When it comes to your special needs child, you only want the best — especially when it comes to choosing their childcare provider while you are at work or fulfilling other obligations. But how do you choose the best daycare for special needs kids? Read on for tips from Alabama Family Trust!
Consider a Special-Needs Daycare
To find someone who truly has experience working with special needs children, you may want to look into daycares that are specifically set up for these types of needs. That’s not to say that a regular daycare won’t cut it; many of them can accommodate children with a variety of unique requirements.
To determine which path is right for you and your child, begin by making a list of your child’s strengths instead of focusing solely on what they can’t do. Try ranking your child’s abilities and behaviors on a scale of 1-10. If your rankings both fall below 5, it may be best to go with a daycare for special needs kids specifically. If they are above 5, you may be able to go the traditional daycare route.
Gather Trusted Opinions
Regardless of what type of daycare you settle on, it’s always wise to reach out to others in the special needs community to see if they have any input on specific daycares in the area. But make sure you trust the source; some opinions may be irrationally skewed because of specific experiences that have nothing to do with you. Although it’s difficult, weeding these opinions out is of utmost importance so that you can make an educated decision.
At the end of the day, the decision is yours and yours alone — what’s best for someone else’s child may not be best for yours. Remember to weigh other people’s input carefully before you act on it.
Consider Hiring a Nanny
Sometimes, using an outside daycare just isn’t the best option — and that’s okay! If your child would thrive best with in-home care, consider looking into a nanny. Of course, you’ll want a nanny who has experience working with special needs children and who is prepared mentally, physically, and emotionally to love and care for your child.
If you’re looking for a starting point, there are childcare search engines such as Care.com, SitterCity.com, and SeekingSitters.com that often have filters for finding nannies or babysitters who have worked with children with special needs.
As always, if you don’t know the nanny personally, an extensive background check and legitimate references are a must. It’s also a good idea to pop in at home once in a while if you can; the possibility that you may be home unexpectedly at any point can help hold the nanny accountable for appropriate behavior.
Questions about Special Needs? Contact AFT!
Here at Alabama Family Trust, we are here to help you care for your child by setting up a special needs trust for his or her future. Contact us today to find out how you can get started!