Child Development Service

The ACT Government’s Child Development Service commenced in January 2016 to support families who live in the ACT and have concerns about their child’s development. This may include concerns about a child developing skills slower than others of the same age in areas such as their speech and language, movement, hand skills, self-care, and social development.

What does the Child Development Service offer?

The Child Development Service provides assessment, referral,  information and linkages for children 0-6 years where there are concerns relating to their development. The Service also provides Autism assessment for children aged up to 12 years. Some services are offered for children 0-6 years who are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Children between 7 and 8 years of age with complex needs who have not had a previous assessment by allied health professionals may be eligible to access the Child Development Service for assessment, referral, information and linkages.

The service has an Intake Service and provides Drop-In Clinics which provides a way for parents and other referrers to seek advice, find out if further services are necessary and where these services are available.

Access to speech pathology, occupational therapy, social work, physiotherapy, psychology, Child Health Medical Officers and Community Paediatricians is determined through a comprehensive intake and screening process.

If a child’s needs align with the early intervention or disability eligibility criteria of the NDIS, the Service will refer the child to the NDIS. Children who have been identified with significant delays in their development are able to receive therapy services through the NDIS.

How does the Child Development Service link with other services and supports?

As well as referring to the NDIS, the Child Development Service  assists families by referring, providing information and linking them into other services and programs for example, playgroups, parenting programs, health services and housing.

How do I contact the Child Development Service?

Parents or other referrers who have concerns about a child’s development may call the Intake Line on 6205 1246.  Speech Pathology and Physiotherapy Drop-In Clinics are also available at the Holder Centre, or through the Child and Family Centres.

Who can refer children to the Child Development Service?

Parents and guardians are able to refer their child to the Child Development Service. With parent/ guardian permission, others may make a referral, including early childhood educators, GPs, nurses, paediatricians and case workers. For autism assessments a referral from a paediatrician or psychiatrist is required.

Who is eligible for the Child Development Service?

Children are eligible for the Child Development Service when they live in the ACT, meet the age criteria and there are concerns relating to their development.  Concerns may relate to the development of skills in one or more of the following areas:

  • communication, e.g. talking and understanding language, stuttering;
  • movement/ physical, e.g. rolling, sitting, walking, and other gross motor/ fine motor skills;
  • self care, e.g. dressing, eating, toileting; and
  • sensory processing.

The Child Development Service is committed to assisting families who experience disadvantage relating to cultural, social and financial factors.

Will there be a cost?

The Child Development Service is a free service provided by the ACT Government. Some specialist services, such as Paediatrician services may be bulk billed through Medicare.

Where is the Child Development Service located?

The Child Development Service is located at the current Therapy ACT premises in Holder, at the corner of Weingarth Street and Blackwood Terrace. Drop-In clinics are held at Holder and also at the Child and Family Centres at Gungahlin, West Belconnen and Tuggeranong. 

Further information

If you would like to talk to somebody about the new service or about other changes at Therapy ACT, please contact the Senior Manager, Child Development Service on 6205 1277, or send an email to child.development@act.gov.au.

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