APA applauds Better Start expansion

12 November 2012 - for immediate release

The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) has commended the expansion of a national early intervention and therapy program.

The federal government has expanded eligibility for the Better Start for Children with Disability program to now cover kids with Prader Willi, Williams, Angelman, Kabuki Make Up, Smith-Magenis, CHARGE, Cornelia de Lange, Cri du Chat syndromes and microcephaly.

Under the program eligible children under the age of seven will receive up to $12 000 in flexible funding for early intervention services and will be able to use up to $6000 in any one financial year.

‘The expansion to this program is expected to help an additional 1,200 children access vital early intervention; including physiotherapy, speech pathology, and occupational therapy,’ APA President and Specialist Pediatric Physiotherapist Melissa Locke said.

‘We know that investing in early interventions gives children with disabilities the best opportunity to reach their full potential. This funding will offer parents access to services that can make a real difference in their children’s lives.’

The changes to the initiative will come into effect on January 1, 2013.

Melissa Locke spoke to NCAH about the program expansion, read the story here.