Every child is special

Every child is special and it's your right to make an informed decision concerning your family's child care needs. Call our LOCATE: Child Care Special Needs service at 800.999.0120 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Messages can be left during non-business hours and our staff will return calls as soon as possible. You may find it helpful to complete the online intake form before speaking with a Special Needs referral specialist.


Download our free Quality Child Care Checklist to help make sure the programs you interview and visit are high quality. 


Maryland Family Network’s LOCATE: Child Care Special Needs Service is:

  • Free and funded by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE);
  • Available to any family who has a child with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or an IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) from birth through age 21.

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.