First 5 California Plans $20M Expansion of Disabilities Screening Program
First 5 California officials on Thursday announced a $20 million initiative to expand the program's Special Needs Project, which provides disability screening, diagnoses and referrals for children younger than age five in 10 counties, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The money will be matched by $10 million in contributions from county-run programs.
The increased funding will be used to provide universal access to physical and mental disability screenings, increase outreach to families, place children with special needs in regular classrooms and child care and improve existing services.
The funds also will be used to develop an easy-to-access system of coordinated services for special-needs children, according to Kris Perry, executive director of First 5 California (Fitzsimons, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1/20).