Questions to Ask "Every parent has strengths. Every parent is learning. Every provider has strengths. Every provider is learning". - Together Children Grow, 2011. If you have concerns or questions about a child's development (physical, social-emotional, or cognitive), contact: Wisconsin First Step Information and Referral Hotline at 1-800-642-STEP (7837). Families Talking with Providers Talking with a child care provider for the first time can be intimidating, uncomfortable or even difficult. As a parent of a child with a disability, Even though your child's disability is secondary to who they really are, a new provider may not see that right away. With your help, they will have the opportunity to learn and hear about your child's special needs and challenges. Parents should always start by asking the same general questions about the child care program that any parent would ask. Parents are not required to share information about their child's disability until after they feel confident that the program would be a good one for the child. General questions include: When is the program open? Is there currently an opening? What experience or training does the provider have? How many children are in the group? Are meals served? What is the schedule of a typical day? How often are the children read to? How is discipline handled? Does the center meet licensing standards? Is it participating in YoungStar, Wisconsin's child care quality rating and improvement system? When the time comes to talk about your child's needs, be prepared to share important information with the provider by answering these questions beforehand: How does my child's disability affect his or her ability to play, follow a routine, get needs met, and play with others? What are my child's most enjoyable characteristics? Providers Talking with Families It is important to be sensitive when talking to the parent of a child with a disability. The parent of a child who has special needs, just like any parent, is looking for the best possible care for his or her child. First, parents need to hear general information about the child care program in order to decide whether or not it would be a good fit for the child. After indicating that the program is open to children with special needs, and answering general questions from the parent, a child care provider may then ask some questions about the child's abilities. Providers need some information about the disability in order to provide the best care possible for the child. Questions might include: What kinds of things does your child enjoy doing? What strengths do you feel your child has? How does your child communicate in order to get their needs met? Does your child need help with self-care activities like feeding, dressing or using the bathroom? If yes, what kind of assistance do they require? How does your child express themselves ? If your child gets upset, what tends to comfort or calm them? Has your child been in child care before? If so, how might I need to adapt daily activities in order for your child to participate? How can we work together to make everyday a success for your child? What resources or community networks are you currently involved with that may be able to provide me with information or support related to your child's disability?