Although the rewards of parenting are truly great, it has always been tough job. Loving and nurturing your little ones is one of the best things in life, but it comes with a unique set of stresses, worries, and challenges. Every child is different, and every parent is different too. Finding the tools you need to successful navigate this journey, through all the different phases of childhood, is not something that happens automatically. Today’s parent has to sort through a mountain of options and possibilities in order to make the best possible decisions on behalf of their child.
Daycare is one area where a great many parents have found themselves frustrated – particularly parents of children with special needs. Why? Because relatively few daycare centers are set up to be a highly productive, educational, and personalized experience for the children involved. It’s true that daycare has come a long way in recent years, but there is still a critical lack of daycare centers that offer a wide array of specific support mechanisms for children with special needs.
Luckily, that’s beginning to change. The arrival of one specific daycare model – known as children’s medical daycare – promises and delivers an important step-change in the way daycare works for children who have special needs.
It starts with a higher staff-to-child ratio (typically 1:3) to guarantee more individualized attention for each child. Additionally, those staff typically have higher education in fields related to early child development and special education. From here, you add in a plethora of assistive learning devices and opportunities for children with special needs. A blend of structured and un-structured time during the course of the day allows children a fuller range of learning and social opportunities, while each child continues to receive a higher level of personalized attention.
What about special dietary and medical concerns?
Here is where children’s medical daycare really sets itself apart. By keeping a trained nurse and a trained dietician on staff, these advanced daycare centers are able to meet and exceed the special dietary and medical requirements of all the children present.
Finally, there are extra services – such a safe transportation option to help parents get their children to and from daycare, and prescription medication pick-up services to further lighten the burden. Children’s medical daycare is all about creating a dynamic and productive social and learning experience for children of all abilities, and the pieces are put in place to deliver exactly that.
Is there a children’s medical daycare center near you?
Many parents are going to find that children’s medical daycare, or a similar daycare model, does not exist in close proximity to their neighborhood. This is unfortunate, but it’s a good reason to start the community conversation around better daycare options. For those who do have children’s medical daycare in their area, all of the usual rules for choosing a daycare center apply. It’s important to ask all of your questions, and to make at least one personal visit to the center (with your child, whenever possible) in order to see what it’s like for yourself.