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Living with AD/HD: A lifespan disorder


ADHD and Childcare

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There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to finding the right child care provider. In general, parents usually look for providers that are conveniently located, affordable, properly certified and licensed, and have a good emergency plan.

While all parents want to find the best child care for their child or children, parents of children with ADHD and/or other special needs must weigh additional considerations. These include:

  • ratio of caregivers to children
  • making sure staff are skilled in caring for children with ADHD and/or other special needs
  • ensuring that the provider sees parents as partners

Ideally, environments that are beneficial to children with ADHD offer highly-structured surroundings and consistency through set routines, policies, and procedures. The best way to learn about a program and its ability to accommodate children with ADHD is to speak with the program staff directly. Ask about their experience caring for children with ADHD and what, if any, accommodations they are willing to offer a child with ADHD and/or other special needs. Child care staff should also be able to implement behavior management techniques that support what parents may be doing at home.

General information on childcare can be found below, as well as a brochure on finding childcare for special needs children that is published by ChildCareAware.

Added March, 2010

Other Web Sites:

  • Childcare.gov
    ChildCare.gov is a comprehensive online resource designed to link parents, child care providers, researchers, policymakers and the general public with Federal Government sponsored child care and early learning information and resources both quickly and easily.
  • Choosing Quality Child Care for a Child with Special Needs (pdf)
    This pamphlet from ChildCareAware offers information and helpful tips specifically geared towards parents of special needs children.
  • National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education
    The National Resource Center is located at the University of Colorado Denver in Denver, Colorado, and is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, HRSA. The NRC's primary mission is to promote health and safety in out-of-home child care settings throughout the nation.
  • NCCIC (National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center)
    The National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center (NCCIC), a service of the Child Care Bureau, is a national clearinghouse and technical assistance (TA) center that provides comprehensive child care information resources and TA services to Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Administrators and other key stakeholders.
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