Do Minority Children Have Equitable Access to Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education Services?

Paul Morgan, Pennsylvania State University
George Farkas, University of California, Irvine
Steven Maczuga, Pennsylvania State University
Marianne M. Hillemeier, Pennsylvania State University

We used a large preschool-aged sample of 48-month-olds (N=7,689) participating in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) to investigate whether and to what degree minority children had equitable access to early intervention and/or early childhood special education (EC/ECSE) services. Logistic regression analyses indicated that, both prior to and after extensive statistical control of factors related to children’s cognitive and behavioral functioning (i.e., socio-demographic, gestational, and birth characteristics, as well as early academic skills proficiency and frequency of externalizing and internalizing behavior problems), preschool-aged children who are Black, Hispanic, or Asian are less likely to be provided EI/ECSE services than otherwise identical children who are white (OR range=.21-.41). Low-income children are also less likely to receive these services (OR range=.44-.63). These groups of children are less likely to receive EI/ECSE services despite their greater likelihood of displaying very low levels of early academic skills proficiency.

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Presented in Poster Session 2