Children with Special Needs

Our programs and services have changed as a result of the current COVID-19 situation. The Infant and Child Development Program has temporarily cancelled all face to face visits. A consultant is available by phone, email or text during regular business hours 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. They can be reached at 519-575-4400 ext. 2223 or

Some children are born with special needs or a special need is identified later as the child grows. The Region of Waterloo offers services, assistance and support to families with children with special needs.

Infant and Child Development

The Infant and Child Development program provides services for infants, toddlers and preschoolers at risk of or are experiencing developmental delay.

A range of services are available for children up to age five who:

  • Experience developmental issues
  • Have health or medical issues
  • Have a diagnosed condition

Available services may differ depending on your child's development and your preferences. Services include:

  • Developmental monitoring services
  • Intensive home-based programming
  • Specialized workshops
  • Developmental screening
  • Developmental assessment
  • Child development information

For more information, contact us at 519-575-4400 ext. 5002 or email or send a referral form.

Finding Services for Children with Special Needs

The Special Needs Access Point (SNAP) is a single access point for children with special needs attending a licensed child care program. SNAP accepts referrals from child care programs, community agencies and parents. SNAP will connect you with the most appropriate service to support your child's participation in a child care program.

Financial Assistance

Help Paying for Child Care

Children may be eligible for extra financial support to attend a licensed child care centre or home care program.

Visit Help Paying for Child Care for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities

This program provides monthly financial support for low- to moderate-income families. The program helps to cover some of the extra costs of caring for a child who has a severe medical condition, experiencing a developmental delay or disability.

Visit Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities for more information about the program and eligibility.

Special Services at Home

This program helps families pay for special services in or outside the family home. Visit Special Services at Home for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

Community Support

Support for children with special needs is also available through our community partners:

Visit the Waterloo Region Special Needs Strategy Planning Table for information on how we're working together to deliver services to children with special needs in our community.

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