The Real Value of Investing in Early Childhood Intervention in Texas
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Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is a set of services and supports available to babies and young children with disabilities or developmental delays. ECI has provided this opportunity to families to promote the developmental progress of children from birth through age 3 since the 1970’s. ECI programs are federally and state mandated. According to early research projects, early intervention demonstrates long-term positive outcomes for the children and families involved. ECI specifically targets children considered disadvantaged including those diagnosed with developmental delays or a disability, children living in low income households, children with a history of abuse, and other factors that contribute to deficits in development. According to research, early intervention demonstrates long-term positive outcomes for the children and families involved. Currently Texas is in the 2019 legislative session with a proposed funding increase of $71 million for Texas ECI Programs under the Health and Human Services Commission (2018) to counteract gradual budget cuts that have occurred over the previous decade in per child funding, from $504.00 to $412.60. The purpose of this research paper is to review the current literature involving the overarching principles, models, and outcomes of varying ECI programs to consider if there is enough support to defend the proposed funding increase for Texas ECI, and to provide suggestions on how the funding should be allocated in order to benefit the areas of most need.