Improving Systems, Practices, and Outcomes

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Topic Editor: Katy McCullough

An adequate, stable funding base is required to insure effective and responsive systems of services and supports for young children with or at-risk of disabilities and their families. Resources from the national, state, and community levels must be combined to support these systems of early intervention and preschool services. Careful attention needs to be given when assembling or modifying such an interagency funding system.

System planners and program administrators face challenges in understanding and using these resources, combining them for the benefit of children and families, and fully funding their systems of services and supports. This topical section provides information on funding resources, tools to aid in combining as many of these resources as necessary in states and communities, and the specific financing provisions for Part C and Part B, Section 619 systems, legislation and regulations.

See also: Inclusion: Financing Strategies and Collaborative Funding

Figure: Building High-Quality Systems: Governance, Finance, Personnel, Data System, Accountability and Quality Improvement, Quality Standards

ECTA System Framework: Finance Component

This component includes: finance planning process/forecasting; fiscal data; procurement; resource allocation, use of funds and disbursement; and monitoring and accountability of funds and resources. A strong, fiscally sound system that is sustainable overtime is driven by a finance planning process that is in alignment with a larger system or state-level strategic plan to meet program infrastructure and service delivery needs, both for the short and long-term.

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DaSy Critical Questions: Local Early Intervention Services (EIS) Program- and Local Education Agencies (LEA)-Level Questions (2015)

The Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) compiled a set of Critical Questions that a quality state data system for early intervention (EI) or early childhood special education (ECSE) should provide the data to answer. Critical questions for a high-quality statewide data system specific to funding and expenditures (see: Section 3.C.) include:

  • What is the cost of providing early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) services to children and families?
  • Does the state have sufficient revenue to provide quality IDEA services?
  • How can the state maximize efficiency in the operation of the early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) program (e.g., by changing practices and reallocating resources) and maintain or improve outcomes?

Pay for Success (PFS) (2016)

An innovative financing mechanism that harnesses private capital to fund evidence-based prevention-focused programs or social services.