How parents define child care varies according to individual family need, but the need for affordable, quality child care is great and growing! Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics have confirmed that a child’s brain structure is influenced significantly by their environment and experiences during the first few years of life.
Easter Seals is working to create a world where:
- Each child born with a disability is given the support necessary to participate fully in life and to have dreams and hopes, successes and achievements.
- Parents of a newly-diagnosed child with a disability are aware of the services and resources available to them and get unimpeded access to all necessary services.
- Children with disabilities are recognized by all as having vital contributions to make to our society.
- Communities value and support children with disabilities and their families.
- Access to appropriate child care is available for children with special needs.
- Families benefit from innovations and new technologies that help children with disabilities be as independent as possible.
Our Child Development Center Network is the largest provider of inclusive child care in the United States. With nearly 80 centers, Easter Seals serves thousands of young children and their families, in a setting where children with disabilities and special needs comprise 25 percent of enrollment.
Make the First Five Count®
Easter Seals created the Make the First Five Count program to raise awareness for kids at risk for developmental delays, autism and other disabilites. On MaketheFirstFive Count.org, you can find resources like the Ages and Stages Questionnaires®, a free, online screening tool for parents to track their child's developmental milestones.
High-Quality Child Care
A child’s environment and social experience in their first three years of life is critical to their brain development and can have a decisive, long-lasting impact on their well-being and ability to learn. For many parents, this is enough to make finding high-quality child care a top priority. The Easter Seals Child Development Center Network responds to the needs and concerns of parents with children of all abilities.
Early intervention services help young children with disabilities achieve their goals in cognitive, social/emotional, communicative, adaptive and physical development. Services may include occupational therapy to help an infant learn to hold her bottle, physical therapy to help her learn to roll over, or speech therapy to help her learn to eat. Most early intervention services take place in the home or, in the case of working parents, at child care facilities in the local community.
Child Development Centers
Featuring safe and caring environments, state-of-the-art tools and programs, individualized learning plans, highly qualified teachers, low child-adult ratios, low staff turnover, and active parent-center partnerships, Easter Seals facilities are designed to provide young children with the optimal environment for successful learning and development.
Easter Seals and the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) have collaborated to create a 72-page financial planning booklet for parents, caregivers, grandparents or others involved in the care of a special needs child. Included is information on estate planning, finding the right lawyer or knowledgeable financial planner, wills, special-needs trusts, government benefits, savings options insurance plans and other available resources.
The ABCs of Choosing Child Care
When researching child care facilities or talking to caregivers about the best care for your child, Easter Seals suggests checking this short helpful list of questions to help ensure you receive the best child care possible.
Please contact Easter Seals for more information about our Easter Seals Child Development Centers and to find an Easter Seals near you.