Inclusion Program

Supporting Children with Special Needs in Child Care


Research suggests that including children with special needs in regular education and care settings gives them the best chance of developing to their full potential. The Early Care and Education Inclusion program is designed to help child care providers support children ages birth to five with developmental delays or disabilities in the classroom or family child care home environment. With training, child care centers, preschools and family child care homes find that they are better equipped to serve all children, not just those with special needs.

How does the program work?
Two components make up this unique, individualized program: the coaching and training and the specialized technical assistance.

An inclusion coach with early childhood and special needs expertise will visit you in your classrooms or family child care home weekly to help with issues such as:

  • Strategies for specific children
  • Enhancing the learning environment (funding for materials)
  • Curriculum guidance and support
  • Accessing community resources for children and families with special needs
  • Identifying and referring children with suspected delays to Arizona’s Early Intervention Program or the local school district- Strengthening relationships with families
  • Collaborating with children’s therapy providers and other community partners

Staff attend eight three-hour trainings (one per month) on topics related to children with special needs, including:

  • Welcoming inclusion into your center
  • Strategies to meet individual needs in the classroom or child care home

Staff will receive a stipend for attending all of the trainings. Free child care is available during training.

Specialized Technical Assistance Team
This unique team is available for child care centers, preschools and family child care homes that need immediate short-term help with a specific child. The team includes speech/language, physical and occupational therapists.

Who Can Apply?
Child care centers, preschools and family child care homes must be located in specific Central Phoenix zip codes. ADHS licensing and enrollment in Quality First (see are required to participate in coaching and training. Quality First participation is not a requirement for the Specialized Technical Assistance Team.

Is there a cost?
The Early Care and Education Inclusion program is provided at no cost to eligible child care providers and preschools.

To begin the application process, please click here.

For more information about the Early Care and Education Inclusion program,
please call (602) 633-8454 or email

For immediate on-call consultation through the Specialized Technical Assistance Team,
please contact Julie Gonzalez at (602) 633-8685 or

Questions? Birth to Five HELPINE: 1-877-705-KIDS (5437) Place a callback request.

Funding provided by


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