Special Needs Child Care


ACAP Child & Family Services offers a Special Needs Childcare program to provide enhanced early education services to children ages 4 weeks to 6 years 11 months. The program's focus is children with special developmental or behavioral needs requiring additional support and understanding.

The program is provided in an integrated classroom setting and allows children the opportunity to participate in regular childcare activities with additional services as defined below. Questions about this program can be directed to ACAP’s program assistant at (253) 939-0870. Enrollment for this program is open to any child needing the services. Because we believe every child deserves the opportunity to learn and grow to their fullest potential ACAP utilizes foundation grant funding for special needs to make services available to any child in our care that is identified as requiring special help to reach their learning goals.

Eligibility Requirements for DSHS Special Needs Funding

The child must meet one of the following criteria and be eligible for DSHS Special Needs funding

  • IEP from the Auburn School District
  • Enrolled in the Birth to Three program with an IFSP
  • Behavior Management Plan at ACAP Child & Family Services
  • Documented developmental delay or behavioral concern indicated by health care provider, therapist or other trained individual
  • Referred by DCFS, DSHS or the Public Health Department

Services Provided

  • Developmental evaluation using the Ages & Stages Developmental Inventory
  • IDP (Individual Development Plan)
  • Case management services
  • Advocacy and community referral
  • Home visits
  • Daily behavior documentation
  • Staffing with service providers
  • Behavior Management Plans (as needed) 
  • Enhanced staff to child ratios (as needed)
  • Integrated child care environment Parenting classes

The Special Needs Program was funded historically only by DSHS dollars. As the governmental funds have diminished we now use other resources including grants, government funding and donations to cover the extended costs for highly qualified staff and services.

One Parent's Note to ACAP

I had serious reservations about my son's behavior starting around age 2. Our family faced several obstacles while finding the right child care. We wanted to find a facility that would work with our family and was willing to proactively help with my son's behavioral issues. We checked out several places and even tried out one with no success. We were left feeling helpless.

When I first approached ACAP, I had a great feeling about the place, the office gal was happy to assist me with my questions. The classrooms were clean and well structured and the atmosphere was all about family and family success. I enrolled my son shortly after into ACAP's Head Start Program.

Once enrolled at ACAP the staff assisted me with getting him tested for an IEP through the Auburn School District, which later led to his enrolling into a part-time ECE program. ACAP staff were involved in the process as well and assisting my son in meeting his IEP objectives. The staff gave me several resources and helpful tools to assist my family.

My son recently graduated from the ECE program and Head Start. He will be starting Kindergarten in the fall without an IEP. I can honestly say that had it not been for ACAP and their ability to get involved, my son would most likely still have serious behavioral issues. ACAP has assisted me in becoming my son's strongest advocate and I will be forever grateful to them.


Proud Parent of an ACAP Participant