(325 ILCS 20/2) (from Ch. 23, par. 4152)
    Sec. 2. Legislative Findings and Policy.
    (a) The General Assembly finds that there is an urgent and substantial need to:
        (1) enhance the development of all eligible infants
and toddlers in the State of Illinois in order to minimize developmental delay and maximize individual potential for adult independence;
        (2) enhance the capacity of families to meet the
special needs of eligible infants and toddlers including the purchase of services when necessary;
        (3) reduce educational costs by minimizing the need
for special education and related services when eligible infants and toddlers reach school age;
        (4) enhance the independence, productivity and
integration with age-appropriate peers of eligible children and their families;
        (5) reduce social services costs and minimize the
need for institutionalization; and
        (6) prevent secondary impairments and disabilities by
improving the health of infants and toddlers, thereby reducing health costs for the families and the State.
    (b) The General Assembly therefore intends that the policy of this State shall be to:
        (1) affirm the importance of the family in all areas
of the child's development and reinforce the role of the family as a participant in the decision making processes regarding their child;
        (2) provide assistance and support to eligible
infants and toddlers and their families to address the individual concerns and decisions of each family;
        (3) develop and implement, on a statewide basis,
locally based comprehensive, coordinated, interdisciplinary, interagency early intervention services for all eligible infants and toddlers;
        (4) enhance the local communities' capacity to
provide an array of quality early intervention services;
        (5) identify and coordinate all available resources
for early intervention within the State including those from federal, State, local and private sources;
        (6) provide financial and technical assistance to
local communities for the purposes of coordinating early intervention services in local communities and enhancing the communities' capacity to provide individualized early intervention services to all eligible infants and toddlers in their homes or in community environments; and
        (7) affirm that eligible infants and toddlers have a
right to receive early intervention services to the maximum extent appropriate, in natural environments in which infants and toddlers without disabilities would participate.
    (c) The General Assembly further finds that early intervention services are cost-effective and effectively serve the developmental needs of eligible infants and toddlers and their families. Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to provide a comprehensive, coordinated, interagency, interdisciplinary early intervention services system for eligible infants and toddlers and their families by enhancing the capacity to provide quality early intervention services, expanding and improving existing services, and facilitating coordination of payments for early intervention services from various public and private sources.
(Source: P.A. 91-538, eff. 8-13-99.)