The Early Start program, which provides early intervention services, has experienced a decline in referrals since the beginning of the pandemic. Because early intervention is critical for children to achieve the best possible developmental outcomes, the Department of Developmental Services and partners are working together to share information and resources. It is important for referral agencies and families to know that all 21 regional centers across California remain open and are accepting referrals. If an infant or toddler has, or is suspected of having, a delay or disability, contact the local regional center about possible Early Start services. Anyone can make a referral. To find your local regional center, go to https://www.dds.ca.gov/services/early-start/family- resource-center/regional-center-early-start-intake-and-family-resource-centers/ or call 1-800-515 BABY.
The Early Start Community Resources are available in 10 different languages which can be found here: https://www.dds.ca.gov/services/early-start/early-start-publications-resources-and-program-guidance/publications/.
The University of California Mind Institute is recruiting research participants for a study that will examine early intervention services, how families and providers use early intervention strategies, parent satisfaction and how well the services work for families and children. The study will evaluate English and Spanish speaking children (families) age 12- 30 months at the time of enrollment who are receiving early intervention services. Participation in the study will not affect current early intervention services and will include completing questionnaires, assessments and observations or recordings of early intervention interactions.
This type of research is exiting and important for so many reasons. First, and foremost it provides the opportunity to learn more about and build on the benefits of early intervention on child and family development. Second, research is essential to developing evidence-based practices and providing a way to accurately measure the outcomes of various interventions. Finally, FUNDING OF SERVICES! When we advocate for services and funding early intervention services policymakers want data so the more research and data we have the better off we are in our advocacy efforts.
If you are interest in learning more about the opportunity to participate in this study contact Maya Matheis, Research Study Coordinator at 916-703-0397 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or