Early Childhood Intervention Uncertainty

Early Childhood Intervention Uncertainty
Many question are still unanswered about ECI programs
Many question are still unanswered about ECI programs

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) -- More than 50,000 families in Texas are being affected by state lawmaker's decision to slash $350 million dollars in funding from the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Program

It's a pediatric therapy service for families and the news has parents and service workers in Texoma uncertain about the future.

While it is a state-wide issue this affects families right here in Wichita Falls.

Soozie Richardson a mother of twin boys who both take part in ECI therapy. Today she was told her son's services might be suspended until December.

"The service is an awesome program and I would hate to see it not continue," said Richardson.

That might just be the case for most ECI programs across the state of Texas after funding was drastically slashed.

The Early Childhood Intervention program at North Texas Rehab Center has been helping families for over 20 years, but at the end of this month that contract will not be renewed.

Ashley Sims, who serves on the rehab center board says it wasn't an easy decision.

"This by far the hardest decision we've ever had to make, because children are the root of our mission," said Sims.

The Child Achievement Program (CAP) will expand to include children from birth to age three, but the travel to Wichita Falls for some parents is just too much.

Josh Taylor, the Executive Director of Early Head Start, says with a program this important so much is still unclear.

There is still a lot of uncertainty concerning the future of the ECI program and the families affected.

Answers may not be clear until October 31st.

The North Texas Rehab Center said they are trying find someone or an organization to take over the program.

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