Early Childhood Screenings

Provides parents or guardians of a child access to screening for
their child for psychological and physiological development
between the child's second and third birthday.  Requires DOH to
plan and develop a screening tool. (HB259 HD3)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 3
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that recent research has
 2 demonstrated that the early years of a child are most crucial in
 3 a child's cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development.
 4 Neuroscience research in early brain development as well as
 5 studies in early child development affirm not only the tremendous
 6 opportunities for prevention work with children and families, but
 7 also the predictable, costly consequences of not doing so.  For
 8 every one dollar invested in early childhood education and care
 9 and early intervention services for children birth to five years
10 of age, it is estimated that seven dollars in later remediation
11 and special education services may be saved.
12      The legislature further finds that early screening,
13 identification, and intervention for developmental delays and
14 psychosocial problems improve children's outcomes, and have a
15 critical influence on school success and family functioning.  The
16 departments of health, education, and human services currently
17 provide community health services and education for screening and
18 assessment.  However, current resources are inadequate to make
19 these services available to all parents and some parents are
20 unaware of or do not take advantage of these services.  As a

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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 3

 1 result, their children may miss proper screening, evaluation, and
 2 if needed, referrals and treatment.
 3      The purpose of this Act is to provide a means for early
 4 childhood screening before a child reaches the age of three.
 5      SECTION 2.  Chapter 321, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 6 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
 7 read as follows:
 8      "321-     Early childhood screenings.  (a)  Between the
 9 second and third anniversary of the child's birth, the parents or
10 guardians of a child may have access to have the child screened
11 for psychological and cognitive, language, motor, and behavioral
12 or social-emotional development.  Screening and certification of
13 screening may be provided by:
14      (1)  The child's pediatrician;
15      (2)  Any primary health care provider;
16      (3)  The department of health; or
17      (4)  The department of education.
18      (b)  As part of the screening and certification process
19 authorized by subsection (a), the department of health, the
20 department of education, the child's physician, or primary
21 healthcare provider may:
22      (1)  Provide information and referrals of programs and
23           services to help remediate any developmental problems
24           revealed by the screening;

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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 3

 1      (2)  Inform all parents and guardians of their
 2           responsibilities with respect to ensuring that their
 3           child's psychological and physiological development is
 4           progressing satisfactorily;
 5      (3)  Provide assistance and advice to parents and guardians
 6           in meeting those responsibilities;
 7      (4)  Provide additional screenings, assessments, or
 8           referrals as deemed necessary; and
 9      (5)  Use a standardized screening instrument and referral
10           protocol as jointly developed by the departments of
11           health, education, and human services, the University
12           of Hawaii, and the American Academy of Pediatrics."
13      SECTION 3.  (a)  The department of health, in conjunction
14 with the departments of education and human services, the
15 University of Hawaii, and the American Academy of Pediatrics,
16 shall plan and develop:
17      (1)  Standardized screening for the psychological and
18           physiological development of a child between two and
19           three years of age, which includes but is not limited
20           to:
21           (A)  Cognitive development;
22           (B)  Language development;
23           (C)  Motor development; and

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                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 3

 1           (D)  Behavioral or social-emotional development;
 2      (2)  Access to screening by a pediatrician or primary care
 3           physician or other health care of child development
 4           professional approved by the department of health;
 5      (3)  Means to certify that a child has been screened by the
 6           child's third birthday; and
 7      (4)  A plan that includes benchmarking and time limits to
 8           achieve universal screening, including identification
 9           of populations most "at risk" to be targeted initially.
10      (b)  The standardized screening and referral protocol shall
11 be developed by June 30, 2000.
12      SECTION 4.  There is appropriated out of the general
13 revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $      or so much
14 thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 1999-2000 to develop
15 the standardized screening and referral protocol provided for in
16 this Act.
17      The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of
18 health for the purposes of this Act.
19      SECTION 5.  New statutory material is underscored.
20      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval;
21 provided that:
22      (1)  Section 2 shall take effect on July 1, 2000; and
23      (2)  Section 4 shall take effect on July 1, 1999.