Firstchance. We have put these under 3 headings:

  1. Early Childhood Intervention Supports
  2. Support for School Aged Children/Young People
  3. Parent training & education programs

Early Childhood Intervention Supports

Early Childhood Intervention (0-9 years)

These supports are classified under the Improved Living Skills Bundle. They include transdisciplinary early childhood intervention supports, therapy supports, specialised group early childhood interventions, Parent/Carer supports Transdisciplinary Early Childhood Interventions

This package includes support by a ‘primary service provider’ from Firstchance who will be your main point of contact and service provision. They will also coordinate the involvement of other professionals in the team in your home and in your community as required.

Firstchance employs a team of highly trained professionals including Early Childhood Intervention Educators, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Family Workers and a Physiotherapist. The combination of professionals will be matched to your child’s needs.

A major benefit of the Transdisciplinary Early Childhood Interventions package is the flexibility of support available from a range of professionals.

As a long standing early childhood intervention provider in the Hunter, all Firstchance team members have extensive experience in working with children aged 0-9 years (paediatrics) and with working as part of a team to support families.

Therapeutic Supports

Therapeutic supports are to assist your child to gain skills and improve their independence in areas such as language and communication, sensory, mobility and movement, toileting, holding a pencil or knife and fork, getting dressed etc.

Therapeutic supports are available from our highly skilled allied health professionals including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech Pathology.
All Firstchance therapy staff have experience in working with children with a disability or developmental concern.

Therapy and assessment sessions can take place in your home and/or at your child’s educational setting or at our service.

Specialised assessment of skills, abilities and needs

Firstchance employs early childhood educators and allied health professionals who are trained and experienced in providing specialised assessment to determine your child’s strengths and needs which can then be used to guide the support for your child.

Firstchance uses a play based assessment model which is best practice for engaging and working with children.

Transition to school support

Our staff are qualified and have experience in supporting families to plan for their child to transition to school. We can support your family with a range of options including exploring the school choices in your community, accompanying you to school visits, assisting schools to include your child and the development of strategies to support your child to settle in their new school environment.

Support for School Aged Children/Young People

Assistance in coordinating life stages, transitions and supports

Firstchance has been running the successful Strengthening Families program in the Lake Macquarie area for over 7 years. We are excited to be able to extend this program into the Newcastle and Port Stephens areas.

Our team are highly trained and experienced in listening to families to identify their strengths, the areas that they would like to change and what is needed to help this change happen. We will listen to you and work with you to develop a realistic plan of action to meet your needs.

Participation in community, social and civic activities

Depending on the supports you have available to you as part of your NDIA package our team can offer transdisciplinary or individual therapy options such as: Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy to meet your child’s individual needs. We also have Family Workers who can support you.

Our team will work with you to achieve your goals. Supports may take place in your home, school, or a community venue such as a park or shopping centre in order to best work on your goals. We can also support your child to attend swimming lessons.

Parent training & education programs

Parenting training relating to disability:

Firstchance has experience with offering a wide range of parenting training programs specifically targeted to support parents and carers of children with disabilities.
Our focus is to support and assist you in your parenting/caring role by providing training programs to match your needs and interests to better understand your child’s disability and how to support their development.

Our staff are trained in facilitating evidence based programs including:

  • Hanen (speech and language development)
  • Circle of Security
  • Parents as Case Coordinators
  • Chronic Sorrow
  • 1,2,3 Magic
  • Tuning into Kids
  • Triple P

We can also offer training for carers and others in behaviour management strategies and augmentative communication strategies.

Parent training programs are run as a group so you also get to meet other families with similar life experiences. A minimum number of registrations are required to run a program.

More Information

For more information on any of these services, please contact
Linda Rolland, Program Manager
(02) 4910 3130