The CDC estimates that 17% of all children have developmental delays. Yet in San Mateo County, only 6% of children 0-5 years receive EII services. Timely access to early intervention services is a priority for First 5 San Mateo County and the agencies we fund to support an integrated system for children with special needs. Access to screening, timely assessment, and supports to address needs for all children is a critical equity issue.
To support the ongoing effort to address systemic barriers to early identification and intervention, First 5 recently conducted an environmental scan to look at the local landscape, barriers, and opportunities.
Moving the needle on EII will require a multi-tiered approach with emphasis at the state and local levels, involving all stakeholders. The hope is that this scan can serve as a basis for a collective call to action to address these barriers.
Stay tuned for additional work on this issue, including development of a local action plan and partnership with the First 5 Center for Children’s Policy to address state-level challenges.