Most families will need care for their child at some time and finding the right provider can take time and effort. Families with children with special needs often face additional challenges and costs in finding skilled care providers able and willing to care for a child with exceptionalities. This becomes more challenging when their children become older. SD Parent Connection understands the obstacles families face and is here to assist.
South Dakota's online listing of registered and licensed child care providers can be found at https://apps.sd.gov/ss45provinfo/search.aspx
Families without access to the internet may contact their local office of SD Department of Social Services, Child Care Services to request a printed copy of available providers or contact the Division of Child Care Services at 1-800-227-3020.
Childcare Helpline has resources that can help with families choose quality child care:
- Personalized assistance on choosing quality care
- Referrals to local child care providers, including preschools, and school age programs
- Connections to resources providing financial assistance with the cost of child care
- Care options for nontraditional work schedules and children with special needs
- Child Care Guide
- Budgeting for Child Care
- Military Families Child Care Help
Childcare Supports for Families and Professionals
Early Childhood Enrichment (ECE) Programs are statewide, regionally based, free or low cost services to support early child care providers and parents. Services may include telephone, consultation, on-site help and/or trainings on issues such as managing behaviors, encouraging development, financial management. Some sites may provide developmental toy/equipment and resource lending libraries.
Find the ECE program serving your area by visiting http://dss.sd.gov/childcare/educationalopportunities/sites.aspx or calling the Division of Childcare Services at 800-227-3020.
Find more resources in the Child Care and Respite Care section (in Family Advocacy and Support) of our Family Resource Guide.
Strategies to Help You Locate Child Care / Respite Care Providers
The people who know your child and family may be your best resource. Don't be afraid to ask. If you don't ask, they can't say "yes" or give you a referral.
- Your child's current providers. Teachers, aides, nurses, therapists, interns, childcare/after school providers, caseworkers and/or caregivers may have referrals or be willing to assist themselves.
- Your support/play group parents and organizers. Adults may be willing to provide/swap care, or they may refer their older children or childcare providers to you.
- Your family and friends. Parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, nieces/nephews, cousins and trusted friends may be willing to assist or provide you referrals.
- Your church family. Make informal or formal requests (via minister/youth group leaders, bulletin or newsletter postings) to families and individuals, college students living at home, or high school seniors or recent graduates interested in earning extra income, gaining experience, and/or lending a helping hand.
- Local colleges/universities. Students in fields of medicine, nursing, child development, social work, psychology, education/special education, physical/occupational/speech therapy, or other areas may be viable resources for families. Students can earn money while gaining valuable, resume-enhancing, real-life experience.
- Local schools. Staff may be interested in summer or holiday break work or provide referrals. Older students may be interested in being a provider or have friends that would be interested.