As a parent who needs to work, daycares are a great resource to ensure your child gets the proper care and love while you go to work. Even if you are a stay-at-home parent, daycare is a good choice for many children because it can teach them fundamentals of learning while developing their social skills. However, as a parent of a special needs child, not just any daycare facility will do. A special needs daycare that has experienced caregivers will provide your son or daughter the best care.
What is the Difference Between Standard and Special Needs Daycares?
While many special needs children are high-functioning and can strive in a typical daycare center, parents of special needs children need to be aware of the difference between a these daycares and a special needs daycare. Knowing the difference will allow you as a parent to best determine which daycare is the perfect fit for your little one.
A standard daycare is run by childcare professionals and typically sticks to a routine that incorporates playtime, mealtime, and learning time. While many childcare professionals in these organizations are loving and educated in childcare, they may not be experienced or certified to properly take care of a child with special needs or disabilities. The childcare professionals may not know how to deal with behavioral issues. They may also not know how to bend the curriculum to fit your child’s needs.
Many children with disabilities function better on a specialized diet. This diet can be hard for standard daycares to follow. Also, several daycares require that their attendees be potty trained, and some special needs children may not be at that point yet.
A special needs daycare functions primarily around children with special needs. The care providers have experience with special needs children and children with disabilities. The most prestigious special needs daycare will have specialized meals for children that are free from common allergens and dyes.
The right daycare will also customize learning and activities based on your child’s unique needs. Look for daycares that will do one-on-one learning and interaction with your child. Some daycares for special needs children even have specialized programs that you can coordinate with facility. These programs can include parent-child therapy, as well as speech pathology sessions.
Ultimately, the choice of which day care to choose for your child is yours. Many parents have had success with regular day cares and special needs day cares. However, your best bet is a specialized day care that is trained and prepared for children with special needs. Teachers in specialized day cares have special training, as well a heart for children with special needs.
Photo by Grant Barrett