Finding child care for kids with special needs

Finding child care for children with special needs

Licensed child care centres, homes and before- and after-school programs in Greater Sudbury welcome all children. Kids with special needs—including those with autism, delayed development, physical disabilities and medical conditions—are integrated with other kids their age.

Since registered early childhood educators are experienced with a wide range of behaviours and conditions, most times, kids with special needs can be properly cared for in regular programs by these well trained, sensitive staff.

Child and Community Resources (CCR) supports licensed child care centres in providing the best possible care for children with special needs. If your centre requires additional resources to accommodate your child, CCR and the centre can arrange for this so these costs aren’t passed on to you.

If your child attends the Children’s Treatment Centre, therapists there will work with educators at your child care centre to ensure the centre’s environment meets your child’s needs and supports his or her therapy.

Child care centres and homes are usually licensed to care for children up to age 12. But, children with special needs can be cared for up to age 18. Call Children Services at the City at 3-1-1 for more information.

Recreation programs like day camps are not licensed child care centres. They’ll usually accept kids with special needs, but only if they can manage without additional help, or have a support person with them.

Finding child care

Finding child care can be challenging for any family. For those who have a child with special needs, it can take even longer. Begin looking for a centre early. Read the topic Finding child care that's right for you to help you get started.

When you apply for child care through the Child Care Registry, make sure you include any information about your child’s needs you feel comfortable sharing, especially if you think he or she will require extra help. This will allow the child care centre to better plan for your child’s placement.

If you’re having trouble finding child care that meets your child’s needs, call Children Services at 3-1-1 and ask staff to help you find the best options.

Paying for child care

If a professional who’s working with your child feels that he or she would benefit from attending a group child care program and your family has a modest income, you may qualify for financial assistance to help cover the fees even if you are not working or going to school. Ask your child’s therapist or case manager about filling out a special needs referral form so you can apply for a child care subsidy. You don’t need a special needs referral to apply for a subsidy if you require child care so you can go to work or school. Call 3-1-1 for more information.


This content was prepared and reviewed by the City of Greater Sudbury and its partners. However, it should not take the place of advice from your health care provider or other professionals working with you and your child. 

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