A free service for families who have children with special needs
living in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties of California

Child Care Providers’ Guide -
Caring for Children with Special Needs

This handbook is designed to provide basic
information about caring for children with special needs. This guidebook was written by parents of children who have a variety of disabilities. These parents know first-hand how important it is to find loving, accommodating child care for their children with special needs.
For information you may contact:

San Bernardino County:
Child Care Resource Center
(909) 384-8000

Riverside County
Child Care Resource and Referral and Resource Lending Library
(800) 442-4927

A complete Child Care Providers’ Guide is available in English and Spanish at no cost. To request this guide, call (800) 974-5553.

Child Care and the Law

A child cannot be denied child care solely on the basis of disability.
It’s the law! According to federal law, all childcare providers must accept an application from any interested family, and they must attempt to include any child in their program - regardless of the ability level or disabling condition of the child. To refuse or terminate services to a child with a disability, a child care provider must present evidence of financial or other hardship caused by caring for that child or other legal reasons.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, publishes Commonly Asked Questions About Child Care Centers and the Americans with Disabilities Act, a document that explains the law in easy-to-understand language. The document answers in more detail the following kinds of questions commonly asked by child care providers, such as: “Can I charge parents for special services provided to their child with a disability?” “Can I refuse to give medication to a child with a disability?” and “Must we care for children older than three who need diapering?”

Another good source of information is the Child Care Law Center in San Francisco.