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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Early Steps Faces Service Challenges; Has Not Used All Available Federal Funds, Report No. 06-14, February 2006
Full report in PDF format

  • The Early Steps Program served a decreased number of children in Fiscal Year 2004-05 and a smaller percentage of the birth to three population.  Also, due to federal requirements, the program is shifting to providing services in the “natural environment.”  Some providers are choosing not to participate in the program because it can be costly to provide services in this way.  These factors may affect the availability of services throughout the state.  The program is also exploring tightening its eligibility requirements, which would affect both providers and the number of children served.
  • Although local program offices have reported funding shortfalls, the program has not used its full federal grant allocation.  The program also has not fully analyzed the option of requiring families to pay some costs through a sliding co-payment scale or annual fee schedule, which some states use to increase available resources.
  • The program needs to revise its contracts with local offices to ensure that they provide adequate oversight of their providers.  Also, while the program could be moved to another agency, such a transfer would not provide clear benefits.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Children's Medical Services
Department of Health
Exceptional Student Education

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 08-44 Early Steps Has Revised Reimbursement Rates But Needs to Assess Impact of Expanded Outreach on Child Participation, published in July 2008.
  • Report No. 04-35 Progress Report: Children’s Medical Services Working to Expand Privatization and Reduce Administrative Inefficiencies, published in May 2004.
  • Report No. 02-04 Special Report: Children’s Medical Services Privatization Is Feasible; Could Save Over $18 Million, But Barriers Must Be Overcome, published in January 2002.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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