The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council is reviewing proposals from organizations that provide technical assistance to improve the ability of child care providers to support children with disabilities and special health care needs. This initiative addresses the following Council State Plan Objective: Increase access to inclusive opportunities in early childhood care and education, school, and out-of-school time activities. The Council has reserved $75,000 for this initiative.
Families of children with disabilities continue to face obstacles to finding and keeping high quality inclusive child care. A report issued by the Council in 2012 entitled Barriers to Quality Child Care and Out of School Time Activities in Maryland found that 72% of families of children with developmental disabilities had difficulties finding and maintaining child care and 53% of families removed their child from a child care program because the provider was not adequately trained to support their child with a disability.
To address this need, the Council has focused efforts on increasing access to inclusive child care. Previous initiatives the Council has funded in this arena include an online training for child care providers that provides an overview of developmental disabilities and inclusion strategies (now the second most requested training nationally), and two inclusive child care videos.