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Watch our 60th Anniversary video that honours and remembers the civil rights history of people with intellectual disabilities in BC. Read more about our history here.

Early Childhood Intervention

#KidsCantWait: Working together to ID challenges & solutions

In 2016-17, Inclusion BC launched a campaign with other sector leaders, families and community-based service providers to strengthen investments in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services in British Columbia. Efforts included:

Dec 2015-Nov 2016: Parent Feedback project led by FSI-BC (read the report)

Fall 2016: Our Stories - a BCACDI project documenting the experiences of children who rely on ECI in BC. Read & share these compelling stories  #KidsCantWait

November 2016: Provincial ECI Summit hosted by Inclusion BC and partners: Photo gallery & report

December 2016: Release of two reports on collaborative efforts to asses the status of ECI programs in BC:

January 2017: Launch of #KidsCantWait campaign

February 2017:

March 2017

  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists-BC: Press release on fixing BC's OT shortage
  • Ministry for Children & Family Development confirns tha BC Budget 2017 includes $8 million in new funding to start addressing ECI gaps. 

July 2017

September 2017

November 2017

  • BC Legislative Committee on Finance & Government Services urges new investments in inclusive early years programs in BC's 2018 Budget. Read the report

January 2018

  • Inclusion BC delegation met with the Minister for Children & Family Development, Katrine Conroy, to discuss the need for priority investments to address gaps in BC's Supported Childcare Development program (l. to r. Karla Verschoor, Faith Bodnar, Jackie Carpenter & Dan Collins)

Inclusion BC's position

Our advice on priorities for BC's 2018 Budget included:

  1. An immediate allocation from MCFD’s current budget to address waitlists and barriers to access due to underfunding of the Aboriginal Supported Childcare Development/ Supported Childcare Development (ASCD/SCD) programs.
  2. Additional investment in 2018/19 to ensure that BC’s promised response to the childcare crisis removes current barriers to childcare access posed by underfunding of the SCD/ASCD programs and supports full inclusion for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children and youth with special needs.
  3. Establishment of a joint working committee of ministry staff and representatives of families and community agencies that serve children and youth with special needs to provide advice on Ministry budgets, data needs and policy to strengthen access to supports for children and youth with special needs.
  4. Establishment of a task force to develop and implement practice standards, training requirements and systemic protocols for children and youth with special needs in care.

February 2018

BC's new Provincial Budget 2018-2021 included significant new investments to establish a universal childcare program, with a commitment to eliminate waitlists for the Supported Childcare and Aboriginal Supported Childcare programs to support inclusion of children with special needs.


About Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) in BC

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) for children with developmental challenges includes provincially-funded services and supports offered via community-based providers, including many Inclusion BC members.  

Therapies include Speech Language Pathology (SLP), Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT). Program services include Infant Development Program (IDP) and Aboriginal IDP, Supported Child Development (SCDP) and Aboriginal SCDP. The province also provides Direct Funding to families for autism intervention. Learn more:

Why ECI?

An extensive research base supports the immediate and long-term societal benefits of investing in ECI programs to help all children develop to their full potential. Also, it is the right of every child to access ECI to support their healthy development. Read our Social Policy positions on:

Read about the proven benefits of ECI:

ECI Gaps in BC

Inclusion BC and our partners have been working to identify gaps so that we can improve ECI in BC. Identified gaps include:

  • No increase in ECI program funding for 10 years, while needs and mandates have grown, resulting in unacceptable wait times.
  • Families lack information, struggle to navigate a complex system and have to fight for scarce services, when they already feel overwhelmed by a child's special challenges.
  • Lack of a long-term vision and unifying ECI policy framework that is child- and family-centred. Services are fragmented and funding is reactive.
  • Staff training, recruitment and retention challenges, along with data gaps, further  undercut the effectiveness of ECI investments. 

In The News: 2017 #KidsCantWait campaign