I’m looking for some information for research I’m doing into young children with special needs and how parents are dealing with childcare issues for children who have extra needs.
My own experience is as a Mum of a daughter who had cerebral palsy with mild epilepsy and speech delays due to taking strokes. She used a wheelchair and was not able to be toilet trained. I gave up work after she was born and I wasn’t aware of any childcare I could use even if I had wanted to. My only breaks came mostly from my mum mindering her and she also went to a club on a Saturday morning run for children with special needs funded by the HSE.(Which was great as it was here she realised at a young age she wasn’t the only child to use a wheelchair)
Do parents work outside the home and is it easy to find childcare in a creche/childminder etc.
I know some people qualify for a Carers Allowance and this can allow a parent to stay at home a little easier, but a lot of parents don’t qualify for Carers Allowance for their children as it is means tested. Does this force people out to work for financial reasons even if they would prefer to stay at home with their children.
Do parents work or want to continue working outside the home as they enjoy their work but are finding childcare difficult.
I’m also interesed if people have any form of short respite for simple things such as dentist, hairdresser, shopping etc. or do people depend on family/friends to step in.
And finally, if children are attending school is there any afterschool facilities which cater for children with special needs including collecting them from school if necessary and accomodating wheelchairs.
Do you find that the facilities you are using presently have adaquete equipment to help your child eg. changing areas, seating etc.