Assisting Young Children and Families
Success through Early Education and Home Visiting
Research shows young children with disabilites often benefit from early education intervention and family support services that are specifically developed and adapted to improve their physical, social, emotional, and intellectual capabilities. Early Intervention (EI) programs are intended to reduce the barriers that place children at risk of poor outcomes by changing their developmental trajectory in their early years.
There are four key federal programs that provide an important framework of support for young children with disabilities. Easterseals’ Early Intervention services include components of federal programs so young children with disabilities have a successful start in life and enter kindergarten ready to learn:
- Head Start offers comprehensive, early education programs for lower income children under the age of five. Head Start also provides these children an inclusive preschool setting, where children with and without disabilities can learn together.
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that mandates all states must provide children, including those with disabilities, with a free and appropriate public education. More than 12% of children enrolled in Head Start have a disability that makes them eligible for services under IDEA.
- Part C of IDEA provides family-centered, early intervention services for at-risk children from birth to their third birthdays. IDEA’s Section 619 program offers special education services to preschoolers with disabilities.
- The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) helps low income families pay for child care. It also funds quality improvement activities, such as training child care staff on how to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities.
- The Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) provides support for pregnant women and families who are at risk for poor birth outcomes, child abuse, neglect and injuries, cognitive and learning disabilities and generational poverty.
Through MIECHV home visits, parents learn a number of things including improving their family’s health and wellness through prenatal care and preventive health measures as well as understanding child development milestones and behaviors.
Did you know?
- Research affirms investments in quality early interventions are paying off. In 2014, an analysis by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers concluded the economic returns to investments in early childhood development expands into adulthood: increasing early education initiatives would provide benefits to society of roughly $8.60 for every $1 spent.
Easterseals Fiscal Year 2017 Funding Request
- Fund the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Head Start at $9.6 billion
- Fund the U.S. Department of Education’s IDEA Part C at $503.56 million
- Fund the U.S. Department of Education’s IDEA Part B 619 at $403.24 million
- Continue the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program beyond September 30, 2017
- Fund the U.S. Department of Health And Human Services National Family Caregiver Support Program at $150 million
Make the First Five Count
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