What is Better Start?

The Better Start for Children with Disability initiative provides funding for early intervention services.

Important: Please refer to the 'contact us' page to understand where Better Start registrations remain open.   

(Click here for information translated into a range of languages)

Children are eligible for the Better Start program if diagnosed with one of the following disabilities: 

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deafblindness
  • Down syndrome, including mosaic Down syndrome
  • Fragile X syndrome with full mutation.
  • Hearing impairment
  • Sight impairment
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Williams syndrome
  • Angelman syndrome
  • Kabuki syndrome
  • Smith-Magenis syndrome
  • CHARGE syndrome
  • Cornelia de Lange syndrome
  • Rett's Disorder
  • Cri du Chat syndrome; or
  • Microcephaly

Each disability included in the Better Start program is subject to an eligibility threshold. These thresholds have been determined by the Department of Social Services.

Children with an eligible diagnosis must register for Better Start before they turn 6 years old. A child will have until they turn 7 to access funding.

Children registered with Better Start can access up to $12,000 (maximum $6,000 per year) to pay for early intervention services. These services include: 

  • audiology
  • occupational therapy
  • orthoptics
  • physiotherapy
  • psychology and
  • speech pathology.

Families living in rural and remote regions

Families living in outer regional or remote areas may be eligible for an additional one-off payment of $2,000.

This payment is to assist with additional expenses associated with accessing services.

For more information about how to register your child with Better Start call your local Carers Association on 1800 242 636, and/or download our information brochure.

Our information brochure is now available in a range of languages:

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