Default Style Register Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Your Response To This?
cheerfuldom 06:00 AM 02-23-2012
a mom says her provider increased rates on her because her son is special needs. his needs mainly include bottle feeding, puree spoon feedings and spitting up even though he is not a baby. it doesn't sound like the increase is significant, but the provider did say that it was due to the special care he needed.

now others are telling her that the provider cannot do this and it is discrimination. i don't know what state or licensing issues there are but I do know that it is a home based daycare.

what is your response to the fact that others are telling her that this is a "discrimination" issue
itlw8 06:03 AM 02-23-2012
It is discrimination If she had a rule that tuition decreased when they eat table food or potty trained etc then it would be allowed but just because he is special needs nope she may not charge more than others. SHE can raise everyones rates
countrymom 06:11 AM 02-23-2012
its not discrimination. She's asking for more money because more is involved. This doesn't sound like an infant, so it sounds like an older child. Its like saying those who charge more for infants because they are babies are discriminating against them because they are babies, which is crazy.
was the mom upfront about the disabilities, by the sounds of it, she wasn't. You can't go thru life thinking that jonny is going to get the same care as everyone and he has disabilities, he's going to get more care to help him with his problems and that costs money.
Meyou 06:18 AM 02-23-2012
From the provider's standpoint she may be charging for the extra time this child needs compared to the others. To me that wouldn't be any different from providers that charge more for infants for the same reason....more time needed for each individual child's needs.

I'm not sure how I feel about it though. :/ On one hand if I was doing an extra hour of work a day (compared to a child the same age without special needs), 5 days per week that's 250 hours in a year and I'd want to be compensated. On the other hand, it's not his fault he needs extra help.
Cat Herder 06:36 AM 02-23-2012
I think it is fairly common. I don't think it is discriminatory.....most likely not even the providers choice.

My ratios go down to 1/4 (same as under 12 months) when I have a "high needs" special needs child in my family daycare.

I then have to pay my bills on 4 slots, instead of 6 OR hire an assistant to help. Either way, the cost has to go up to cover it.

The parent should have access to MANY grants to help cover her costs, though. The provider rarely does.
SunshineMama 06:47 AM 02-23-2012
I don't think it is discrimination, HOWEVER if a court were ever involved, she could surely be sued for discrimination, and the family would probably win.

Of course you should charge a special needs child more if more work is required. You should charge any child more if more work is required. That's why centers charge more for infants than toddlers. I wouldnt want to send my child to a care provider who felt that she wasnt getting paid enough for all of the work that she was doing. I would want my provider to feel well paid, appreciated, and like the most important person in the world (but we all know that doesn't always happen in this line of work).

I don't have a set rate for anyone. I just assess their needs at the time of interview and come up with a price that would make it worth it for me to care for them, and not be too unreasonable on the parents. I am not licensed so I don't know if that matters or not, but my business is very much my own. I hate all of the red tape involved these days.
Childminder 06:56 AM 02-23-2012
Originally Posted by :
You may not automatically refuse to admit a child to your program if your reason is simply that the child, or anyone close to the child, has a disability or is perceived to have a disability. While reasons related to the child’s condition may prevent you from caring for the child, the mere fact that a child has a disability, or has a certain type of disability, is not a valid reason under the law to deny the child care. Instead, the ADA calls for a new way of thinking: before excluding a child with a disability from your program, you must evaluate the child’s needs and condition on an individual basis. Once admitted, each child who has a disability is entitled to equal, nonsegregated inclusion in the program offered, to the extent that is appropriate for the child’s needs.
Although the ADA was enacted in 1990, the provision that applies to child care programs was not fully implemented until January 26, 1993. Since that date, all child care providers — small and large family child care providers as well as centers — have been subject to being sued if they do not comply with the ADA.
For more on the entire Federal Law see:
itlw8 07:24 AM 02-23-2012
so it looks like if you charge more for infants to fill those needs you could charge more for an older child with those same needs. But if you did not care for infants or the higher infant charge was based on age not needs then you may not charge extra.
momofboys 07:29 AM 02-23-2012
As a provider who works on her own I see the supposed view of "discrimination" as a definite hardship for me. I can only care for so many children & I work alone - taking on a child with a significant disability would hinder my ability to make a decent income. If the child would take more of my time I see it as unfair that I should not be able to charge more (as I do for infants). I guess what is bothersome to me is that the provider gets cheated in a sense from having to accept someone who will take up more of their time - how is that fair to the provider if they don't want to accept someone who will take up more of their time? It just makes sense that you would have to pay extra for more services.
cheerfuldom 07:30 AM 02-23-2012
thanks for the links and such

the provider took this child before special needs issues came about. she is not denying child care.....just not agreeing to continue care unless she receives compensation for it. does that quoted portion even apply to her?
Cat Herder 07:30 AM 02-23-2012
Originally Posted by SunshineMama:
I don't think it is discrimination, HOWEVER if a court were ever involved, she could surely be sued for discrimination, and the family would probably win.
I am pretty sure she would not win that judgement, here.

The choice of whether the State deems the child "High Needs" or not is not my decision to make. The change in ratio is a State decision.

The parent would then have to sue the State.

Personally*, I have no more trouble with my special needs children than I do my so called "normal" ones. They are ALL difficult some of the time and ALL have special needs at one point or other.

I think the HUGE drop in ratio is uncalled for and would LOVE to see it changed.

* I felt I needed to qualify that statement. I feel that way because I have had access to YEARS of medical training, at my own expense. I doubt I'd feel the same without it or if I was being forced to go beyond my level of confidence.
wahmof3 07:42 AM 02-23-2012
My state pays an extra 5% on my rates for special needs. BUT a doctor has to submit a form that the child is special needs and what those needs are.

