Yesterday members of the Children’s Health Access Coalition went to the State House to join over 300 parents, kids and supporters in a Stroller-In to support Early Intervention and protest the substantial budget cuts that Early Intervention faces in the 2012 budget.
The Early Intervention program (www.mass.gov/dph/earlyintervention) provides services to families with children between birth and three years of age. Children are eligible if they have developmental difficulties due to identified disabilities, or if typical development is at risk due to certain birth or environmental circumstances. The program provides cost-effective family-centered services to facilitate the developmental progress of eligible children.
Parents brought their children to the state house to lobby their legislators to oppose the proposed $8 million cut to Early Intervention. The 27% budget reduction would transform the program and dramatically reduce the ability of families to get needed services. Uninsured families would fare the worst, and an estimated 6,000 children would be placed on waiting list.
Channel 4 covered the event with a video report, as did the State House News, and the Save MA Early Intervention Facebook page is full of activity. CHAC will continue to support early intervention has a vital, cost-effective state obligation.