The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act prohibit discrimination by child care and after-school care providers against children with special needs. Many child care providers, after-school care providers, and families are often unaware of the provisions of the ADA laws or how to effectively include children with special needs in the child care settings. The local Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) have staff who are able to assist parents in finding appropriate child care and early care services in their community for children with special needs. The CCR&Rs also offer workshops for center-based and family child care providers on inclusion of children with special needs in their program.
The local CCR&Rs also work closely with the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network's (SPAN) Map to Inclusive Child Care Project to broaden the services that they are able to provide. The goals of the NJ Inclusive Child Care project are to increase the quality of early care and education for children with special needs, increase the number of childcare providers that offer inclusive child care, increase awareness among families, childcare providers, and resource and referral counselors of the services available for children with special needs, and to improve the delivery of services to children with special needs through collaboration among the providers of childcare services and special needs services. For more information on this project please contact SPAN at 973-642-8100 or visit their website at www.spannj.org.