Better Start

Carers NSW delivers the registration and information service for families accessing the Better Start program.

What is the Better Start program?

- Better Start logosThe Better Start program is an Australian government initiative, funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS), which supports children with disability to improve access to early intervention services to better prepare them for the transition to school.

The Better Star program supports children and their families who have a diagnosis of;

  • Angelman syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • CHARGE syndrome
  • Cornelia de Lange syndrome
  • Cri du Chat syndrome
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Down syndrome
  • Fragile X
  • Kabuki syndrome
  • Microcephaly
  • Moderate or greater vision or hearing impairment
  • Prader Willi syndrome
  • Rett's Disorder (as of 01/02/2014)
  • Smith-Magenis syndrome
  • Williams syndrome


Children who are eligible for the program can access funding of up to $12,000 (maximum of $6,000 per financial year) for a range of early intervention services, including;

  • Audiologists
  • Equipment / resources*
  • Occupational therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Orthoptists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Speech pathologists
  • Teachers of the deaf
  • Teachers of the vision impaired

*A portion of Better Start funding can be allocated to equipment / resources. Equipment / resources must be ordered by an approved provider and cannot exceed the value of $2,100 per financial year ($4,200 in total).

Early intervention specialists must be chosen from the Better Start Early Intervention Service Providers list.

Children must be under six years old to be registered, and families have until the child’s seventh birthday to use early intervention funding.

Can I register for the $12,000 Better Start funding?

  1. Is your child under 6 years of age?
  2. Does your child have a definitive diagnosis of a disability outlined above?
  3. Are you and your child Australian citizens or permanent residents?
If you answered YES to all of these questions, you are encouraged to register for early intervention funding through the Better Start program.


How do I find out more?

Download the Better Start Registration and Information pack, call the Carer Line on 1800 242 636 or email the Better Start team on


Better Start: Moving Forward workshops

The Moving Forward workshops have been developed for parents and guardians of children with disability aged 4 – 7 years, who are preparing for or have recently entered primary school. 

The focus of the workshops is to enable parents and guardians to better support their child through this transition period while learning more about systems, therapies and supports available for their child, when the Better Start funding period concludes.

Moving Forward workshops are free to attend and include morning tea and lunch. Contact the Better Start team on 02 9280 4744 or to find out about upcoming workshops.

Upcoming workshops

Albury - Entertainment Centre (Elizabeth room)

Where: 525 Swift Street, Albury
When: Wednesday 29th March 2017, 10.00am – 2.00pm

Dapto - Dapto Ribbonwood Centre (Laurel room)

Where: 93-109 Princes Highway, Dapto
When: Tuesday 21st March 2017, 10.00am – 2.00pm



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Carers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, Elders past and present and all Aboriginal people.