Improve New York State Early Intervention Reimbursement Rates
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The Early Intervention Program and the Preschool programs administered by local counties and school districts, respectively, provide essential services and support to children with disabilities and developmental delays. These services help to prepare children to enter school in a much better position. There are many children who need these services and their families rely on them to help them navigate the challenges of raising a child with disabilities.
The providers that provide these services do a great service to our community; however, the reimbursement rates make it very challenging to maintain quality providers in these systems. We have observed closures of agencies providing these services due to challenges relating to operating under the current fiscal structure of Early Intervention and Preschool systems. Not only has there not been a rate increase in the rate provided for the state-funded Early Intervention providers since 2003 (and then only a small increase over 1993/1994 rates), there have actually been two rate decreases in 2010 and 2011. These rates make it very challenging to sustain a business and provide work-able and competitive salaries for service providers making essentially 1994-comparable rates.
As a result, we are urging NYS legislators to take a stand for the early childhood services that are so essential for our communities, the Early Intervention and Preschool services. Funds need to be directed to provider reimbursement. Please advocate for, draft and support legislation to at a minimum restore the Early Intervention provider reimbursement rates for these services to 2003 levels and fund an independent study to determine the true cost of services and determine appropriate future rates so that our children can receive services they need.
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