A couple of months ago I heard a story from a parent of a special needs kid who told me that she was trying to find a pre-school- but her kid was denied admission.  She said that the facility told her that our licensing regulations wouldn’t allow the school to admit her child because he or she wasn’t completely potty trained yet- and they didn’t have a changing station in that grade.  Our regulations say no such thing- but I wanted to make it crystal clear for the future that there are plenty of options when it comes to accommodating special needs kids in pre-school. 

To clear up the confusion, we created a substantive policy statement to clarify the issue and we also put together some helpful information to provide some clarity to child care providers and the general public regarding children who have special needs in licensed child care facilities and child care group homes. 

Overall, our child care surveyors are reporting that child care providers have become more confident that they can meet all children’s needs and are enrolling more children with identified special needs than in previous years. We’re partnering with child care providers and continuing to offer technical assistance to support inclusion- making a difference for Arizona’s Children, our most important resource for Arizona’s future.  This new substantive policy statement should help too.