Factors That Support and Hinder Including Infants with Disabilities in Child Care

Jenna M. Weglarz-Ward, Rosa Milagros Santos, Jennifer Timmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Children with disabilities take part in child care programs across the country every day. However, existing research is lacking on how infants and toddlers with disabilities are supported in these inclusion efforts, particularly from the perspectives of child care and early intervention (EI) providers. In this article, we describe the results of a statewide survey of U.S. child care and EI providers (N = 991; n = 620 child care providers, n = 371 EI providers) on their beliefs and experiences in inclusion and perceived factors that support and hinder the inclusion of very young children with disabilities in child care settings. Our study results indicate that although providers value inclusion and identify many benefits for children, families, and professionals, several barriers exist to effectively implement meaningful inclusion. Despite advances in legislation, policy, and recommended practices, little has changed in the inclusion of infants and toddlers; therefore, recommendations for policy, practice, and research are included. Recommendations include increased training and mentoring for providers and formal inclusion of child care providers in inclusion supported by state policy and continued research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-173
Number of pages11
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019

Keywords

  • Child care
  • Disability
  • Education
  • Intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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