Children with special health care needs are defined as “. . . those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally” (McPherson, 1998).
Any child who meets these criteria in an early care and education setting should have an up-to-date Routine and Emergent Care Plan, completed by their primary health care provider with input from parents/guardians, included in their on-site health record and readily accessible to those caring for the child. Community resources should be used to ensure adequate information, training, and monitoring is available for early care and education staff. Caregivers should undergo training in pediatric first aid and CPR that includes responding to an emergency for any child with a special health care need.