The Legislature finds that disabled and high-risk infants now survive the newborn period due to greatly improved surgical and medical care services. However, in many communities, services that provide the careful nurturing and stimulation that these infants need to develop to their potential are not available. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that individualized early intervention services for infants who are at high risk or who have a disabling condition, and for their families, which provide educational, developmental, health, and social services with active parent involvement, can significantly reduce the potential impact of many disabling conditions and positively influence later development when the child reaches school age.
The Legislature further finds that infants have unique needs and therefore require both a unique service delivery model, which may be different from any system currently in place in California, and unique program and personnel standards specific to the needs of infants who are at high risk or who have a disabling condition and their families.
The Legislature further acknowledges that early intervention services are cost effective in that these services frequently make productive citizens of children and eliminate the far greater costs of long-term remedial treatment for, and unnecessary lifelong dependency on, others.
(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 183, Sec. 184.)