Quality childcare can be particularly important for those children with disabilities or Special Educational Needs and may reduce the need for intervention at a later stage.
Often, disabled children do not have as many opportunities to play with other children and can feel very isolated. Childcare can help meet some of the needs that children with disabilities and their families may have.
Day nurseries, pre-schools and playgroups
Most early years settings and providers should make every effort to accommodate your child's needs and provide an environment that enables him/her to thrive and develop to their full potential. However, if your child's needs are very complex and require additional staffing to support him, it may not be possible for them to be accommodated at every group. In this instance you should contact your doctor or other health professional who may be able to offer further advice.
Some childminders have undertaken further special training to work with children with disabilities and special needs and may therefore be able to meet your child's needs more efficiently.
Nannies and Home Childcarer
You can employ nannies or home childcarer to provide care for your child in your home. Childcare providers always emphasise parental involvement in their child’s needs:
- Talk to potential providers about any special needs your child has, such as diet or any medical assistance.
- Discuss with them how best they can meet your child’s needs.
- Think about whether your carer will need special training to care for your child.
- See if you can arrange a settling-in period or spend some time with the carer so that you, the carer and your child can get to know each other.
- Think also about how you will get your child to and from their childcare. Some childminders or out of school clubs may be willing to pick up your child from school but you may have to be responsible for getting your child there.