Legislative Bulletin - Early Steps

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council is supporting an Increase in Funding for Early Steps Services

To ensure the quality of the program, the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) is asking for additional funding for Part C/ Early Steps, Florida's Early Intervention Program. This program serves over 45,000 infants and toddlers annually with significant disabilities and developmental delays. The money would be used to help increase the capacity to provide services for those children who have complex developmental issues.

The Senate and the House will be negotiating their budget differences next week in the Legislative Budget Conference Process. The Florida Senate has approved their budget and appointed their conferees. FDDC will be contacting the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Conferees, Denise Grimsley, Chair, Aaron Bean, Anitere Flores, Audrey Gibson and Eleanor Sobel to request an increase in 3 million dollars in cash for services for the Early Steps Program.

Early Steps is administered by Children's Medical Services (CMS) in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part C. The Early Steps Program provides Florida's infants and toddlers, from birth to 36 months, who have a developmental delay, or a condition that places them at risk for developmental delay, with early intervention services and supports that improve a child's chances to develop to their full potential by achieving their developmental milestones. Research shows that achieving these milestones is essential to developing a child's ability to learn, speak, and move at optimal levels later in life.

Please share your opinion on this human services budget issue with the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Budget Conferees Denise Grimsley, Chair, Aaron Bean, Anitere Flores, Audrey Gibson and Eleanor Sobel. The House conferees have not been appointed at this time.

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