Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Program

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is a $470 million federal program for families with children birth to age 3 with developmental delays or disabilities.  ECI provides customized, home-based support in this critical developmental window, but there is no high-quality evidence supporting its costs or benefits.

  • Policy question: The ECI leadership team seeks to estimate the program’s cost-savings for the state and its impact on the health and education outcomes of participating children. This research will help shape the program’s design and provide an evidence base for future funding debates.
  • Methodology: We will conduct a quasi-experimental impact evaluation of ECI using available administrative data from Texas Health and Human Services (Medicaid and ECI) and the Texas Education Agency (K-12 data). We will leverage the eligibility cutoff of the program to implement a regression discontinuity design.
  • Results and impact: This research is in its early stages. Our partnership with ECI will generate knowledge that will improve the lives of the nearly 60,000 children and families served by Texas ECI each year, influencing approximately $200M of annual spending on ECI services.
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