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Fewer Texas Children Being Helped By Early Childhood Intervention Program

Donnie Ray Jones http://bit.ly/1MpR8xB

A report says fewer Texas children are receiving care under the Early Childhood Intervention Program.  The numbers started falling after 2011, when the state reduced eligibility to reduce costs. Stephanie Rubin of Texans Care for Children, which released the report, says the expectation was that about 9 percent fewer children would be served.  But within one year, the drop in enrollment was almost double that. Rubin says the drops are higher among black and Latino children.
“Texas is really going on the wrong track in terms of early intervention and we need to make sure that kids with disabilities and delays need to get all the supports and therapies they need so that they can communicate with their parents, learn to walk and of course be ready for school,” Rubin says.
While the drop in enrollment was down 17 percent in 2012, Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, points out that numbers have been rising -- now 14 percent fewer served than before the 2011 eligibility changes.

Ashley Lopez joined KUT in January 2016.