Physical Disabilities: Signs of Concern

Baby with club feet

Child care providers are in a good position to recognize problems or delays in young children’s physical and motor development. As they work with children, child care providers should observe their developing physical and motor skills. Pay close attention to a child who does not seems to be progressing through the typical motor developmental milestones — such as holding up the head, rolling over, sitting, standing, walking, and running — at about the same time as other children in the …

Social and Emotional Disabilities: Signs of Concern

Boy pouting

Child care providers are often the first people to recognize signs of a social or emotional disability, because they have the opportunity to observe a child in social situations day after day. Remember that most children in child care sometimes have difficulties playing with others, following rules, accepting change, or not getting their way. Some emotional displays are typical, but children who struggle with these issues so often that they become a frequent interruption may need professional evaluation of their …

Physical Disabilities and Child Care

Blue lightweight wheelchair

Child care providers can play a valuable role in supporting the healthy development and learning of children with physical disabilities. Young children learn about the world by interacting with their environment. Children with a physical disability may have more challenges in interacting with the world and discovering new things.

A physical disability is anything that limits the physical function of the child’s body. Physical disabilities can include challenges with large motor skills like walking, or small motor skills like holding …

Visual Disabilities and Child Care

Boy with eye patch

Children learn so much from watching and observing the world around them. Good vision helps a child learn how to reach out and touch an object, crawl over to you or grab onto a chair and pull up. Good vision is especially critical as children learn how to walk and move around. Child care providers are in a good position to recognize children who are having problems with their vision. Vision problems for children are often minor, and can often …

Visual Disabilities: Signs of Concern

Baby with cataracts

Child care providers may have many opportunities to notice if a child is having trouble seeing.  Children who are having trouble with their vision may not  focus their eyes well, or may not look directly at people when talking to them. Sometimes child care providers may notice only a few signs of a vision problem; in other cases, they may see many different signs.

Signs that May Suggest a Visual Disability

The following signs may suggest that a child has …

Specific Ideas for Child Care Providers to Help Children with Hearing Disabilities

Infant with cochlear implant

Child care providers can give valuable support and assistance to children with hearing disabilities. Supporting young children with hearing challenges is important because listening is the foundation for language development in most children. Children who cannot hear well may have difficulty learning to speak and need to be exposed to language in the child care setting.

Remember that children with hearing disabilities are not all alike. Some children may be able to hear a little; others may not have any …

Learning Disabilities and Child Care

Waffle blocks

Child care providers who include children with special needs may work closely with a young child who has a learning disability. Learning disabilities are problems that affect the brain’s ability to receive, process, analyze or store information. These problems can make it difficult for a child to learn as quickly as other children.

It is often difficult to identify a learning disability in young children, because there is a wide range in what is considered “normal” cognitive development in the …

Hearing Disabilities and Child Care

Girls using sign language

Child care providers are sometimes the first people to notice that a young child has a hearing problem. Some hearing issues may be temporary like an illness; others may be more permanent.

Being able to hear is important for many aspects of a child’s life — learning to speak, acquiring knowledge, recognizing danger, and communicating with others. Almost all newborns will make sounds like crying, cooing and babbling. They communicate to get their needs met and then move on to …

Learning Disabilities: Signs of Concern

Dyslexia sign written by a childChild care providers are in a unique position to notice if a child seems to be having a difficult time learning or remembering new skills. Child care providers spend many hours a day with children, and have the chance to observe them in many different situations.

Children who are having learning difficulties may show a variety of signs. Some signs may be subtle; others are very obvious. If it seems like a child is struggling to learn or is having …

Talking with and about Children with Special Needs

Serious-looking toddler boy

Working with children who have special needs can be rewarding, and including children with special needs in your child care program can help all children learn. As a child care provider, you can set a tone of respect for all children by choosing your words carefully when you talk about children with disabilities.

Choosing Your Words Carefully

The words you use to describe special needs set the tone in your child care program. The children you care for will pick …