Improving Access to High-Quality Early Intervention & Preschool Special Education Services in Rhode Island

In 2021 and 2022, Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and Parents Leading for Educational Equity (PLEE) co-chaired a planning process to identify priorities to improve access to high-quality Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education in Rhode Island. The planning team centered the voices of parents of young children with special needs that live in the four core cities and focused on identifying priorities that would improve equity. In June 2022, the planning team finalized an initial list of advocacy priorities, outlined in the attached infographics (English and Spanish).

We are still celebrating the big win this year for Early Intervention with a permanent 45% Medicaid rate increase passing in the FY23 budget and second year of ARPA stabilization funds allocated. But we still need to keep a close eye on Early Intervention to make sure the funding is enough to restore staffing to appropriate levels so the 650+ infants and toddlers currently on the waiting list can receive services as soon as possible and hopefully soon there will be no waiting list.

The RIght from the Start Campaign has incorporated these advocacy priorities into its list of emerging priorities for the state’s FY24 budget and for the 2023 legislative session. We are planning to continue our work advocating with and for families and young children – so more families are aware of the early childhood IDEA services that are available, and we can increase the percent of children who receive high-quality, developmentally-appropriate, and family-responsive Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education.

Download the full list of Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education in Rhode Island advocacy priorities.
Descargue la lista completa de las prioridades de defensa de la Intervención Temprana y la Educación Especial Preescolar en Rhode Island.