Keep up to date with the latest news from the InFocus team as well as updates on the NDIS and disability.
Developmental Delay and the NDIS
Developmental Delay and the NDIS
23 February 2023

If your child is under 6 and is diagnosed with developmental delay they may be eligible for the NDIS under the early intervention requirements.  


What is developmental delay?


The term “developmental delay” is used by the NDIS and in early childhood education to describe when children have some delays in development for their age. It includes developmental concerns, developmental delay and global developmental delay (GDD).


Delays may be identified in one or more of the following areas:

  • self-care, like dressing and bathing
  • receptive and expressive language, how a child understands language and how they use words to express themselves  
  • cognitive development, how children explore and figure things out
  • motor development, physical growth, strength and movement


Developmental concerns

Developmental concerns is the term used by Early Childhood Partners to identify children who do not qualify as having developmental delay or GDD, however there are some minor delays in their development and they are under 6 years of age.   

Developmental delay

Developmental delay means a delay in the development of a child under 6 years of age that results in substantial reduction in functional capacity in one or more of the areas listed above and requires support from a combination of professionals for an extended period.

Global developmental delay (GDD)

GDD is a diagnosis used by paediatricians when there is a significant delay present in several of the areas listed above and the child is too young to participate in further testing and/or more investigation is required. Global Developmental Delay is a diagnosis which can only be confirmed by a paediatrician and can mean that the child will go on to be diagnosed with a disability in the future.


What are the early intervention requirements?


In order for a child to meet the early intervention eligibility requirements to receive NDIS funding, the NDIA will need to know that they:



An early childhood partner can also provide supports to children who aren’t eligible for the NDIS.

Learn more about the early childhood approach.

What happens if a child has developmental delay?


If the NDIA are provided with evidence to show that a child has developmental delay, they will need to know that:

Further support

Xavier is the Peak Body for children with developmental delay in Queensland. They can help with resources, further information and support. Visit the developmental delay section of their website. 

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