When it comes time for parents to begin shopping for daycare facilities for their children, the road can be long and difficult. Many parents wonder about the right questions to ask. Many don’t quite know what to look for. This task is especially hard when you are in the market for such services for a child who has special needs. Special needs resources are not always as plentiful. Below is a list of tips to help you in choosing first-class, yet affordable childcare assistance for your special needs child.
1. Activities: Arts and crafts and many other activities offer helpful learning experiences for special needs children; however, the activities will need to be customized so that they can participate. Ask the childcare provider that you plan to interview if they adapt their activities for special needs children.
2. Patience and Understanding: Special needs children do not always have the ability to process what’s going on around them. It is important that your childcare provider understand that she or he may need to repeat instructions or explain or demonstrate instructions in a modified way for the child who has special needs.
3. Love and Affection: Children with special needs require the same love and affection as any other child. Oftentimes, caregivers are distracted by the disability and forget that being mindful of the child’s emotions is equally critical. Ask for testimonials of other parents to determine how loving and warm your prospective childcare provider is with their children.
4. Recognition and Rewards: Daycare centers that deal with special needs children should have a system of positive reinforcement for obedience. It is suggested that there be some means of recognizing the achievements of special needs children. Many children with special needs simply want one-on-one time with an adult. Even something as simple as allowing them to help with chores and then recognizing their efforts may do the trick. During your interview, ask if this is part of the facility’s routine when addressing special needs children.
5. Community: Special needs children need a sense of community. Make sure that the daycare facility you are considering encourages cooperative learning activities. You don’t want your child isolated from the other children. Children of all levels, with different abilities should be invited to work together when possible. You want to be certain that your facility establishes an atmosphere in which a real community of students is developed.
6. Even if you are not eligible for government subsidized programs, ask if your prospective childcare provider is a participant in programs like the BEGIN/ACS or related programs. These daycare facilities tend to be more affordable than daycares that do not participate.
If the program you are interviewing meets the above standards and participates in government subsidized programs, you probably have yourself a winner.