Illinois budget battle affecting therapists, patients of early c -

Illinois budget battle affecting therapists, patients of early childhood development programs

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( - As Illinois continues its battle to approve a budget, there could be a lack of funding for early childhood development caregivers and patients.

The funding is meant to benefit children from birth to 3-years-old,  in what experts consider a critical time for their development.

Jennifer Bensinger, a physical therapist whose services are funded by the federally mandated Early Intervention program, told News 4 she and employees of her business, Wonderfully Made Pediatrics, have been working without pay since June.

“I would say we're getting close to six figures,” Bensinger said.

On Friday, Bensinger and many other therapists were notified funds would be released for the back pay they’re owed, but there’s no guarantee the program won't be cut back in the future.

"We need to be able to supply [children] what they need at the early age –at the age they're going to develop,” said Bensinger,  “I don't think cutting this program is going to save the state any money."

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