Prevention and Inclusion Programs

Starting Point’s Prevention and Inclusion Programs are dedicated to helping every child reach his or her potential, regardless of physical or emotional challenges.

What We Believe

Starting Point’s Prevention and Inclusion Programs are centered on the belief that:

  • each and every child is a distinct individual with special strengths and needs;
  • children with and without physical, developmental, health or emotional challenges can participate successfully in the same routines and experiences; and
  • all of the children, parents and teachers will be enriched in the process.
"Starting Point can help you find a positive child care environment, dedicated teachers and expert support so your child can thrive."

Like any other youngster, a child with special needs requires love, support and a good start in life. But your special child may need more. For you as parents, the challenges can seem overwhelming. But you’re not alone. There is a program that
can help – Prevention and Inclusion.
This program, coordinated by Starting Point as part of Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children initiative, can make a difference—for your child, for you and your family.

  • We’ll help you find child care that’s right for your child;
  • We’ll work with your child care teacher to make certain your child has the proper equipment, activities adapted to his or her needs and child care teachers trained to understand your child’s needs, whether they are physical, developmental, medical or behavioral;
  • We’ll bring together a team of community agencies with expertise in your child’s special needs to help you, your child care teacher (and often your family) address specific challenges in caring for your special child; and
  • We’ll keep in touch to make certain you’re getting the care
    you need.

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, children with special needs are entitled to enroll in a regular child care center or family child care home, enjoying the same privileges as other children. Unless all the child care spaces are filled in a center or home, it is against the law to refuse to accept a child with special needs. If you should be refused, call Starting Point at 216-575-0061 or the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Child Care Licensing Section at 216-787-3401.

Connections to Services You Need

When you participate in Special Needs Child Care, you’ll have a team that works together to help your child flourish. Your child’s teacher is the most important member. You’ll want to work closely with her or him to set goals for your child and discuss progress. If you’re eligible, you and your child’s teacher will meet with Help Me Grow to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) that sets developmental goals that build on your child’s strengths. We’ll also link you and/or your child’s teacher with whatever specialized services you and your child may need.

Contact Starting Point!

To participate in Special Needs Child Care, you simply call Starting Point at 216.575.0061 or 800.880.0971. We’ll give you names of child care centers and family child care homes throughout Cuyahoga County that enjoy helping children with special needs achieve their best. We’ll help you find the child care choice that’s right for you. We’ll make certain your child’s teacher has the proper training and equipment to care for your child. And we’ll link you to the other community services you need.

Provider Search

We connect families to the best care and education programs for their children. We assist providers with innovative ways to improve their skills through professional development opportunities and training.
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