Early Childhood Intervention Services
Public Hearing and Opportunity for Public Comment on ECI Rules
Federal regulations require DARS ECI to submit policy revisions to the United States Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) as part of the annual IDEA federal grant application process. DARS is proposing revisions to the language in 40 TAC Chapter 108 Division for Early Childhood Intervention Services in response to OSEP feedback and to improve clarity for ECI families and contractors. | More on proposed changes to ECI Rules
ECI Advisory Committee Co-Chair Published Article in Pediatrics
Dr. Richard Adams, Texas Early Childhood Intervention Advisory Committee Co-Chair, Dr. Carl Tapia and the Council on Children with Disabilities published an article in Pediatrics titled "Early Intervention, IDEA Part C Services, and the Medical Home: Collaboration for Best Practice and Best Outcomes." To view the article visit http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/09/24/peds.2013-2305.full.pdf
ECI is a statewide program for families with children, birth to three, with disabilities and developmental delays. ECI supports families to help their children reach their potential through developmental services. Services are provided by a variety of local agencies and organizations across Texas.
- Vision & Mission statement - ECI's guiding principles
- Make a referral - Information for physicians and other professionals
- Division history - How ECI came to be
- How babies develop - Information about developmental milestones
State and federally funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, P.L. 108-446), ECI provides evaluations and assessments, at no cost to families, to determine eligibility and need for services. Families and professionals work as a team to plan appropriate services based on the unique needs of the child and family. ECI asks families who can afford to do so, to share in the cost of services. The amount a family pays for ECI services is determined using a sliding fee scale and is based on family size and income after allowable deductions. No child and family will be turned away because of an inability to pay.
ECI goes to families and focuses on working with the child and family in their natural environment, such as at home, grandma's, or a child care center. Essentially, it's where children live, learn and play.
Research shows that growth and development are most rapid in the early years of life. The earlier problems are identified, the greater the chance of reducing the impact of them. Early intervention responds to the critical needs of children and families by:
- promoting development and learning,
- providing support to families,
- coordinating services, and
- decreasing the need for costly special programs.
ECI is here to help and can become an important resource for all families. For more information about ECI or to refer a child, call the DARS Inquiries Line at 1-800-628-5115.