2022 Edition

Early Childhood Education (CA-ECE) 9: Caring for Children with Special Needs

The organization considers additional communication, activity, and staffing needs to promote optimal inclusion and development of children with special needs.




Early Childhood Education facilitates appropriate child development and ensures the health and safety of children in care.
Examples: Special needs include medical, developmental, social, emotional, and behavioural needs.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
  • Community resource and referral list for specialized services and supports
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Parents of children with special needs
  • Review child files


CA-ECE 9.01

Parents of children with special needs receive assistance obtaining and coordinating specialized supports necessary to enroll and keep their child in care.


The amount and type of assistance provided will vary based on the resources available at the organization.
Examples: Parents may need assistance obtaining suitable transportation, managing logistics, and coordinating services with other providers such as specialized screenings, assessments, and treatments.


CA-ECE 9.02

A team approach that involves parents, service providers, and teaching staff is used in service planning, care provision, and transition planning.


CA-ECE 9.03

Teaching staff and administrators promote the child’s inclusion in activities with other children.


Whenever the child is attending the program, intervention services and special medical services provided on-site should be integrated, to the greatest extent possible, into the ongoing activities of the group to promote inclusion.