LOCATE: Child Care Special Needs Service is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 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.

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.