Boosting Early Intervention Services will Benefit Children, Families and the Community

In Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address on Tuesday, Jan. 9, she articulated her belief that taking care of our children is a primary imperative. She said that she believes every child deserves access to high-quality services that instill knowledge, nurture confidence, and establish a path to success.

She acknowledged that in the absence of access to these high-quality services, the government often pays more to meet the needs of children who require these supports throughout their lifespan. We at Upstate Caring Partners could not agree more.

In fact, a recent state audit describing the New York State Early Intervention program further stated:

“When a child has a developmental delay or disability, their early years provide a critical window of opportunity to intervene. Research shows that the earlier a developmental delay or disability is identified and the sooner services begin, the less likely it is that the child will need more intensive and expensive special education services later.

Young children missing these opportunities for early intervention services are potentially at greater risk of significant developmental and learning delays.”

These views on the importance of investing in New York’s children align well with proposals advanced by Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy, who is advocating for New York state to increase its investment in early intervention programs and services.

Assemblywoman Buttenschon’s sponsorship of Bill A6801, which would establish a developmental disability, mental health and behavioral condition community stakeholder committee to research and examine the most effective approach to intervention and education support, and her sponsorship of Bill A6998, which would raise early intervention reimbursement rates by 11% to attract and retain skilled therapists to provide early intervention services, would provide some much-needed investment in early intervention services as well as align with New York state’s goals for children.

High-quality early intervention services can positively influence a child’s developmental path and improve outcomes not only for that child but also for their family and community, and we believe Assemblywoman Buttenschon’s bill would help do just that.

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