Early Intervention Services
Early Intervention provides support for children with additional needs, and their parents, whānau and kaiako from birth until the child starts school.
Early intervention teams work with families and early childhood educators who ask for help when they are concerned about the learning and development of young children. This may concern a child’s developmental delay, disability, behaviour and/or communication difficulties. The service can work with children from birth until they transition to school.
Early intervention services can be provided by Ministry of Education teams or by contracted early intervention providers. The different types of specialists and supports available include:
- Early intervention teachers
- Education support workers
- Kaitakawaenga (Māori cultural advisors)
- Speech-language therapists.
Support for children who are blind or low vision is provided by the Blind and Low Vision Education Network NZ (BLENNZ).
Other early intervention providers include:
- CCS Disability Action (external link) (Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin)
- Ohomairangi Trust (external link) (Auckland)
- McKenzie Centre (external link) (Hamilton)
- Conductive Education (external link) (Hamilton and Christchurch)
- Wellington Early Intervention Trust (external link)
- Champion Centre (external link) (Christchurch)
How the Early Intervention supports children and their families and whānau
Early intervention specialists work together as a team to develop a plan that supports the child’s participation and learning. The team includes parents, whānau, kaiako, and any other specialists and agencies as necessary.
How to get support
Parents can contact us directly to request support.
Educators can also contact us for help once they have the parents’ agreement and full understanding of the reason for the request for support.
Other professionals such as paediatricians, GPs, audiologists, or Plunket nurses can also request support with the permission of parents.
A child does not need a diagnosis to access our support.
To discuss or request support contact your regional Ministry of Education office.
To find out more about the Early Intervention Service, talk with staff at your local Learning Support office or phone the Learning Support line.
Freecall (NZ only): 0800 622 222
- Starting School [PDF 5.50MB] (external link)
- Education support workers [PDF 2 MB] (external link)
- It Takes Two to Talk — The Hanen Centre website (external link)
- Choosing an early childhood service — Parents website (external link)
- Transition to school research — Education Counts website (external link)
- Early intervention information for parents — Parents website (external link)
- Learning Language and Loving it — The Hanen Centre website (external link)
- New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) support — First Signs website (external link)
- The Incredible Years Parent information — Te Kete Ipurangi website (external link)
- The Incredible Years Teacher programme — Te Kete Ipurangi website (external link)
- More information about supporting children or who deaf or hard of hearing (external link)
- Much More Than Words - communication development resource — SE Online (external link)
- Support for pre-school children who are deaf or hard of hearing — Parents website (external link)
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