March 10, 2022 - Special Meeting Agenda and Meeting Report


Open to the general public.


Thursday, March 10, 2022


10:00 am to 11:00 am


Due to the current pandemic, this meeting was held via Zoom teleconferencing. Registration was offered so the public could participate.


Discussion of FY23 Proposed Budget

Meeting Report


  • Michelle Baldock, IL Dept. of Insurance
  • Esther Beard, Advocate Representative
  • 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
  • Margaret Harkness, IL Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Heather Hofferkamp, IDHS, Interim Chief, Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Dee Dee Lowery, CFC 1 Program Manager, Urban Representative
  • Nisha Sanghvi, Provider 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
  • Constance Williams, Ph.D., IDHS, Division of Mental Health


  • Meghan Burke, Parent Representative
  • Michael Garner-Jones, IL Dept. of Human Services, Bureau of Subsidy Mgmt. (Child Care)
  • Lynnette DeGraffenreid, Provider Representative
  • Jennifer Gentile, IL Dept. of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities
  • Kate Ulmer, ISBE, McKinney-Vento, Homeless Representative
  • Ginger Mullin, IL Dept. of Public Health
  • Lori Orr, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development, Early Learning Council Representative
  • Rosie Perez, Parent Representative
  • Amy Santos, Personnel Preparation Representative
  • Becca Trevino, Parent Representative
  • Amy Zimmerman, Advocate Representative

Council Chairperson, Brenda Devito welcomed everyone the special meeting of the Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention and took attendance of council members. Brenda advised that the purpose of this meeting is to discuss the letter to be sent to the Governor and the Illinois General Assembly requesting a funding increase for Early Intervention (EI) Program. Benny Delgado composed the letter and various council members made revisions.

Benny made a motion to send the letter to Governor Pritzker's office and the Illinois General Assembly requesting an additional 10% increase be added to the FY23 EI budget. The motion was seconded by Donna Emmons. No one opposed. Benny Delgado summarized the letter:

  • A 10% increase to the EI budget would adequately meet the demands of providing EI services
  • A description of the purpose and role of the Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention
  • The significant impact EI services has on children and the average amount of children served
  • Gratitude to the Governor for the strong focus and commitment to the early childhood system
  • The impact of COVID-19, initiatives to address equity and access, securing a robust workforce, and the impact of inflation on Illinois

A discussion followed regarding the content of the draft letter.

Christy Morrison asked if the council has numbers to support the statement that a significant number of children who receive EI services catch up with their peers by age three. Dee Dee Lowery said this information should be available through the EI Data System. Brenda shared that using the percentage would be preferable. A meeting participant suggested using the actual number of providers leaving EI rather than leaving it vague. Rob Derry, Provider Connections, said he provides the number of providers leaving to the Bureau of EI monthly and quarterly. Benny said we also need to know the number of families each provider serves. A meeting participant asked if we could include service coordinator caseload numbers. Dee Dee Lowery said her office currently has received a high number of referrals and added this is unprecedented for her office and expressed concern over recruitment and retention of service coordinators due to wage scale. Benny suggested using a personal story in the letter. Angel Williams agreed with Benny regarding using a personal story. Margaret Harkness said she thinks a few numbers and a couple quotes would be sufficient for this letter and the Council could provide much more detail if a hearing is granted. Dee Dee said the pandemic has had a significant impact. Benny mentioned how inflation has impacted the providers who drive to provide services to families. Margaret asked if they should consider getting direct input from a provider. Benny said the last pay increase that was received was the first increase in eleven years. The Council members present discussed making revisions to the letter. An infographic may be created and included.

Brenda asked members who were present from the Council to vote on sending the letter to the Bureau of Early EI to be forward to the Governor and General Assembly. All members present, with the exception of Kristy Doan and Marie Von Debur, voted in favor, none opposed.

Motion carried and letter will be sent to the Bureau of Early Intervention.

Brenda thanked everyone or their time and the meeting was adjourned.

Contact Information

Jenni Grissom
IDHS - Bureau of Early Intervention
823 East Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62701
Ph: 217/524-1596

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

Thank you.