Occupational therapy session
Occupational therapy session iStock

The Health Ministry has agreed to fund the continued operations of 80 early childhood centers, after they were in danger of closing due to a new early intervention reform.

The centers, which serve 40,000 children, would have closed by the end of the year if a source of funding had not been found.

The new agreement, signed by the local authorities and the Health Ministry, will provide recognized centers with 30 million shekels ($8,893,503) over the next two years.

Under the reform, which is scheduled to go into effect on September 1, Israel's health funds would no longer provide refunds for children who wait more than three months for therapies.

Prior to Thursday's agreement, the plan would also have closed private early intervention centers, essentially eliminating the ability of many families to afford timely therapy from private providers, and forcing them to wait for an unknown amount of time for therapies through the health fund.

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