Support Before Your Child Goes To School

Support Before Your Child Goes To School

There are qualified, experienced staff who can work with you to support your child who requires additional support for learning and development from birth through to the time they start school.

Who provides early intervention services?

Early Intervention teams work with families and early childhood educators when they are concerned about the learning and development of a young child. These concerns may involve a child's developmental delay, disability, behaviour and/or communication difficulties. The service can work with children from birth until they start school.

Early intervention services are mainly provided by the Ministry of Education, Special Education Learning Support but in some areas there are also other specialist early intervention service providers and local community support providers.

Early intervention services - what may they include?

An assessment

Assessments will be strength-based, individualised and functional.  Assessments will be developed in partnership with families in order to achieve their identified priorities.   


Planning usually involves the Learning Support staff who will work closely with the child's family and educators to achieve the identified goals and priorities that support the child's learning and development. This is likely to involve:

  • jointly developing an individual plan for your child, family and educators
  • development of strategies to achieve these within everyday routines
  • timeframes
  • any additional support needed

General information and support

General information and support to families, educators and other professionals. An early intervention key worker will:

  • talk with you about the range of services available for your child
  • provide advice on finding an early childhood education setting
  • help with the transition to school

Specialist services

Specialist services, such as speech language therapy and specialist teaching.

Education support workers

The Education Support Worker resource can be part of an early intervention team to support the inclusion of children with the highest level of needs in licensed early childhood programmes.

Starship Foundation and the Paediatric Society of New Zealand acknowledge the cooperation of the Ministry of Education in making the content on this page available to parents/caregivers and families.

This page last reviewed 24 July 2017.
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