October 7, 2021 - Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention


Open to the general public.


10:00am to 1:00pm


Due to the current pandemic, this meeting will be held by Zoom teleconferencing. To participate, please utilize the link below provided by EI Training to register for the meeting.

IICEI Registration: 10/07/21

Once you register, you will be provided with an immediate confirmation, that will indicate Zoom participation information will be forthcoming. You will receive an email with specific access instructions and your unique Zoom link closer to the meeting date.


  • Call to Order
  • Introduction of Council Members
  • Approval July 8, 2021 Draft Meeting Report
  • Re-Open EI Workgroup Update
  • Telehealth Workgroup Update
  • Communication Workgroup Update
  • Equity & Access Workgroup Update
  • Raising Illinois Workgroup Update
  • Preschool Development Grant/Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER)
  • American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds
  • Legislation
  • State Performance Plan (SPP) Target Setting
  • Ongoing Updates
    • IMPACT
    • Cornerstone/EI Data Management System
    • Bureau /Division
    • Digital Signatures
  • Approval of 2022 Council Meeting Dates
  • Adjournment of Meeting

Meeting Report


  • Esther Beard, Advocate Representative
  • Kisha Davis, IL Dept. of Human Services, Bureau of Subsidy Mgmt. (Child Care)
  • Benny Delgado, Provider Representative
  • Brenda Devito, Clearbrook, Chairperson
  • Kristy Doan, IL State Board of Education
  • Christine Doyle Morrison, Provider Representative
  • Donna Emmons, Head Start Representative
  • Chuck Farr, Child & Family Connections (CFC) 13 Program Manager, Rural Representative
  • Ann Freiburg, IDHS, Chief, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Lynnette DeGraffenreid, Provider Representative
  • Jennifer Gentile, IL Dept. of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Dee Dee Lowery, CFC 1 Program Manager, Urban Representative
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • Lori Orr, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development, Early Learning Council Representative
  • Nisha Sanghvi, Provider Representative
  • Amy Santos, Personnel Preparation Representative
  • Shelly Roat, IL Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC)
  • Marie VonDeBur, IL Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services
  • Angel Williams, Illinois Department of Child and Family Services
  • Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative


  • Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Meghan Burke, Parent Representative
  • Rosie Perez, Parent Representative
  • Becca Trevino, Parent Representative
  • Constance Williams, Ph.D., IDHS, Division of Mental Health

