income families with children with
special needs face unique challenges in
balancing work and family responsibilities. Faced with the difficult
task of finding suitable, stable child care for their special needs child,
are nevertheless forced by economic necessity to join the labor force.
Despite the higher incidence of disabilities and chronic health problems
among low income children, to date, there has been surprisingly little
research done about the experiences of these families.
Cutler Institute for Child and Family Policy was funded by the Child Care
Bureau at the federal Department of Health and Human Services to learn more
about the experiences of this subpopulation of low income families and
develop policy recommendations to assist these families in gaining the
support they need. While our primary focus was on access to child care, we also looked at the challenges of work and caring for a child with
special needs, and the issue of coordination of early intervention services
with the child care system.
I. Why are we doing this research?
Our goal in conducting this research was not to examine how well any individual or agency is serving this population but instead to identify ways in which the system as a whole can better integrate services and be responsive to the particular needs of these families. By gaining an understanding of the experiences of parents as they juggle competing demands on their time, as well as the perspectives of staff in the multiple agencies which serve them, we hope that what we learn will be useful to policymakers at the federal, state and local levels as they work to improve the supports available to this population of families and children.
II. Background on the project:
project began on October 1, 2001.
* Our final report is now available for downloading in pdf format. (Click here)
* In 2004, we issued our preliminary report on our interviews with parents called Parents' Voices (Click here)
|Welcome to our website! We officially
launched it on March 2, 2004!|
||We have completed the
Child Care and Children with Special Needs project! We
released our final report in May, 2007.
|Interested in looking at the instruments we used
to conduct our research? Check out the
Instruments and Tools page!|
OUR DEFINITION OF
Our work is
focused on families of children with special needs. We define special
needs broadly, as meaning any disability, behavioral issue or chronic health
condition, from asthma and ADHD to autism and cerebral palsy, which might
affect accessibility to child care.