Every child needs a social structure, a caring, learning, and nurturing environment. If you are looking for a daycare provider for your special needs child, you will want to make sure that they have expertise in working with children who have special needs. You’ll want to make sure they understand the specific needs your child may have, not just an understanding of the disability itself.
Children living with special needs have unique care requirements. You want to make sure that the child care you are selecting specializes in the specific type of care your child needs, and more so, can take the time and care your special someone needs.
The American Disabilities Act
The American Disabilities Act does not require daycare centers to refuse or admit children based on their disability. Instead, it requires the child care facility to evaluate each child’s specific needs and to assess whether or not they are equipped to provide the particular services the child needs.
How to vet a daycare center
To properly vet a daycare center, you should first create a list, taking down your child’s strengths, weaknesses, needs, and personality. When you meet with the daycare supervisors and staff, you should discuss with them openly and directly the items and points you have listed.
Ask them whether they are pressed during the day and find it difficult to take time out for one child. Ask them whether they have supervised and cared for a child with your child’s disability. If your child needs special equipment, you should inquire whether the facility has this equipment on site and how often it undergoes maintenance. You can also ask some personal questions such as whether they have someone with a disability in their family, and ask if they have ever assisted with this individual.
This list should further entail your child’s ability to communicate their needs with others and discuss this with the daycare providers. This is particularly of great importance, as it will illustrate the level of personal and one-on-one care your child will need throughout the day.
Look for reviews of the daycare. Speak to others that have used them before and find out their thoughts on the facility and staff. You can also ask about a “sit-in.” This is where you are able to come in for the first few days and oversee how they work with your child. You can also “pop-in” every now and again to evaluate whether your child’s needs are being met.
The important thing is finding a child care facility that can accommodate your child’s needs, provide the care and understand your child requires and can offer the security and comfort you need as a parent.