Many families seek quality, inclusive care for their young children with disabilities. A key to successful inclusion is understanding the needs of families and professionals who serve them. This review examined literature about the inclusion of young children with disabilities in childcare programs and collaboration among early childhood professionals from the perspectives of parents and professionals. Twenty-five studies were selected through searches of online databases, leading researchers, and journals on the topic. Study participants included childcare providers across all program types, special educators, specialized therapists, and parents. Topics addressed included professionals' experiences of inclusion and collaboration, factors that influenced these experiences, quality of care for young children with disabilities, and parental decisions regarding childcare. The results indicated that more research is needed specific to infants and toddlers with disabilities in childcare settings as well as the experiences of parents and providers. This greater understanding would bridge the gaps between policy, research, and practice.
Department of Educational and Clinical Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Dr Weglarz-Ward); and Department of Special Education, University of Illinois, Champaign (Dr Santos).
Correspondence: Jenna M. Weglarz-Ward, PhD, Department of Educational and Clinical Studies, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway Box 453014, Las Vegas, NV 89154 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The contents of this review were supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Children and Families (90YE0163, Project Officer Ann Rivera) and U.S. Department of Education (H325D110037, Project Officer Dawn Ellis). However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education, and endorsement by the Federal Government should not be assumed.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.