LOCATE: Child Care Special Needs Service is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 800.999.0120. Messages can be left during non-business hours and LOCATE staff will return calls as soon as possible.

If you would like to complete the intake form before speaking with a Special Needs referral specialist, please complete the online intake form.

Find care that meets your child’s needs. Contact LOCATE: Child Care now 800.999.0120.


All children deserve quality child care and it is the parent’s right to make an informed decision concerning their child care needs. Maryland Family Network’s LOCATE: Child Care Special Needs Service is:

  • Free – it is funded by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE);
  • Available to any family who has a child with a special need, and
  • Available for children from birth through age 21.

Eligible children include:

  • Any child receiving services through the MD Infants/Toddlers Program
  • Any child evaluated and receiving services referred by Child Find
  • Any child receiving special education services through a school system
  • Any child with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan)
  • Any child with an IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan)
  • Any child terminated from a child care program
  • Any child with special needs or physical disabilities such as, but not limited to: allergies, asthma, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, behavior concerns, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, developmental delays (not meeting milestones), Down syndrome, learning disabilities, intellectual disability, special health care needs, and/or speech and language delays

How does the special needs service help parents find child care?

When a parent or caregiver contacts the LOCATE: Child Care Special Needs Service, the referral specialist will:

  • Discuss your child’s special need or disability;
  • Discuss any services or accommodations your child may need while in child care;
  • Discuss location, cost and other considerations;
  • Discuss how to find quality inclusive child care;
  • Refer to community resources such as recreational activities and respite;
  • Share information about the Americans with Disabilities Act, and
  • Refer you to child care providers or programs with special needs experience, or
  • Refer to child care providers who are willing to meet with your family so you can decide together if they are a good fit for your child’s individual needs.

LOCATE: Child Care’s referral specialists respect the parent’s right and ability to choose the best care for their child. Trained LOCATE: Child Care referral specialists are professionals who hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field, and are trained and experienced in working with children who have special needs.