Telepractice refers to the use of technology to deliver early childhood intervention services and supports at a distance. Telepractice can be combined with a suite means that early childhood intervention practitioners can deliver services and supports to children with developmental delay and/or disability, and their families, in a way that best suits their needs.
Using telepractice, early childhood intervention practitioners can deliver services in the child’s natural environment, such as a family’s home, and parents are able to incorporate the daily routines of their family into the session activities.
Telepractice allows families to take the lead in their interaction with their child during the session. By allowing families hands-on practice with activities and engaging with their child, parents and caregivers are better enabled to support their child’s development during every day routines. Families are left feeling confident and more likely to incorporate activities into daily routines.
Research has shown telepractice to be very effective in achieving optimised outcomes for children with developmental delay and/or disability, in a family centred way.
Evidence suggests that quality telepractice can support family-centred approaches consistent with contemporary early childhood intervention best-practice, and is enabled by skilled professionals who develop strong partnerships with parents, carers, and others in delivering services.
This guide has been designed to support and assist early childhood intervention practitioners to deliver quality services and supports via telepractice. It is our hope that this practical guide will assist early childhood intervention practitioners to understand how they can deliver telepractice successfully.
Telepractice has the potential to provide families with real choices, regardless of where they or their preferred early childhood intervention practitioners are located.
Telepractice guidelines across early childhood and allied health rightly insist that telepractice services should be equivalent in quality to those delivered in-person. Therefore, telepractice services should not be considered as a ‘Plan B’, but should be seen as one of the quality ‘Plan A’ options for early childhood intervention services.
These guidelines have been designed to support and assist early childhood intervention practitioners to deliver quality services and supports via telepractice. It is our hope that these guidelines will assist early childhood intervention practitioners to better understand how they can successfully deliver telepractice.