08.04.01 - Special Needs

Effective Date: 07/01/00

Revised: 10/01/20, 9/20/21, 05/01/22

Program Overview:

The Office of Early Childhood has supports for inclusion of children with special needs/disabilities in child care settings.

"Welcoming Each and Every Child" training is designed to support a statewide cadre of trainers. These trainers provide six to eight-hour training seminars to child care providers on the topic of inclusive child care. The purpose of the training is to increase child care providers' knowledge and level of comfort, so they are willing and able to extend their traditional roles to care for children with special needs/disabilities.

In addition, two provider trainings are available related to Developmental Screening- "Introduction to Developmental Screening" and "Early Childhood Developmental Screening" training. Curriculum covers best practices for offering developmental screening in all types of child care settings. Specifically, trainings cover what developmental screening is; how to prepare for and implement screening using a user-friendly tool that collects both parent and provider input; how to share results; and what community resources for referral are available.

Contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) for training dates. To find your CCR&R, please use this link: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?module=12&officetype=2

IDHS Site-administered contract providers (licensed programs who have a contract with IDHS) who care for children eligible for CCAP and who also have a demonstrated disability are able to apply for a 20 percent special needs add-on rate. The additional funds are to be used by the provider for supports such as the purchase of adaptive equipment and securing specialized training for the caregiver. Provider/parent must complete the special needs application and provide required documentation to Office of Early Childhood staff. For application or questions, site contracted providers can email :  Tommy.Saunders@Illinois.Gov.