Run Your Child Care

Special Needs and Inclusion

Child Care Aware® can help providers develop plans and maintain environments that enable children with special needs to learn, grow and play alongside others in a child care setting. Inclusion support services are available to home and center-based providers at no-cost.

What are the characteristics of an inclusive child care program?
• All children, with and without special needs, are together
• All children participate in daily routines and activities
• Enrollment is open to all children and families regardless of abilities, cultures, and backgrounds
• Focus is on the individual strengths of each child
• Child care professionals are flexibe and creative

Benefits of an inclusion program
Children in an inclusive child care/preschool program
• Experience a sense of belonging and feel part of their community
• Have better self esteem
• Develop a wider variety of friendships
• Have positive expectations about things they can do
• Learn from other children
• Share daily experiences
• Learn that people have different kinds of abilities
• Develop sensitivity and understanding towards others
• Learn to value differences in themselves and others
• Are encouraged to be resourceful, creative and cooperative


  • Special Health Care Plans
  • A written health care plan (HCP) is required by licensing for those children with a diagnosed special need. These plans give care providers the vital information they need to manage the child’s condition on a daily basis, what to do in an emergency and how to help the child participate as fully as possible in the child care program.