Better Start

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

What is the Better Start program?

- Better Start logos

The 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 and support families with transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).


Access to Better Start

  • Due to the NDIS rollout across NSW registrations for Better Start funding in NSW is now closed. 

  • Access to Medicare rebates through the Better Start for Children with Disability initiative is still available. Children under the age of thirteen with an eligible diagnosis can access Better Start Medicare items for up to four diagnostic / assessment services and up to twenty treatment sessions. You do not need to be registered with Better Start to use these Medicare items. Talk to your GP for more information and to develop a treatment and management plan. 

    Medicare items – Better Start for Children with Disability

  • To use any remaining Better Start funding, Early Intervention Service Providers must be chosen from the Department of Social Services (DSS) Better Start Early Intervention Service Provider Panel


What now?

The Better Start team at Carers NSW can help support your family with referrals, resources and information to access the NDIS, specifically within the 0-12 year age range. There are a number of ways to access the NDIS and the Better Start team can provide support to navigate the NDIS, and information on:

  • the Early Childhood Early Intervention pathway (ECEI) with ECEI partners in NSW 
  • the Local Area Coordinator (LAC) pathway and how to apply
  • resources available to prepare for your NDIS planning meeting or review
  • how to ask for a review of your current plan
  • how to make a complaint; and
  • free group information sessions (Early Days Moving Forward Workshops) across NSW on the NDIS and navigating the education system for a child with a disability.
  • Useful Links is an information guide that has been developed for parents and carers

If you would like further information call 02 9280 4744 to talk with a Better Start team member or Email:

If you require a translator or interpreter you may access our service via the National Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service. For more information, visit:


Better Start Online Workshops May and June 2020

The Better Start team are holding a number of free online sessions via Zoom throughout May and June 2020. The sessions are designed for parents and carers of children 0-12 years with disability or developmental delay who are looking for support with starting or using their child's existing NDIS plan more effectively.

May sessions:

Wednesday 20 May 2020

4.30pm - 6.00pm

Friday 22 May 2020

11am - 12.30pm

Tuesday 26 May 2020

11am - 12.30pm

Thursday 28 May 2020

4.30pm - 6.00pm

June sessions:

Wednesday 3 June 2020

4.30pm - 6.00pm

Friday 5 June 2020

11.00am - 12.30pm

Tuesday 9 June 2020

11.00am - 12.30pm

Thursday 11 June 2020

4.30pm - 6.00pm

To register for any of these sessions please email or call the Better Start team on 02 9280 4744

Early Days Moving Forward Workshops

The Early Days Moving Forward workshop has been developed for parents and guardians of children with disability aged 0 – 12 years who are seeking information on the ECEI and NDIS pathways, planning processes and tools.

The focus of the workshop is to enable parents and guardians to better support their child through these transition periods while learning more about the systems, therapies and supports available for their child as a participant in mainstream services, school, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. They are also designed to allow opportunities for families to discuss and share experiences, challenges and aspirations for the future with other families and provide practical information on family advocacy and inclusiveness. Early Days Moving Forward workshops are free to attend and include morning tea and lunch.

Translating and Interpreting services are available for all workshops.




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