I recently tried to enroll my daughter in a child care program, but was told that they could not accept her because she has an IEP. Can the child care center do this?
A child care program cannot reject a child because she has an IEP. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that the program consider the individual needs of the child and whether or not the program can meet those needs. The center has to make reasonable modifications to its policies and practices to integrate children with disabilities unless the modification would be a financial hardship to the center, the child’s presence would pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others, or the modification would require a fundamental alteration of the program.
The Center for Inclusive Child Care (CICC) helps programs include children with disabilities. For more information on available resources, visit inclusivechildcare.org .
My 2-year-old daughter spends most of her day in a childcare center. Does this mean we cannot receive early intervention services?
No. Early intervention services can be delivered anywhere a child spends his or her time. According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), services should be delivered in places where children without disabilities spend their time (called “natural environments”) whenever possible. This includes a childcare setting. However, to stay involved in your daughter’s early intervention services, consider having them provided at home as well. For example, one week of the month, the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individualized Education Program (IEP) team can come to your home to provide early intervention services, and services can be provided in a childcare setting the rest of the month. Keep in mind that services should be designed to help childcare staff know how to work with your daughter and what they can do to enhance her development. Also be sure to consult with your childcare providers to make sure they are willing to collaborate with the early intervention staff.