Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 163–173 | Cite as

Factors That Support and Hinder Including Infants with Disabilities in Child Care

  • Jenna M. Weglarz-WardEmail author
  • Rosa Milagros Santos
  • Jennifer Timmer


Children with disabilities take part in child care programs across the country every day. However, existing research is lacking on how infants and toddlers with disabilities are supported in these inclusion efforts, particularly from the perspectives of child care and early intervention (EI) providers. In this article, we describe the results of a statewide survey of U.S. child care and EI providers (N = 991; n = 620 child care providers, n = 371 EI providers) on their beliefs and experiences in inclusion and perceived factors that support and hinder the inclusion of very young children with disabilities in child care settings. Our study results indicate that although providers value inclusion and identify many benefits for children, families, and professionals, several barriers exist to effectively implement meaningful inclusion. Despite advances in legislation, policy, and recommended practices, little has changed in the inclusion of infants and toddlers; therefore, recommendations for policy, practice, and research are included. Recommendations include increased training and mentoring for providers and formal inclusion of child care providers in inclusion supported by state policy and continued research.


Child care Disability Education Intervention 



The contents of this study were supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Children and Families (90YE0163, Project Officer Ann Rivera) and U.S. Department of Education (H325D110037, Project Officer Dawn Ellis). However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational and Clinical StudiesUniversity of Nevada Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  2. 2.Department of Special EducationUniversity of IllinoisChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of IllinoisChampaignUSA

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