Diabetes and Head Start

Ask our CDE

Diabetes and Head Start

Hi, my name is Debbie and my child has diabetes. I am interested in the Head Start program as I have a part-time job and do not make much money.  Do you think my child has a chance to attend? Can you provide me with a link for information?

Hi Debbie,

I worked as the dietitian/nurse for many years for two head start programs in Northern Virginia. There are laws under the Americans with Disabilities Act that consider it a discrimination if schools receive federal tax dollars (public funds) to help run their program and refuse a child just because he/she has a disability. If the Head Start program is held on school grounds they are subject to caring for children with disabilities including diabetes. Please note that we are not talking about a private babysitter or a religious institution that does not accept federal dollars.

You should start early to get your child enrolled as unfortunately sometimes the school may still refuse. There is a wonderful article that was written in Diabetes Forecast that answers many of your questions. It is titled: “Dealing with Diabetes at Day Care. How to know your rights and ensure that your child stays safe”.  Go to this link to access this article: http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2014/06-jun/dealing-with-diabetes-at-day.html

This article states that if a center refuses your child admittance you can get help from the American Diabetes Association. They can help with your questions and connect you with an expert to help you. This article is a “must read” for you. It will give you a link to the Department of Justice if your child still has problems with getting in.

My advice is to read the article and start by calling your local Head Start to see what you must do. You may be pleasantly surprised and have no problems. You may have problems though, so give yourself enough time to take care of potential issues. Please let us know how you make out.