What’s the difference between an NDIS planner, LAC and Early Childhood Partner?

NDIA Planner, LAC, Early Childhood Partner – It seems that people are throwing around these terms left right and center. Are you a bit lost figuring out who all these people are and what is their actual role? We’ve got you covered!

In this resource we will cover:

What does an NDIA planner do?

An NDIA Planner is a person who works directly with an individual with a disability to develop their NDIS plan. NDIS Planner work directly for the NDIS where as LAC’s (Local Area Coordinations) and ECEI Coordinators (Early Chilldhood Early Intervation Coordinations) work for NDIA ‘Partners in the community’.

They are responsible for guiding the individual through the planning process, including:

  • Guiding the individual through the planning process
  • Assessing their needs, identifying their goals
  • Determining what supports and services are required to achieve those goals.
  • Preparing the plan and ensuring it aligns with the persons goals and needs
  • Does an NDIS planner decide what funding you have?
Does an NDIS planner decide what funding you have?

Yes, the NDIS Planner CAN approve the NDIS plan but does not provide the same support as an LAC when it comes to connecting with local supports as well.

What does an LAC do? (Local Area Coordinator)

LAC stands for Local Area Coordinator, and an LAC works with people aged 9-65 years .

An LAC is a person who helps people navigate the NDIS system and access the appropriate supports and services in their local community.

An LAC is a link between the individual and the NDIS, and their roles may include:

  • Working with individuals with disabilities, their families, and carers to develop an understanding of their needs and goals
  • Helping individuals understand their NDIS plan
  • Assisting with navigating the NDIS
  • Providing support with connecting to service providers
  • Identifying and accessing other mainstream services and community resourcea
What is the LAC’s role during the planning meeting?

The LAC will put together all the information discussed during the planning meeting and submit their recommendation to the NDIA to review. The NDIA assessor is then responsible for reviewing this information and recommendations, and putting together and approving the plan and funding.

After the plan is put in place, the LAC’s role is to provide information and support to help individuals understand their NDIS plan and access the services and supports identified in their plan.

Does an LAC decide what funding you have?

Local area coordinators (LAC) CANNOT approve a plan or decide what funding is in the plan, this is done by the NDIA (by a delegate). Your LAC can however guide you when it comes to how to use your funds.

What does an Early Childhood Partner do?

An Early Childhood Partner is an ‘NDIA partner in the community’ who connects families and children under the age of 9 with the NDIS via the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Pathway.

Their primary role is to provide support to families and children in accessing the NDIS, and to help them navigate the different stages of the NDIS process.

  • Providing information and advice to families about the NDIS, including applying for the NDIS, funding options and available services.
  • Assisting families to identify and assess their child’s needs, and develop an individualised plan for their support.
  • Helping families to connect with other services and supports, such as early intervention services, allied health professionals, and community resources – these are known as early connections.
  • Providing ongoing support to families and children throughout their NDIS journey, including reviewing and updating plans, and advocating for their needs.
  • Facilitating access to early childhood education and care services.

How do I find my local LAC or ECEI Partner?

Click on your state below to find the local NDIS office, LAC or ECEI Partner in your area:

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