NEWS from NW ADA Center – Idaho
Commonly asked questions about the ADA and Child Care
Q: Does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply to child care centers?
A: Yes. Privately owned child care centers, like other public accommodations must comply with the title III of the ADA. Child care services provided by government agencies must comply with title II of the ADA. Both titles apply to a child care center’s interactions with the children, parents, guardians, and potential customers that it serves.
Q: How do I decide whether a child with a disability belongs in my program?
A: Child care centers cannot just assume that a child’s disabilities are too severe for the child to be successfully included into the center’s child care program. The center must make an individualized assessment about whether it can meet the particular needs of the child without fundamentally altering its program. In making this assessment, the caregiver must not react to stereotypes about what children with disabilities can or cannot do, or how much assistance they may require. Instead, the caregiver should talk to the parents or guardians and any other professionals (such as educators or health care professionals) who work with the child in other contexts. Providers are often surprised at how simple it is to include children with disabilities in their mainstream programs.
Q: My insurance company says it will raise our rates if we accept children with disabilities. Do I still have to admit them into my program:
A: Yes. Higher insurance rates are not a valid reason for excluding children with disabilities from a program. The extra cost should be treated as overhead and divided equally among all paying customers.
Q: What about children whose presence is dangerous to others? Do we have to take them too?
A: No. Children who pose a direct threat — a substantial risk of serious harm to the health and safety of others — do not have to be admitted into a program. The determination that a child poses a direct threat may not be based on generalizations or stereotypes about the effects of a particular disability; it must be based on an individualized assessment of the actual abilities and disabilities of the individual.
Q: Are we obligated to help children take off and put on their leg braces and provide similar types of assistance to children with mobility impairments?
A: Generally, yes. Some children with mobility impairments may need assistance in taking off and putting on leg or foot braces during the child care day. As long as doing so would not be so time consuming that other children would have to be left unattended, or so complicated that it can only done by licensed health care professionals, it would be a reasonable modification to provide such assistance.
Q: Are there tax credits or deductions to help offset the costs associated with complying with the ADA?
A: To assist businesses in complying with the ADA, Section 44 of the IRS Code allows a tax credit for small business and Section 190 of the IRS Code allows a tax deduction for all business.
Dana Gover, MPA, and ACTCP Certification, ADA Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator
For more information about ADA Technical Assistance visit the NW ADA Center Idaho website: nwadacenter.org/idaho
Phone: Voice and Text 208-841-9422
Idaho Relay Service: 711