Council Packet Contents

  • Agenda
  • Draft Council Meeting Report - July 8, 2021 Meeting
  • ReOpen Early Intervention Workgroup Update
  • Telehealth Workgroup Update
  • Communication Workgroup Update
  • Prenatal to Three Initiative (PN3) Workgroup Update
  • Equity and Access Workgroup Update
  • Early Intervention Program Caseload Summary Report for: ?June 2021 - August 2021
  1. Call to Order
    Brenda Devito, Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:00 am
  2. Introductions of Council Members
    Members introduced themselves and stated their agency/role on the Council.
  3. Approval of the July 8, 2021 Draft Meeting Report
    Amy made a motion to approve the minutes. Christy seconded. Motion passed. Amy Zimmerman asked for updates on the items that were bolded in the previous meeting reports. She asked about posting lead resources. Ann mentioned that this will be done in coordination with updates to all the manuals. Amy asked about the proposed spending of American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) funding and Ann reminded her that the listing was shared shortly after the last meeting. Council members would still like to see a Division of Early Childhood organizational chart. Nisha asked for clarification about the types of changes being made to manuals. Ann highlighted that many of them are clarifications and expansions for better implementation. Budget link in report needs correcting. Amy Z. asked for an update on the status of family fees. Ann shared that we are currently waiting to see what happens with the recommendation in the President's proposed budget before we make state decisions. Ann let people know that families now have a new way to pay existing family fees. They can use the new ePay system which allows them to make payment using an eCheck or debit/credit cards. This system is now live and an insert has been included in families' Family Fee Invoices and Statements.
  4. ReOpen Workgroup Update
    Dee Dee Lowery reported that the workgroup has concluded their work. Their last meeting was on July 27, 2021. It included an update from the social-emotional subgroup. The plan for opening services has not changed since June. The workgroup's final items were to be followed up by the telehealth workgroup and included recommendations for the ongoing use of telehealth services in early intervention.
  5. Telehealth Workgroup Update
    Benny Delgado thanked the ReOpen workgroup for their assistance in moving telehealth forward. He provided some history of the workgroup and reiterated their initial charge of exploring telehealth as an option for providing relief to those who were experiencing service delays. The focus shifted slightly during the pandemic so that services could continue during the pandemic. The Bureau shared a list of items that needed to be considered in policies/procedures for implementing ongoing telehealth services. Recommendations were sent to the Bureau in August. The Bureau has requested additional clarifications and input. Workgroup has asked that the current recommendations be shared with the Council for additional feedback that will inform next steps. Bureau will send the recommendations to Council members. Brenda asked if all telehealth workgroup members had seen document and provided feedback. Benny shared that while they contributed to it, workgroup members have not seen the final document. Benny will send to them as well. Benny said that the Council may need to meet again to provide input to proposed policies/procedures related to telehealth before January so as not to further delay the release of the manuals. Ann offered to attend next workgroup call to make sure necessary pieces are in place. Ginger asked about negative consequences of manual release being delayed. Benny said that the lead guidelines not being released may impact some children's access to services. Amy asked about a public comment period. Ann clarified what types of changes require a public comment period. Benny mentioned that the Family Guide may need updating to include the lead language. Margie proposed other options for providing input that would not involve the scheduling of an additional IICEI meeting given the challenges of bringing everyone together. Brenda reminded everyone of the advisory nature of the Council in regard to policy/procedure development.
  6. Communications Workgroup Update
    Nisha Sanghvi and Christy Morrison reported that their primary charge is to think of ways to improve communication across the entire early intervention system acknowledging the diversity within the state. They continue to offer suggestions for consistency. Nisha provided information about the DHS question email and shared that while the Bureau reads all questions submitted, not every question gets an individual response. The workgroup has moved a standardized workgroup reporting format forward. The billing infographic is still in process. They have been receiving feedback that the system is not getting the referrals needed. They have asked that the Child Find memo be updated to encourage referrals. Have also received feedback that people are struggling to find the EI supports infographic, so they are asking that this be posted prominently on one of the existing partner websites. Christy mentioned that another idea the group had was to create a similar systems infographic for families. Group is also wondering if a newsletter can highlight the process for making system changes so that stakeholders understand how this works. They suggest starting with the Extended Services changes as an example. Christy clarified that the workgroup is seeking transparency and greater understanding for stakeholders. It may help people understand the variety of influences on each system change and why things take time. Lori added that keeping all stakeholders is important for increasing knowledge and supporting implementation. The workgroup has also expressed a desire to provide input on the data system changes. They feel it is important to continue conversations with the medical community and other referral sources. Amy Z asked that family physicians be included when working with medical community. Ginger added that nurse practitioners should also be considered as another valuable medical community partner.
