New research shows effective early brain-building models are only reaching a fraction of Texas families

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A recent EHF-sponsored report shows that effective early brain-building programs only reach a fraction of Texas families who could benefit.

Researchers at Texans Care for Children found that in 2018, state home-visiting services provided by the state’s Prevention and Early Intervention program to promote positive parenting practices and infant brain development helped about 10% of families with young children living in the East, Central or Gulf Coast regions of Texas. Researchers also discovered that the state’s average rate of eligible families being served by home-visiting programs is less than half the national rate.

“There’s clearly a gap for parents and families in need of these programs,” said Stephanie Rubin, CEO of Texans Care for Children and co-author of the report. “Texas leaders have the opportunity to ensure more families have access to proven programs by leveraging Medicaid to pay for some of them and by increasing state investments in others.”

The report found that health clinics and pediatric practices provide a unique opportunity to incorporate proven brain-building models into routine care for infants and toddlers.

Researchers analyzed county-level data, researched the availability of services and interventions, and conducted an online survey.

In addition to the gap in home-visiting services related to early childhood brain development, Texans Care for Children found that access to maternal mental health services is limited and that Early Head Start programs exist but only reach a fraction of eligible families.