January 21, 2016
FACT Oregon would like to share some information with you that affects families who have children who receive early intervention/early childhood services [EI/ECSE]. EI are services for children birth to two years of age who have developmental disabilities, while ECSE is for children age three to school age with disabilities.
Here at FACT Oregon , we strongly believe that families getting a great early start is the best way to ensure that they have vision for the future, dream big dreams, and have high expectations for their child. EI/ECSE services play a big role in that plan.
You may not be aware, but over the past eight years, Oregon’s EI/ECSE funding has not kept pace with the caseload growth of children who need these services. In addition, these programs are state- and federally-mandated, and require that children benefit from the services.
Yet many families feel these services are not enough for their children’s needs. According to a fact sheet issued by Northwest Regional ESD, “Just to maintain the current minimal (insufficient) service level for the anticipated caseload increase will require a $5.4 million increase in the 2015/17 EI/ECSE Budget.”
What can YOU do? For one thing, you can contact your state legislator (quickly look them up here) and let them know the role EI/ECSE played in your family’s life; what your experience was like; and how funding may have impacted the services your child received.
Need some talking points? Check out this infographic from OCDD and the Oregon Alliance for EI which explains the role these services play, and the challenges they’re facing in 2016. If you would like more details, this fact sheet has data that shows the urgency of the matter.