Early Childhood Intervention

Children's icon, a cluster of simplified figures, one smaller than the other two.

Our Position

We support Health and Human Services (HHSC) Exceptional Item #6 to maintain Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) caseload (funding from $41.9 million in General Revenue (GR) and $44.8 million from All Funds (AF)).

We recommend the following to expand crucial support program for children:

The Latest

Pres. Trump signed an executive order Friday (Jan. 20) to weaken the Affordable Care ActThere is a lot of uncertainty about, among other things, what will happen to Medicaid, which will affect Texas' ECI program. We're watching this closely (Jan. 23, 2017).

ECI is not a Medicaid therapy program. However, two-thirds of children in ECI are enrolled in Medicaid; therefore, the reimbursement rate reduction (Rider 50) has severely impacted access to ECI throughout all of the service regions. House Speaker Joe Straus said he would try restore the Rider 50 cuts in a supplemental budget this session. (Nov. 29, 2016)

Background

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) therapies and case management programs for children with disabilities lead to healthier and more successful children with disabilities. ECI’s purpose is to provide children with the basic skills necessary to attend pre-school programs. With ECI, children with disabilities can thrive in pre-k and throughout the rest of their education. ECI is cost-effective and saves the Texas money in the long run.

ECI is mandated by the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and requires that all eligible children with developmental delays be enrolled. ECI serves families with children from birth to 36 months of age by contracting with local agencies that serve all Texas counties. Contractors include community centers, school districts, education service centers, and private nonprofit organizations. ECI services are financed through federal, state, private insurance, and family co-pays.

The ECI system is a critical program for children with disabilities and on the verge of collapse. Consider the following:


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Further Reading

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