Virginia’s Early Intervention programs (called the Infant and Toddler Connection in most communities) are at risk of facing a funding shortfall and potentially will not be able to all serve all of the infant and toddlers who quality for services. Early Intervention helps to identify infants and toddlers who are experiencing delays in their development (those who are about 3 months behind developmental milestones or more) and will connect them and their families to therapeutic services. This system is experiencing a shortfall as number of infants and toddlers identified for services has increased while on-going state and federal funding has remained flat.
The increase in the number of infants and toddlers identified is certainly a good sign that early intervention works and those who could benefit are seeking help. Even with the increase, Virginia serves less than 3% of infants and toddlers in the state, while it is estimated that approximately 13% of infants and toddlers have the types of delays that could make them eligible to receive services.
It is critical that these infants and toddlers that are few months behind their peers have the opportunity to catch up. What seems like a relatively small delay can lead to more significant delays if not caught and treated early on. Every month that a child and their family must put off receiving services leads to more frustration for the child, and the families.
We know early intervention works because families have shared their stories of success and how it has made a lasting impact for their family. But don’t take my word for it. You can hear from Erin & Arlo “I don’t know what we’d do without early intervention”
If you family has been impacted by early intervention services please get in contact with us about sharing your success story at a budget hearing or submitting your story to us in advance.Read More Blog Posts