- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is proposing to spend $5 million in state funds on an early intervention program that helps identify and provide services to young children with learning or developmental disabilities, according to Chalkbeat.
- Early On Michigan is covered by federal special education funding, but the governor wants to supplement the program in order to reduce the numbers of children who will need special education services when they get to school.
- Roughly 37% of the children that Early On currently serves each year do not require later special education services.
According to Zero to Three, a policy and advocacy organization focusing on infants and toddlers, approximately 16% to 18% of children have disabilities or developmental delays. While all children develop at different rates, tools such as the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment program can help to identify young children who have not met certain milestones, particularly those from low-income households. Ensuring that more families are aware of early intervention programs takes coordination between child care programs, early learning providers, healthcare, school districts and other agencies serving families with newborns.
Studies have found that a third of infants and toddlers who receive early intervention are found to not have a disability or to require special education services when they reach preschool. Research has also shown that programs which support parents or other caregivers while also providing services for children are the most effective.