state laws allow equal access to public education and other services such as
speech and physical therapy for children with disabilities or certain
conditions that require special care. Find out which laws apply to your child
and how to get available services. See the Community Services or Government
listings section in your phone book for the local mental health
office or state department of education.
How can you help your child get the right start?
Children need time to adjust to child care. It is common for a child to
cling or cry when a parent leaves. But you can take steps to help your child do
well in child care.
Prepare yourself and your child. It may help
if you both get used to spending time apart. Hire a babysitter or ask a friend
or relative to help watch your child for short periods, and gradually make the sessions
Tell your child what will happen. If your child is an
older toddler or a preschooler, talk about meeting new friends and doing new
things. Remind your child that you will come back to pick him or her
Work into the new routine slowly. You may keep the first visit
short and stay with your child. Stay away a little longer each day. Follow your
child's lead. He or she may be more ready to join the group than you
Spend extra time saying good-bye for the first few days.
Some children will be ready and eager for the new routine. An extra minute or
two to get your child involved in a new project or with a group of children may
be all that is needed.
Let your child bring something from home,
if the center allows it. Having a special blanket or toy can be a comfort.
If you spend time with your child and are calm and
loving, he or she will be more likely to adjust to and enjoy child care.