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Inclusive Child Care: Challenges and Strategies
Focal Point
  • Eileen M. Brennan, Portland State University
  • Elizabeth Haran Caplan
  • Shane Ama, Portland State University
  • Jennifer R. Bradley, Portland State University
  • Olivia Warfield, Portland State University
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Children with disabilities -- Care,
  • Inclusive education,
  • Children with disabilities -- Services for
Responding to the need for research regarding models of inclusion in child care, the Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children's Mental Health is in the process of conducting a series of studies aimed at guiding the design and implementation of inclusive child care policies and programs. In the course of previous research studies, our research team found that there did exist quality programs and family care arrangements that successfully included children with emotional or behavioral challenges in child care settings (Brennan, Rosenzweig, Ogilvie, Wuest, & Ward, 2001). Our goal was to learn more about the provider and setting characteristics associated with these successful programs. As a first step in the current research, state child care administrators, child care resource and referral agencies, and family organizations were sent a request to nominate programs that successfully included children with emotional or behavioral challenges in child care; this resulted in nominations of 104 programs across the United States. Personnel at thirty-four of the nominated programs participated in a survey designed to learn more about their challenges and strategies for inclusion. We were particularly interested in five key areas: (1) the types of services these programs offered, (2) the needs of the families they served, (3) the inclusion strategies they employed, (4) the barriers staff reported facing, and (5) their view of the role of families in their programs.

Originally appeared in Focal Point, Fall 2002. This article and others can be found at

Persistent Identifier
Portland State University. Regional Research Institute for Human Services
Citation Information
Brennan, E. M. Caplan, E. H., Ama, S., Warfield, O., & Bradley, J. (2002). Inclusive child care: Challenges and strategies. Focal Point: A National Bulletin on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health, 16 (2), 23-25.