There are more than 650 regulated early learning centers in the Kansas City area to serve the region’s working parents, preschoolers and after-school care needs.

Whether you choose a licensed day care facility, an in-home provider or nanny, the expert recommended consideration, is how the provider and your child interact.

The Kansas City region is fully equipped with educational resources and other programming to help children with special needs reach their full potential and beyond. The KC region is home to school districts with highly regarded special education programming. Both the state of Kansas and Missouri have attained the highest level of achievement in providing services to children and youth with disabilities, as determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Along with high-quality public schools, KC offers a variety of specialty schools like the Briarwood School, Children's Center for the Visually Impaired, Dale M. Thompson/Trails West School, Kansas Schools for the Deaf and Blind, Lakeview Woods School, Maple Valley School and Sherwood Autism School.

There are many resources for children with special needs in the KC region. For example, Variety the Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City provides children with developmental disabilities adaptive equipment and opportunities for activity and inclusion. They also extend a large resource list of area equipment providers and other organizations. There is also The Children’s Advocacy Project in KC, whose mission is to help bridge the gap between the many quality social service agencies in the Kansas City area and the families that need their help the most by providing user-friendly, comprehensive listing of those social service agencies.

Did You Know?
Dual-income households with children make up 35% of American families today.

Questions to get you started

  • Are you licensed or registered? Ask to see their license or certificate of registrations.
  • How long have you been providing care?
  • How many children do you care for?
  • Is there an open-door policy allowing parents to drop in any time for a visit?
  • What program/curriculum will children be taught at school and how do the parents participate at home?
  • What is the student-teacher ratio at the school?
  • How is discipline handled?
  • What hours is the facility open?
  • What is the cost of care?
  • Is there a place for children to play outdoors? What activities/exercise is the child allowed on inclement weather days?
  • What kinds of meals/snacks are served?
  • What are the qualifications of the teachers/care providers and how long have they been in this setting?
  • What is the vacation/illness policy?
  • Can you provide a list of references?
  • How does the staff communicate with parents about the child’s day?
  • What is the program’s philosophy and how is the day structured?

KC metro child care facilities

Special needs facilities

Licensed daycare centers

  • Metro Daycare – national site where you can search by area code, etc.
  • The Child Care Source – offers referral lists of child care providers in certain counties in Kansas and Missouri.

Licensing Requirements

Given KC’s two-state area, it is important to note the differences in licensing requirements when choosing if you’ll live in Kansas or Missouri

Home daycare facilities in Kansas must be licensed and registered with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment

In Missouri, no license is required if the family childcare home provider cares for four children or less. Preschools do not have to be accredited by the state, but should be accredited by a nationally recognized organization.

More on licensing


Higher Educations


Video Library