- How do I refer?
- What happens when I first visit?
- What are the fees?
- What do I do if I am not happy with my service?
- What is an early childhood intervention service?
How do I refer?
Bridges for Learning accepts referrals from a number of people in the community:
- Parents and carers
- Allied health providers
- Preschools and child care centres
If you are referring on behalf of a family, please make sure you have their permission prior to contacting us.
Referrals can be made by
- using the “Contact Us” button
- Phoning the center directly on 48614054
If you are another service you can download and complete the referral form found on How to Refer.
Once you have contacted us the friendly staff will assist you in organising an appointment with the right therapist to help you with your concerns.
What happens when I first visit?
At Bridges for Learning your first visit will usually be a 1 hour session. What happens during this time can vary in many ways. Your child may have an assessment, either formal or play based. It will always involve some discussion with you. You may be asked questions about your child’s developmental milestones, school history or any previous therapy they may have had. If your child has a formal assessment we will give you a written report, usually two weeks after the assessment.
When we first start working with you, we will spend time planning together. These plans form the basis for the sessions that will follow and will include information that we gathered during your child’s assessment. We will refer back to these plans and will make changes as they are needed.
All children attend their sessions with their parents/carers. Parents/carers need to stay at the Centre during the sessions. With the older children, the parents often wait in another room. Particularly with very young children the parents stay with the child and participate in their sessions, learning along with the child. In group sessions, we will introduce you to other mothers, fathers or other carers — it can often be helpful to chat to others in similar circumstances. We most likely will have a therapist also spend time in the parent groups giving information about what their child is doing or suggestions on what can be practiced at home.
What are the fees?
Bridges for Learning is partially funded by government grants. Fees to cover our costs are kept to a minimum and vary according to each service. Concessions are available and dealt with on a case by case basis. For those services that are government funded, we will always accommodate your financial situation and ensure your child is able to receive the services they need.
For those services that are not government funded, we still have a fee assistance program that assists those in financial difficulty. Please ask about this service if you need it.
Your child may be eligible for Medicare rebates or Commonwealth funding initiatives including the Helping Children with Autism Program or the Better Start Program.
Our bottom line is that we want your child to receive the assistance they need.
What do I do if I am not happy with my service?
Bridges for Learning appreciates all feedback that it receives, as it helps us to keep improving the things we do.
Issues can often be resolved quickly by talking directly to the person involved. They will most likely appreciate your feedback and together you can find a solution.
You can ask to speak with the manager about your concerns. If you are still concerned after talking to the manager, you can make a formal complaint.
If you still feel that the issue had not been resolved or dealt with, you can go to a higher level. This may be contacting the government body which funds and regulates the service. Or you could approach the Ombudsman for your state.
What is an early childhood intervention service?
Early Childhood Intervention is the process of providing specialised support and services for infants and young children with developmental delays or disabilities, and their families in order to promote development, well-being and community participation.
Intervening early with therapy and learning assistance can be important to children’s lives.
- It can help them with everyday tasks at home.
- It can prepare them for a positive experience of preschool and school.
- It can help them to interact with others and make friends.
The Importance of Early Childhood Intervention Services
About 10% of children in the Southern Highlands have special needs, which take many forms from delayed developmental to learning disabilities. For these children, early intervention with a range of therapies and services makes all the difference. Access to quality early intervention helps these children look forward to a better, happier future. A positive long-term prognosis and the ability to live independently are directly linked to the early intervention these children and their families receive.
Research shows that early childhood intervention can:
- Significantly improve the development and functioning of children with disabilities and developmental delays.
- Make a substantial difference to the wellbeing of children and their families.
- Reduce both the child’s and the family’s dependence on costly specialised services later in life.
We also know it gives choices and choices strengthen hope.
Early childhood intervention is good for children.
Do you have concerns about your child's development?Contact Us
P: (02) 4861 4054
F: (02) 4861 6527