- 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 a Not For Profit organisation, this means that our fees are kept to a minimum and vary according to each service.
Your child may be eligible for Commonwealth funding initiatives. We are registered providers for:
- NDIS – the National Disability Insurance Scheme
- Helping Children with Autism funding
- Better Start funding
Medicare Rebates include:
Chronic Disease Management Plan
Under the chronic disease management program, patients diagnosed with a chronic medical condition may be entitled to receive a Medicare rebate. Under this program your general practitioner will need to determine if your child is eligible and if so will provide you with the appropriate documentation to bring to your appointment with us.
The chronic disease management program enables eligible patients to receive up to 5 sessions each calendar year. (This program was previously known as the Enhanced Primary Care Plan)
Better Access- Mental Health Care Plans
Under the Better Access- Mental Health Care program, patients with mental health concerns may be entitled to receive a Medicare rebate. Under this program your general practitioner or paediatrician will need to determine if your child is eligible and if so will provide you with the appropriate documentation to bring to your appointment with us.
The Better Access- Mental Health Care program enables eligible patients to receive up to 10 sessions each calendar year.
Private Health Insurance: If you have extras cover with your insurer then you may be covered for our services. We recommend contacting your health insurer directly to check your level of cover. We are registered with most private health funds to ensure our families have access to greater funding choices.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties and would like to discuss options for assistance, please speak directly with the manager.
For further information regarding costs please contact us on 48614054.
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