Many children can be accommodated in a regular daycare setting with minimal extra supports. Often, it is simply a matter of training several of the staff members to give a feeding and operate a feeding pump. Sometimes individuals in home daycares are more willing to learn these skills. In addition, Head Start programs that receive federal funding must accommodate children with disabilities, and may be more likely to have an individual on staff able to use a feeding tube.
Regular Daycare with Supports
All children who receive Medicaid or a Medicaid waiver are entitled to personal assistant, CNA, or nursing services if these services are medically necessary. If a child has an aide, CNA, or nurse, that individual may attend daycare with the child.
Medical or Special Needs Daycares
Some cities have medical or special needs daycares available to care for children with complex medical issues. In some cases, these are part of hospitals or are publicly funded through Medicaid. In other cases, they may be run by private groups, therapy centers, or disability centers. Easter Seals and UCP sometimes offer these services. Many of these facilities are able to take children with feeding tubes.
Children who participate in Medicaid or a Medicaid waiver can receive home care services, which are typically provided by a CNA or nurse, if a doctor says they are medically necessary. Occasionally, insurance will cover nursing or aide services as well. These services can be used for childcare while parents are working.
Nannies and Caregivers
You can hire your own caregiver if you choose. Services such as care.com often match caregivers with special needs experience with families. Typically, these highly trained individuals cost a little bit more. Sometimes, nursing students or PT/OT students can be used as part-time caregivers.
If you find a daycare or childcare willing to take your child, you will likely be responsible for training the staff at the facility to care for your child. The staff should learn the following:
- How to prepare a feed and store formula/food
- How to give a feed
- How to vent, if applicable
- How to use and troubleshoot the feeding pump
- How to flush
- How to give medications
- How to change a feeding tube in an emergency
Most of the practical issues are identical to those for children who attend school. For more information, see the Feeding at School page. Helpful guides include the Moog Infinity Field Guide and Quick Guide.
Often, daycares include younger children, who may have curious hands. Your child may need to use special products, such as a G-tube belt to keep the tube safe while at daycare.