If you are the new parent of a special needs child, you may be concerned about finding an appropriate daycare for your baby. There are daycare facilities that offer great childcare for infants and toddlers with special needs. However, there are a few things that you should look for as you make your selection. Here are a few of them:
Is the staff specially trained?
One of the most important factors in the care of your child is the proficiency of the daycare staff. As you search for the right facility, confirm that workers are well educated concerning the handling of a child with congenital defects.
Daycare leaders should be able to supply you with a list of required courses for their staff, as well as the frequency of continuing education classes that relate to special needs care.
Are there special needs children at the facility?
Even if the staff of a daycare is adequately trained to handle a special needs child, it is important to actually see the workers in action. Experience provides a different level of expertise than simple classroom training.
Many daycare facilities allow parents to monitor childcare from a distance by viewing activities through a windowed door or via security camera monitors. Ask the facility director if you can make an unannounced visit to watch workers interact with special needs children who are enrolled in the daycare. In addition, feel free to ask questions. Look and listen for indications that the care offered is provided in a manner that is similar to the way that you handle your child. In some instances, you may even be able to glean additional care ideas from the way that the daycare teachers provide special needs care.
Is the building handicap-accessible?
Although your baby may only be an infant, his or her ability to ambulate will likely increase over time. Thus, if you plan to allow your child to remain enrolled at the daycare at least through toddlerhood, it is best to look at the handicapped accommodations now.
Special accommodations, such as wheelchair ramps that lead directly into a classroom and lower-than-usual water fountains, can help encourage independence as your child grows.
The care of a special needs infant can be a bit more involved than traditional childcare. If you are seeking a daycare for your baby who has special needs, schedule a visit with a daycare in your area.
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