Funding for a better start in life

CEREBRAL Palsy Awareness Week this week is designed to acknowledge the achievements of people with cerebral palsy and to promote a more inclusive community for people with disability including cerebral palsy.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, is also encouraging parents of young children with cerebral palsy to register for the Gillard Government's new $147- million Better Start for Children with Disability initiative which commenced on July 1.

“We know that investing in early intervention for children with disabilities before they get to school gives them the best chance of reaching their full potential,” Senator McLucas said.

Children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and moderate or severe vision or hearing impairments including deafblindness, under the age of six years, will be eligible.

Eligible families can register to access funding of up to $12,000 – up to a maximum of $6000 in any one financial year – for early intervention services and therapies including speech pathologists, audiologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, orthoptists and psychologists.

To help support children living in regional, rural and remote communities, the Government is delivering an extra one-off payment of $2000 to help meet the higher costs of accessing services.

Registrations opened to families on July 1.

Families can register or obtain further information by calling Carers Australia 1800 242 636 or downloading an information brochure from www.fahcsia.gov.au/betterstart.



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