Conversations with child care and pre-school: for children with developmental delay or disability

Disclaimer: This fact sheet is for education purposes only. Please consult with your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for your child.

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Child care and/or pre-school is a great resource for children and families. To give your child the best start to schooling, it is worth sharing information with the people caring for and educating your child.

Tips for conversations with the child care centre or pre-school

  • Plan a meeting time. Don’t try to catch staff at drop off and pick up.
  • Plan regular times for getting information. Don’t wait for when there is a problem.
  • Ask for a meeting with the Centre Director and if possible the teacher/primary carer for your child.  It is helpful to share information on your child’s needs, likes and dislikes.

Open ended questions to get to know the centre.

Could I have some more detail?

Why is this good to know?

My child has been diagnosed with a delay/disability. How can we work together on this?

Could you tell me about your experience with children with special needs?

What funding is available?

How would the centre use NDIS funding?

Can my child’s keyworker or therapist come to the centre?

A chat about the general experience and knowledge of the centre can reassure you.  It also helps start a detailed conversation about your child. 

Feeling confident in the centre and with your child’s primary carer/teacher is important.  You can be a good advocate for your child’s needs, so that you and the centre can work together on a plan that supports and includes your child.



How would you like me to share ideas and external therapy plans with the carer/teacher?

Will the centre be able to use some of the things that work for us at home like behaviour management techniques or rewards/motivators?

How should the therapist/key worker involved give your centre information?

Using similar strategies at home, therapy and the centre/pre-school can help your child.

Agreeing on how information is shared will help make sure that the information is meaningful and understood.  Some centres appreciate a written report while others prefer a meeting.

Tell me more about my child’s day

What does my child do during the day?

How do the carers direct my child?

What activities do you encourage?

Knowing the basics can help to know what to work towards.

What strategies help manage and care for my child’s behaviour and mood?

How does my child move from inside play to outside play?

How does my child move from one activity to the next?

Does my child sit at group time?

You want to know what works and whether the carers need more strategies to help.  This information might help at home as well.

How does my child play with things, and how does my child play with other children?

Does my child join in a variety of play?

What level of interaction exists between my child and others?

You want to know if your child is being actively included and directed towards different activities.  You can also discuss how your child can be more supported socially.


  • You have a right to information about your child, and your child has a right to inclusive child care and schooling.  This inclusion should be meaningful so that the rights of the child are respected and the child is supported to reach their full potential.  Please speak with a social worker if you would like more support in this area, or if you have concerns. 
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Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick
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