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Childhood disability and parenting support

5-minute read

Key facts

  • There is support available for parents and carers of children with disabilities.
  • Support is available through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and government payments for carers.
  • State and Territory and non-profit support services are also available.

What is disability and parenting support?

If you are caring for a child with a disability, there is support available to you. This page will help you find and get the right support for your family.

The government support you get depends on where you live. Some support is for everyone in Australia. Other support is provided by state and territory governments.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports children with disabilities and their families.

The aim is to help your child in their daily life from a very early age. This will help them reach their goals and reduce the impact of their disability for the future.

The NDIS is available across Australia. You can check whether your child is eligible at the NDIS website.

Other financial support

There are also government support payments available to help if you care for a child with a disability.

Payments for carers

Most financial support services are coordinated by Centrelink. You may be eligible to receive:

There are a range of other payments for carers. Visit the Services Australia website for more information.

Financial support for health care

Medicare helps Australians with the cost of health care. You can find out what Medicare will pay for at Services Australia.

You can get extra financial support through the Medicare Safety Net. When you spend over a certain amount on medical costs in one calendar year, you get a higher amount back from Medicare.

You may also be eligible for a Health Care Card. This gives discounts on prescription medicines. It may also give you concession prices on things like public transport and utility bills.

Respite care

You may be able to get respite care. If you need emergency respite, call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737.

Support in your state or territory

There are other health and support services available. These depend on which state or territory you live in. For example, they may pay for aids and equipment to help improve your child's quality of life.

Other resources and support

You can visit the National Disability Gateway to find and access disability services across Australia.

Non-profit and charity support services

Reimagine Australia helps families of children who have a disability or developmental delay to find services. They can help families navigate the service system. It's a good starting point to find out about what services are available to you.

Siblings Australia provides support, information and resources. These aim to support siblings and families of children who have a disability, chronic disease or mental illness.

Playgroup Australia is the national peak body representing playgroups. They can help you find a playgroup that will suit your child's needs.

Parent support groups

There are many parent support groups. My Time can provide you with information and other resources about parenting and caring for children with a disability.

Carers networks

Carer Gateway is a national online and phone service providing practical information, support and useful resources for carers. Search the Carer Gateway website or call 1800 422 737.

Carers Australia represents the interests of over 2 million carers in Australia. For more information about carers and care options for your family, contact Carers Australia.

Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2023

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Need more information?

Childhood disability

If your child has a disability, they may encounter challenges in their everyday life. Learn about disability rights and where to find support.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Child disability parent support groups | Raising Children Network

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Early childhood intervention

Early childhood intervention is tailored support for children with disabilities. Learn more about accessing these services through the NDIS.

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Caring for a child with disability - Caring for someone - Services Australia

If you care for a child with disability, there’s support and payments available to help you.

Read more on Centrelink website

Disability services: children & teens | Raising Children Network

Disability services provide therapies and supports for children and teens with disability, autism or other additional needs. They use various approaches.

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Parenting with intellectual disability | Raising Children Network

Having an intellectual disability doesn’t mean you can’t be a good parent. It just means that you might need extra support to raise your children.

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Law & rights for children with disability | Raising Children Network

Here you’ll find information on disability rights and anti-discrimination law in Australia, as well as resources to help you find disability services.

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Parenting & Disability - Supporting Siblings | Siblings Australia

Resources for parents of siblings of children with a disability to assist them in supporting the sibling relationship.

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Disability professionals: first meetings | Raising Children Network

This guide explains what to expect in first meetings with child disability professionals and disability service providers. It has a checklist for meetings.

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Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

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