June 22, 2016 |
One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to find dependable child care. Many of us rely on family and friends or perhaps quit a job to make sure that we have the right care for our children. This gets more complicated when students enroll in school - parents are often stuck trying to juggle both their jobs and an after school schedule.
Regular day cares are often not equipped to handle children with special health care needs. Many of them say that they’re classified based on age, when in reality they are classified based on staff’s ability. My 3-year-old has the physical needs of an 8-month-old, but the social needs of a regular 3-year-old which makes it tough to find reliable care.
So here are some tips about finding child care for your child:
- Think about your budget: Your budget is going to be what determines whether you find someone to come to your home or whether you take them to a day care location. Know how much you are able to spend monthly and make a plan.
- Ask around: Your child’s Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) teacher or therapist might have some good recommendations for local agencies or people who can watch your child. Getting recommendations from the people you trust the most can lead to a good outcome. Ask other parents as well.
- Write out your schedule: When potential care providers hear “special health care needs” they might start to back away. But a written schedule with detailed information about what your child needs, might be just the thing to help them be more comfortable.
- Check out the State of Texas Database: The Department of Family and Protective Services has a great database of all day care centers. The database is searchable by town, and has detailed information about any violations the care provider may have had over the past few years.
- Take tours: Go check out a few day cares in person. Make appointments and see if you can talk to an administrator about whether your child would fit well in their facility.
Day care has been the single biggest frustration for my wife and I; it’s going to continue until our son gets into school full time. We’re hopeful that maybe we can save someone else the stress we went through. Above all remember, the goal here is to find the right fit with a place that will nurture and support your child.
For additional information on finding the right child care for your child, take a look at the Day Care for Children with Disabilities on this website.