  7. Equity & Access Workgroup Update
    Angel Williams reported that the workgroup met last week. They are at a place where they need additional Bureau input in order to further their work. Given the magnitude of the topic, it is hard to know what initiatives to move forward. Angel has a meeting coming up to discuss data with Ann and Chelsea. The workgroup is also thinking about how to collaborate with DHS' diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Their next call scheduled for October 19th.
  8. Prenatal to Three Initiative (PN3)/Raising Illinois Workgroup Update
    Margaret Harkness reported that there is a lot of overlap between the Council's workgroup and the EI policy workgroup within Raising Illinois. The groups merged for an August meeting. Information about priorities and progress towards these items was shared. Hoping that ARP funds can be used to support this work. A suggestion has been made to hire a consultant to created targeted Facebook ads to reach desired audiences. This consultant could also be helpful for addressing website issues that have been identified by the Communications workgroup. Esther shared that the policy workgroup feels that there is continued advocacy needed to ensure that families receive services. Christy asked about the future of this particular workgroup- is it ongoing, is it still needed? Nisha asked for clarification around who needs specialized teams and what they are intended to accomplish. Esther provided more information about her understanding of specialized teams. Her feeling is that the teams are intended to address equity and access issues. Nisha and Christy both asked for the research or evidence that has fed into this recommendation. Lori shared that the definition of the specialized teams is in the PN3 policy agenda. Margie shared information on how they envisioned the differential funding for these teams working. Nisha highlighted the challenges associated with tracking so many initiatives and where the support for the work is coming from. Benny suggested looking at prior minutes and existing documents to think about integrating the work to make it more comprehensive and understandable. It was decided to hold decisions about the future of the workgroup for now.
  9. Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) and Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five (PDG B-5)
    Lori Orr reported that they still do not have an executed contract with the University of Illinois to begin the GEER's work. Proposed program is for loaning equipment to families. PDG B-5 integrated referral and intake systems (IRIS) is now implemented in four communities. This supports coordinated intake for home visiting. She shared which communities have this available. As of January, more communities will be included in these networks. Lori reiterated that the point of coordinated intake is to make sure that families can access any needed early childhood service through one entry point. Nisha asked if there are pieces of IRIS that should be considered for our future EI data system. Lori reiterated that there may be, but the systems have different purposes. An outside entity has begun engaging in additional strategic planning for PDG B-5. The process has begun, and stakeholders will be included. Email Lori about interest in being part of the core group for planning as it is intended to include representation from all systems/programs serving children birth to five and their families. Amy Z asked if there is a description that Council members could share to ensure good representation. Lori will try to find something to share.
  10. American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) Funds
    Prior to starting the update, Brenda asked about the feasibility of creating a legislative/finance IICEI workgroup to aid with some of this planning. Amy Z thinks this is important and emphasized the importance of it including non-Council members. Brenda reiterated that this is an expectation of all workgroups. Reach out to Brenda and Jenni if interested. Ann reported that she did get feedback when the proposed list was shared with Council members. Work is organized around four broad categories- public awareness, recruitment and retention of high-quality providers, technology, and infrastructure. Ann has started having meetings with the entities who could potentially be involved in this work, such as DoIT webmaster, DHS communications, EITP, EIC, etc. to plan for improvements. Have also begun collecting resources from other states/entities that have good examples of what we are seeking. She reports on these efforts weekly to her supervisor. They are beginning to make amendments to existing contracts and to figure out needs for external entities support. She views this as an opportunity to realize some of our system's "dream" items. States were required to submit a planned budget and will also need to account for how money is spent. Amy Z asked for allocation and spending requirements. Ann shared that the allocation was $7,492,617 and funds need to be obligated by September 30, 2023 and liquidated by January 28, 2024. Benny asked if specialized teams are included in this proposal. Ann explained that there are pieces of the work included, but they are not referenced specifically. He suggested that these funds be explicitly linked to supporting the teams' work. Brenda provided a reminder that these are temporary funds that can help us learn more and pilot approaches, but they will not be available for sustaining initiatives.
