REPORT TITLE:
Early Childhood Screenings


DESCRIPTION:
Provides a means for early childhood screening when a child
reaches the age of three.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           2460
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO EARLY CHILDHOOD. 


BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that although the
 
 2 department of education currently screens for children age three
 
 3 to five for disabilities, the screenings should be more
 
 4 comprehensive and involve a multi-disciplinary approach.  In
 
 5 addition to the department of education, the departments of
 
 6 health and human services, the child's pediatrician, or a primary
 
 7 health care provider should be involved in the screening.
 
 8 Furthermore, the current screenings should include follow-up for
 
 9 information and referral to programs and services and for the
 
10 provision of advice to parents about the child's psychological
 
11 and physiological development.
 
12      The legislature further finds that recent neuroscience
 
13 research demonstrates that a child's early years are most crucial
 
14 in a child's cognitive, emotional, social, and physical
 
15 development, and affirms that there are tremendous opportunities
 
16 for preventive work with children and families as well as the
 
17 predictable, costly consequences of not doing so.  The
 
18 legislature further finds that quality early childhood education
 
19 and child care which supports all aspects of early development by
 

 
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 1 parents and care givers in a variety of settings, including child
 
 2 care centers, family child care, and in the homes of families and
 
 3 friends, is crucial to ensuring that every young child has a good
 
 4 beginning and does not lose the potential with which the child
 
 5 was born.
 
 6      In 1998, the legislature adopted House Concurrent Resolution
 
 7 No. 38 which endorsed six desired child outcomes as state policy,
 
 8 and encouraged private and public agencies serving children to
 
 9 use these outcomes as a basis for policy and program development.
 
10 This common set of outcomes focuses action and accountability
 
11 toward achieving positive results by improving the quality of
 
12 life for children and youth, and establishing indicators to
 
13 measure progress in achieving these outcomes.  These six child
 
14 outcomes are:
 
15      (1)  Every child will thrive physically--to be healthy from
 
16           birth with ongoing access to good health care, and have
 
17           a safe home, school, and community environment;
 
18      (2)  Every child will form positive relationships--to have
 
19           the attention of at least one caring adult and
 
20           supportive friendship with peers;
 
21      (3)  Every child will be prepared for and succeed in
 
22           school--to have developmentally nurturing care and
 
23           early education opportunities, meet age-appropriate
 

 
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 1           knowledge and competencies, and graduate from high
 
 2           school;
 
 3      (4)  Every child will be culturally aware and appreciative
 
 4           of diversity;
 
 5      (5)  Every child and youth will choose responsible
 
 6           behaviors--to exhibit respect for oneself, others of
 
 7           every age, and society by refraining from drug use and
 
 8           from sexual and illegal activity; and
 
 9      (6)  Every youth will develop marketable skills enabling a
 
10           successful transition into adulthood.
 
11      The legislature further finds that as public and private
 
12 agencies address the third outcome of succeeding in school, many
 
13 facets of the early childhood system are affected.  These fall
 
14 into the areas of health, education, and social services that
 
15 overlap to support the family and the child.  When considered in
 
16 the totality, for every $1 invested in early childhood education
 
17 and care and early intervention services for children from birth
 
18 to five years of age it is estimated that $7 in later remediation
 
19 and special education services may be saved.
 
20      The legislature further finds that early screening,
 
21 identification, and intervention for developmental delays and
 
22 psychosocial problems improve children's outcomes, and have a
 
23 critical influence on school success and family functioning.  The
 

 
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 1 state departments of health, education, and human services
 
 2 currently provide community health services and education for
 
 3 screening and assessment.  However, parents are unaware of or
 
 4 choose not to partake in these services.  Meanwhile, their
 
 5 children do not receive proper screening, evaluation, and if
 
 6 indicated, referrals and treatment.
 
 7      The purpose of this Act is to provide a means for early
 
 8 childhood screening when a child reaches the age of three.
 
 9      SECTION 2.  Chapter 321, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
10 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
 
11 read as follows:
 
12      "321-     Early childhood screenings.  (a)  Within ninety
 
13 days prior to and ninety days following the third anniversary of
 
14 a birth, the parents or guardians of a child may have their child
 
15 screened for psychological and physiological development.
 
16 Screening and certification of screening may be provided by:
 
17      (1)  The department of health;
 
18      (2)  The department of education;
 
19      (3)  The department of human services;
 
20      (4)  The child's pediatrician; or
 
21      (5)  Any primary health care provider.
 
22      (b)  As part of the screening and certification process
 
23 authorized by subsection (a), the department, physician, or
 

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

 
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 1           (B)  Language development;
 
 2           (C)  Motor development; and
 
 3           (D)  Behavioral or social-emotional development;
 
 4           and
 
 5      (2)  A referral protocol.
 
 6      (b)  The standardized screening and referral protocol shall
 
 7 be developed by June 30, 2001.
 
 8      SECTION 4.  New statutory material is underscored.
 
 9      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.
 
10 
 
11                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________