Sector News — 28 October 2014

The ACT Government has named six private providers to take over early intervention services for children with a disability or developmental delays.

ACT Government-run services will finish at the end of the year as part of the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Canberra Liberals previously argued private providers would not be ready to take over crucial therapy services and parents also expressed concern about the transition.

The Minister for Disability, Joy Burch, said the chosen providers were a mix of local and interstate services, and their selection would reassure families.

She said the six providers were Northcott, Noah’s Ark, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Autism Spectrum Australia, Each, and SDN Child and Services.

“These six providers absolutely guarantee that their early intervention services will be in place for the beginning of next year,” she said.

“These services will replace programs currently provided by the Education and Training Directorate for children who are not yet enrolled in school.

“Families can choose to access these six services or indeed other providers that they know or are comfortable with for their little ones.”

Ms Burch said the providers would now enter contract negotiations with the National Disability Insurance Agency to work out final arrangements.

“I know that change brings concern and anxiety for families,” she said.

“It’s important to note that these are non-exclusive contracts, which means any other providers wishing to offer early intervention services under the NDIS in the ACT will still be able to do so.”

She said an open day would be held on 17 November at Hedley Beare Centre for Teaching and Learning in Stirling, to allow families to meet the new providers.

The six providers were chosen from nine organisations that submitted compliant tenders.

This article first appeared on ‘ABC‘ on 28 October 2014.

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