If you believe that your child may have a special need or a disability, there are resources available to assist your family.

Help through the Child Care Subsidy Program

If a family is eligible for a Child Care Subsidy, the sliding fee is waived for a child classified as having a special need and the child care provider will be paid an additional amount for services provided to the child. For other children in the household who do not have a special need, the family may pay a sliding fee.

A child may be classified as having special needs if the child is under age 18 (up to and including the month they turn 18), or under age 19 and still in school (up to and including the month they graduate high school, if graduation occurs prior to their 19th birthday), has a documented need for care, and meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Receives Supplemental Security Income benefits on their own disability
  • Receives services through the Department of Mental Health
  • Has a physical or mental disability or delay
  • Is a protective service child receiving services through Children's Division
  • Is under any court-ordered supervision

Healthy Children and Youth Program

The Healthy Children and Youth (HCY) Program is a preventive health care program for children and youth under the age of 21 who are eligible for MO HealthNet. This program is also known as Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT).

The Social Security Act authorizes Medicaid coverage of medical and dental services necessary to treat or improve defects and physical and mental illness identified by a HCY screening, even if these services are not covered under the state Medicaid plan. If the services identified by a HCY screening are not covered under the state Medicaid plan, a plan of care identifying the treatment needs of the child may be required.

What other resources are available?

If you believe that your child may have a special need or a disability, additional resources available to assist your family:

  • Early Childhood Special Education - The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education offers assistance to families with their special education needs. Special Education and related services for pre-school age is referred to as early childhood special education.

    These services are available in part through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which is a federal law that requires each state to ensure that a free appropriate public education is available to all eligible children with disabilities residing in that state.

  • Inclusion - The Department of Health and Senior Services offers specialized referral and support services to help families locate and select child care that meets their unique needs. These services are offered through Inclusion Specialists, who ensure all children receive quality care and are included in all activities regardless of their special needs. Inclusion Specialists also provide technical assistance to help the family care for a child with special needs at no charge.
  • Project LAUNCH - Project LAUNCH is a collaborative effort led by the Department of Mental Health, in partnership with the Department of Health and Senior Services that works to create a coordinated system that addresses the needs of children ages 0–8 and allows them to thrive in safe, supportive environments and enter school with the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills they need to succeed.
  • The Division of Developmental Disabilities – The mission of the Division of Developmental Disabilities is to improve lives of Missourians with Developmental Disabilities through supports and services that foster self-determination. Family Support services help strengthen the family's capacity to support family member(s) who have a developmental disability both in the home and in the community.
  • United 4 Children – The mission of United 4 Children is to improve the social, emotional, physical, and educational well-being of our children by enriching the knowledge of families, teachers, and caregivers.
  • The Arc - The mission of The Arc is to promote and protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
  • Missouri Family to Family – The goal of Missouri Family to Family is to maximize their capacity, strengths, and unique abilities so they can best support, nurture, love, and facilitate opportunities for the achievement of self-determination, interdependence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in all facets of community life for their family members.