From 1997 through 1999, the Child Care Bureau in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded the Map to Inclusive Child Care Project. The goal of the Map to Inclusive Child Care Project, as funded through the Child Care Bureau, was to provide technical assistance to states as they included children with disabilities (from birth through 12 years) in child care settings.
While this was a three-year project, each state was funded for one year. Each year, states were chosen using selection criteria that ensured a diverse state team membership. State teams consisted of members from the following categories:
- Parent of a child with a disability
- State administrators from child care agencies
- Early childhood/child care/school age providers
- Policy makers/legislators
- Representatives from Head Start/Early Head Start
- Agencies or organizations that provide services to children with disabilities
- Educational institutions involved in preservice/inservice cooperative extension systems
- Other related sectors
The states and their teams were provided with technical assistance to support the development of a successful inclusive child care system within their state. Fueling the project was the premise that efforts to support child care providers in accommodating the individual needs of children with disabilities can go hand-in-hand with improvements in the quality of care for all children.
California’s Map to Inclusive Child Care Project (Map Project) was funded in 1998. California’s team of 32 people was committed to improving opportunities and access to child care for families of children who have disabilities and other special needs.
Since the federal funding lasted only one year, the Child Development Division of the California Department of Education (CDD) decided to fund the Map Project through Quality Improvement Funds. CDD awarded the Map Project contract to a partnership between CCHP and the California Early Intervention Technical Assistance Network (through its contract with the California Department of Developmental Services). CCHP facilitated the Map Project from 1999 to 2002.
In 2002, CDD awarded the Map Project contract to the California Institute of Human Services (CIHS) at Sonoma State University. In 2007, the project moved to the WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies in the San Marcos, California office.
The California Map to Inclusive Child Care Project has worked to expand opportunities for children with disabilities and other special needs in child care and development programs. The project is committed to substantially improving the delivery of quality child care services to children with disabilities and other special needs in inclusive settings through. This is accomplished by bringing together key stakeholders who have an interest in and have impact on quality child care programs that include children with disabilities and other special needs.