Delaware Vote Tracker

Consolidating Early Child Intervention Services

The General Assembly unanimously passed Senate Bill 136, a bill that consolidates early childhood intervention services, such as special instruction, speech therapy, and occupational therapy into one department, rather than being divided among two departments depending on a child’s age, as the law currently stands.

This Act transfers responsibility for early intervention services for children ages birth to age 3 from the Department of Health and Social Services to the Department of Education and revises the Code to be consistent with federal law.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to provide a comprehensive, coordinated, interagency, interdisciplinary early intervention services system for eligible infants and toddlers and their families. This Act requires that early intervention services be provided in compliance with all of the requirements of the IDEA, improves coordination between advisory bodies, and requires early intervention service providers to receive the same training on child abuse and the same background checks as school employees.

Senate Bill 136 Sponsors Yes VotesNo Votes
Sturgeon, PooreSenate Passed 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson WilsonNone
Griffith, K.Williams, BradyHouse Passed 41-0. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Brady Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende YearickNone
Current Status — Sent to the Governor

Senator Laura Sturgeon: “Currently, special instruction, speech therapy, occupational therapy and other intervention services provided to children from birth to age 3 are governed by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, while the same services offered to anyone between the ages of 3 and 21 are overseen by the Department of Education.

Consolidating state oversight of programs related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B and Part C into one department will allow for better continuity of services for families, reduced paperwork and an alignment of data systems – so I introduced SB 136, a bill to do just that. I’m grateful to my colleagues in the Senate and my friends in the House for their help unanimously passing this bipartisan, commonsense legislation. Special thanks to Rep. Krista Griffith for serving as the House prime sponsor and to Dawn Alexander and other advocates for their hard work to make this bill happen.”

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