Legislators need to hear from you about Up to 3

February 17, 2017 by Kelly Smith

Mother with twin 2-year-olds“So much help and support! We don’t know what we would have done without them!”

“The home visitors were so kind and helpful. She helped me understand how to help him [her 2-year-old son] without making me feel like I should have known.”

“To find out a service like this existed was such a blessing in our lives!”

These are all statements from Utah families with children receiving services from the Up to 3 early intervention program at the CPD. State funding for the program is currently in jeopardy since the funding request was not prioritized above the funding line by the legislative appropriations subcommittee. The Executive Appropriations Committee must now be requested  to provide at least the $1.5m in funding that directly funded Up to 3 contracts last year. The following statement outlines that request:

Baby Watch Early Intervention experienced a 30% increase in children enrolled in the last two years.  The 2017 Baby Watch funding request was for $2.7m ($1.5m ongoing funding and $1.2m of new funding).  Baby Watch received one-time funding of $1.5 million from the legislature for this current contract year, but there is no promise of making this ongoing.  If the legislature does not vote to fund Baby Watch Early Intervention Caseload increase this year, it would mean a decrease of 1.5 million dollars statewide for early intervention services. This would decrease vital services for children with developmental delays or disabilities in Utah.

 The Up to 3 early intervention program  provides services to children with disabilities and developmental delays living in Box Elder, Cache, and Rich counties. There are 15 other contracted providers in the state similar to the Up to 3 program. Since 2014, the program has experienced a 49% increase in the total children served with no additional ongoing state funding to support this growth. At a minimum Baby Watch needs to have the $1.5m either as ongoing funding or as another year of one-time funding. Families depend on these critical services to optimize their child’s developmental potential, minimize the impact of disabilities and improve lifelong outcomes. This is the message the members of the Executive Appropriation Committee need to hear.  Please take some time and contact the members of the Executive Appropriations Committee and ask them to continue to fund the Baby Watch program for $1.5m for another year!  

For more specific information on this urgent request, click here.

Contact information for members of the Executive Appropriations Committee is available here. Be sure to click on the “members” tab, and then click on the desired representative for complete information.

 If you have questions or concerns regarding this request please contact CPD staff members Sue Olsen at 435-797-7461 (sue.olsen@usu.edu) or Marla Nef at 435-797-2043 (marla.nef@usu.edu).

Physical Therapist working with young girl wearing leg braces

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