  11. Legislation
    Ann reported that the Bureau has begun addressing the requirements for Extended Part C services. We are currently meeting with OSEP and stakeholders. Need to resubmit our application so that we can begin supporting May and June 2022 children, even though we are not seeking federal funds for these children during this fiscal year. Everything needs to be coordinated with Part B. Working hard to get drafts completed and to begin sharing information with eligible families. The Illinois State Board of Education is also working on some communication pieces for their stakeholders. The Bureau is also beginning to think about how to address the recommendations that were included in the legislation. A workgroup to help with legislative and finance issues could be useful.
  12. State Performance Plan (SPP)
    Ann reported that we are required to set targets for our performance every five years. While some Indicators have to be 100% (compliance indicators), states have flexibility with setting targets for the others. She would like Council input on those where we have flexibility. This has historically been a relatively straightforward process, but recent data feels less reliable for accurate predictions. We can also consider resetting baselines, but we need to justify it when we do. Ann walked Council members through the information shared in the Council packet in regard to target-setting.
    Group discussed the importance of increasing natural environments target, but they do not think we can identify specific systemic changes that would lead to resetting the baseline. Amy asked if implementing the secondary reimbursement policy might impact the natural environments indicator in a negative direction because these services may be provided in clinic settings. She would not recommend raising this to above 90%. Amy Z asked about current penalties for CFCs. Ann clarified that current penalties are for performance below 90% for natural environments and insufficient staffing levels. Ann provided a reminder that performance contracting and SPP target-setting are independent issues. Benny suggests making it progressive, but achievable. We want to have something that keeps us moving forward and services in natural environments are a part of that continued improvement. In general, it seemed that people would be comfortable with a modest increase in the target (a couple of percentage points).
    Ann gave some background on the state's performance relative to participation rate. This is an Indicator that has definitely been impacted by COVID. She recommends not increasing above current baseline while we rebound from the pandemic. Moving closer to baseline seems a realistic middle step with increases moving forward. She recommends perhaps resetting to 1.1% and moving up to 1.25%. Some expressed discomfort with lowering our target since getting kids into the system is so important. Nisha supported Ann's proposal. Benny and Amy Z pointed out that some of our more recent efforts may increase this percentage, e.g., outreach to referral sources and expanded eligibility categories. In the interest of time, Ann will provide some revised targets for the Council to consider again in January. Benny expressed that there is value in having these conversations with the full Council rather than just going back and forth via email. Brenda agreed to investigate another meeting option but reminded everyone of the requirements for the meeting.
  13. Ongoing Updates
  1. Illinois Medicaid Program Advanced Cloud Technology
    A Provider Notice was issued requesting that providers update their information in IMPACT. The deadline was extended, and Ann is hoping that people have updated so that the system remains current. Meetings are ongoing about the next phases. IMPACT was recently able to override an issue that came up related to updating expiration date of licenses. Rob shared that we are expecting extensions for all disciplines impacted.
  2. Cornerstone
    No new information. Ann has elevated her concern about a lack of responsiveness on the status of the new data system.
  3. Bureau
    The new Division director will be starting soon. Bethany will move to associate director of programs. Ann will have to see if she can get an organizational chart. She thinks they are working to do interviews for the first two positions- chief of staff and policy advisor. Ann thinks that the Bureau will get five new positions in addition to the support provided by the Division. Ann does not know the timeline for these positions.
  4. Digital Signatures
    Still working through original contract with DocuSign. Ann is hoping that a mechanism for this can be included in the new data system.

14. Dates for 2022 Council Meeting
Brenda is wondering if meetings should be permanently moved to second Thursday since we already often move January and July and Sharing a Vision potentially impacts October. Benny suggested moving them to the second Thursday for the coming year making it 1/13, 4/14, 7/14, 10/13 for 2022. Benny motioned to accept dates; Amy seconded. Motion passed

15. Announcement
Ann let everyone know that she will be retiring from state employment after 34 years. Her last date will be December 31st. She has been presented a personal opportunity that she can't pass up. She thanks everyone for their passion and dedication to the early intervention system. Brenda asked her to return for the January meeting.

16. Adjournment
Angel motioned to adjourn. Nisha seconded. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 1:03 pm.

Contact Information

Jenni Grissom
IDHS - Bureau of Early Intervention
823 East Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62701
Ph: 217/524-1596
Email: jennifer.grissom@illinois.gov

If you are need of special accommodations, please email or call Jenni Grissom.