RHSC is thrilled to announce that our Early Intervention Playdates will continue in 2024 and beyond! The Golisano Foundation has generously renewed a grant we received last year to launch the program and has committed to TWO YEARS of funding to ensure that families can continue to attend these free, monthly events!
These two-hour playdates provide an opportunity for parents/caregivers to interact with licensed therapists while they engage in developmentally appropriate activities with their child and other families. The program was created to give interim relief to the large number of children in our community who are waiting for Early Intervention services due to provider shortages. It provided more than 200 services last year.
Early Intervention services can change a child's developmental path and improve outcomes for children, families, and communities. Rochester Hearing & Speech Center is the only nonprofit provider of Early Intervention services with a footprint in Monroe County, where the waiting list for services has at times exceeded 1,000 children in the past year. State reimbursement rates for these essential developmental services - which are provided at no cost to families – are lower now than they were 20 years ago, which has caused other nonprofit providers in Monroe County to eliminate their Early Intervention programs.
RHSC helps families waiting for EI services by offering programs that provide speech-language, occupational and physical therapy for children up to age three. In addition to The Golisano Foundation's grant expanding our Early Intervention Playdates, support from private donors and foundations allowed us to add more Developmental Groups to our schedule this year, serving nearly 40% more children from the County's waitlist for Early Intervention services at our Elmwood Avenue location compared to last year.
Dates for our next Early Intervention Playdates will be announced soon. For more information, please visit https://www.rhsc.org/ei-guided-playdate