CARING FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Caring for children with special needs requires a caregiver with knowledge in child development, adaptations to meet the individual child’s needs as well as working with the parents and other community resources. Through the Indiana Partnership for Inclusive Child Care (IPICC) project, IACCRR is committed to increasing the quantity and quality of high quality care for children with special needs.

Inclusion Specialists:

There are nine Inclusion Specialists (one in each child care resource and referral agency) to assist providers in caring for children with special needs. The Inclusion Specialists provide training, on-site technical assistance, resources and other disability-related services to assist providers in including children with special needs. To access the name and contact information for your Inclusion Specialist, please click here.

Trainings:

Inclusion Specialists throughout the state offer a variety of trainings related to disability issues. Trainings are offered throughout the state each month. Feel free to access any training throughout the state. Click here for a list of available trainings. 

Interested in receiving training from the comfort of your own home? Access one of the many disability-related webinars that are offered on a monthly basis. Click here to access Training Central.  You can register for the webinars right from there. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the webinar that can count toward licensing or Paths to QUALITY™ training hours.

Welcoming All Children:

"Welcoming All Children" is a 30 minute video showing inclusion in actual child care settings.  This video contains information about how to do inclusion, resources and other information.  The video can be watched all at one time or in modules. View the “Welcoming All Children” Videos below and download our useful written resource.

 
“A Special Place: Inclusive Child Care in Indiana” training

New Directors of Record for child care centers are required by their licensing regulations to have a one day training provided by IACCRR pertaining to caring for children with special needs. This training is offered on a monthly basis in different parts of the state. To find out when the next available training is, contact rkinder@iaccrr.org or your local Inclusion Specialist

 
Environment:

Would you like some help in making your child care setting more appropriately inclusive? Check out the Inclusive Environmental Checklist for homes , centers or ministries.  Inclusion Specialists will help you work through the checklist as needed.

It is also important for child care providers to have an Inclusion Policy to clearly lay out their plan for including children with disabilities. A sample Inclusion Policy can be found here.

Interested in what parents might look for when they walk through your door looking for care for their child with a special need? Check out the “Choosing High-Quality Child Care for a Child with Special Needs” brochure located here.

Get to know the children in your setting a little better! Print off and ask parents to complete the “What My Child Needs” sheet. This will give you information about what it will take to help the children have a good day whether it’s a piece of specialized equipment or something more general like having a specific toy to sleep with during nap.
 
Social and Emotional Development         

“Outcomes for children exhibiting challenging behaviors indicate numerous short and long-term consequences ranging from school expulsion in the elementary grades, to gang involvement and drug abuse in adolescence, to imprisonment in adulthood.”         -Bickham & Rich, 2006

“Research shows that when educators teach children the key skills they need to understand their emotions and the emotions of others, handle conflicts, problem solve, and develop relationships with peers, their challenging behavior decreases and their social skills improve.”     -Joseph & Strain 2003

Need help with children with challenging behaviors? Focusing on increasing a child’s social and emotional development will greatly reduce challenging behavior. Check out the resources available through the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) at http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu. Inclusion Specialists are available to assist with these resources as well.
 
For a list of books that promote children’s social and emotional competence click here
 
Caregivers Learning Indiana’s Model for Building Social skills (CLIMBS):

CLIMBS is a project designed to assist child care providers to increase the social and emotional appropriateness of their program using research-driven and proven tools from CSEFEL. Activities included in CLIMBS are:

  • pre/post assessment for the social and emotional appropriateness of the child care setting
  • development of an on-site technical assistance plan to be carried out by the child care staff and Inclusion Specialist
  • individualized training for staff

Providers must be a Level 3 or 4 Paths to QUALITY™ provider to participate in this project. Due to the intensive nature of these activities each Inclusion Specialist only accepts a pre-determined number of programs. If interested, contact your Inclusion Specialist. 

Quotes from CLIMBS providers:

“This has increased my understanding of social development. I no longer think of it as being equal to other areas of learning but the foundation.”

“I love that this program allows for room observation and provides feedback/suggestions specific to staff, child and program needs. General presentations are helpful but I think staff benefit from training specific to their needs.”

“Having an objective person observe and give feedback has been a strong feature of this process. Often times if we look at something long enough we don’t always see the need for change. Having a “fresh” set of eyes is most beneficial.”