Funding for Illoura Early Childhood Intervention Services

EXTRACT FROM PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES HANSARD

 CONSTITUENCY QUESTIONS

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Mr WELLS (Rowville) — (Question 377) My constituency question is for the Minister for Families and Children. My question to the minister relates to the rollout of the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS), which is due to begin on 1 July 2016.

My understanding is that the NDIS will not be in place right across Victoria on l July 2016 but that it will be gradually rolled out across the state from that date. Illoura Early Childhood Intervention Services in the city of Knox will be affected by the rollout of NDIS, so it is important that its concerns are heard by the minister and relayed in her discussions with her federal counterpart. If parents living in Knox are to receive NDIS funding for their children after 1 July 2016 as part of a later rollout, it is important that funding for Illoura continues until the NDIS is fully implemented.

Can the minister give an assurance, firstly, that no children’s disability services funding will be cut before parents have access to sufficient NDIS funding to choose an equal or better service for their child, and secondly, that the minister has had discussions with her federal counterpart to seek this assurance?

UPDATE ON 14th AUGUST 2015
Answer:

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is due to commence full scheme rollout in Victoria from 1 July 2016.

Children with a disability or developmental delay, being funded for early childhood intervention services (ECIS) through the Department of Education and Training (the Department), will have streamlined access to the NDIS and be supported through existing block-funding arrangements until the NDIS commences in the area in which they live.

Illoura ECIS is operated by Knox City Council. I am advised that the Department has been informed that Knox City Council is considering ceasing ECIS delivery in light of the Federal Government’s implementation of the NDIS. Feedback can be provided online via the Council’s website until 11 August 2015. I encourage you to speak to Knox City Council about their decision.

Should Knox City Council decide to cease provision of ECIS the Department will work closely with the Council to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for families and children to other ECIS providers.

If an ECIS community service organisation decides to cease provision, the Department has developed processes to ensure every child continues to receive an ECIS service.

As ECIS transitions to the NDIS, the Andrews Labor Government will continue to fund local ECIS providers. This is why in the 2015-16 State Budget we have included $9 million for 150 ECIS places and 150 flexible support packages.