I don't see it as discrimination

my 2 cents
Blackcat31 07:59 AM 02-23-2012
I also disagree that if a court got involved that the mother would win. In fact, it was my licensing agency that told me I could/should request a higher rate for any kids (regardless of age) if they require more care than what is considered normal.

For example, I had a SA child come a while back that had some significant behavioral issues. He had an ADHD diagnosis and a few others due to his unstable homelife. The child care assistance program that paid for his child care contacted me and said they were sending forms to me so I could receive a higher rate of reimbursement given his "special needs".

I did receive a higher rate of reimbursement for him based on the fact that he was/had special needs.
nannyde 08:35 AM 02-23-2012
There isn't enough information from what you said to know. We don't know if she already is providing special needs services to other children and what her client population is and the amount of income she is generating.

One thing that is common with parents of special needs children is that they only see the point of service of what their kid actually gets that's above and beyond normal care.

For example: In this scenario the provider may have many many hard cost and time expenses to accomodate the child. She may have to have additional parent conferencing and communication every day to discuss foods, child's ability to tolerate the foods, and any vomiting. That may require both face to face meetings with the parents and additional documentaion. She may have additional cleaning and additional wear and tear on her equipment or equipment loss.

I had a kid here a couple of years ago who had a very serious eating disorder and the amount of parent conferencing, resource staff conferencing, documentation, etc. was more with this one child than all of my other children combined. Just the face to face parent conferences at drop off and pick up were more than ALL the other kids combined. This cost a significant amount of staff time.

The hand feeding was also VERY time consuming and the food prep was very time consuming. This one child's eating disorder consumed about 20 percent of my time and my staff assistants time. It was a huge hit to me financially. I would NOT do it again. I can easily prove that I don't have the client population to support this kind of staff time.

What this provider needs to do is to do a time study on exactly what additional services she is providing including EVERYTHING related to this child's special needs. She needs to figure out the hard cost and the time cost. She needs to divide that increased cost amoung her client base. She needs to then send a letter to each client explaining that she needs an increase in rates and ask them to document whether they will continue to use her business once this rate has increased. If she can prove that the clients she has now can't sustain the rate increase it takes to support this child's needs she can then show that it would substantially alter her business. Instead of asking the parent for a rate increase she needs to put a value to her time and hard costs and ask her client population.

In these tough economic times I would venture to say that all the parents will refuse the rate increase. She will have the documentation to support her should the DOJ become involved with a disability discrimination investigation.

No matter what the provider has to be compensated for the work she does. She's just asking the wrong people. She needs to document that she has asked for an overall increase in fees to support the pay for the work she does with this child that is above and beyond "reasonable" accomodations... ask for the increase... most likely be denied the increase... and then let the mother know that she can no longer care for the child because the business will be substantially altered if she continues to provide the services the child needs.

It's easy to say the words "discrimination" and "special needs" but it's very complicated to figure out. Providers feel intimidated by the "have to" for free part and it's just not how it is set up. It's some work... but if you can't afford to provide the care the child needs you have the right to say you can't. Providers have the right to be fairly compensated for the work they do.
cheerfuldom 08:42 AM 02-23-2012
For clarification, this is the only special needs child in care. Provider took him when he was a baby and before special needs issues revealed themselves. She runs a small home program with no special training or allowances for special needs child. Now that he is older (around 2 from my understanding) but still needing a lot of baby-type care, she has raised rates for just him. Mom said that it was a small increase to reflect the additional work involved with keeping him in this program. Other people are telling her that this is discrimination and she should not be paying more.
nannyde 09:52 AM 02-23-2012
Originally Posted by SunshineMama:
I don't think it is discrimination, HOWEVER if a court were ever involved, she could surely be sued for discrimination, and the family would probably win.

I'm not aware of any home child care that's been sued by the DOJ over a special needs kid and I've looked long and hard. Not saying it doesn't exist but I sure can't find it.

If it's too much for her it would be worth it. In the end, she wouldn't have the kid.

That's the way I see it. I would rather go head to head with the DOJ or my State than have a kid in my home who was taking more care than I could give within the fees I was charging my group.

BTDT and it won't happen again.

Remember too that a provider being sued for a discrimination case will have to fund that suit. It will be a business expense. Once the provider has to divert her resources to attorneys she's definitely not going to be able to fund a special needs kids additional care in her business. It is a business expense and that's what it all comes down to. Is the expense of this child in time and money more than the provider can accomodate without significantly altering her program. A lawsuit will significantly alter her funds for her program.
countrymom 10:46 AM 02-23-2012
I agree with nanny, I think the provider found that she is spending more and more time with him and she needs to be compinsated, happens in real jobs too. She's not discriminating because she is still caring for the child, she didn't deny him so its not a discrimination issue.
emmajo 11:41 AM 02-23-2012
I raised the rate for only one family because their child (not special needs) was more work and stress for me - in terms of discipline, the constant talking and needing of attention, etc. Does it follow that his parents could sue me for discrimination or is that reserved for special needs families? I certainly wouldn't divide the cost among other families - I simply wanted to feel that I was making more money to care for him than for the other, easier children.
Ariana 12:23 PM 02-23-2012
She's not refusing care she's asking for more $$ based on more work. To me this is not a basis for discriminaton. His special need actually requires extra work so the increase in payment is justified. If he was special needs but no extra work was involved and she still increased her rate, THAT would be discrimination.
itlw8 01:54 PM 02-23-2012
In a class I took Tom Copeland ws the presenter we covered this. How about asking his opinion?
Tags:special needs, special needs - ratios
Reply Up