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Make a Difference at Daycare

You can make a difference!
Read these ideas for helping the staff care for your child.

  • Talk with your daycare providers and teachers about your child's special needs.
  • Explain that being alone will not help her.
  • Tell them you want her to interact and play with other children.
  • Every child needs to learn how to get along with other people.
  • Tell the staff at the daycare that you understand it is more difficult to communicate with your deaf or hard of hearing child.
  • Give the staff tips and advice on how to communicate with your child.
  • Show the staff how to include her in everyday activities.
  • There is a good book about beginning Sign Language that parents can give to childcare providers. The book is called Caring for Young Children: Signing for Day Care Providers & Sitters.

Help your child play in groups
Here is a list of deaf-friendly group play ideas. You can share these ideas with your daycare. Suggest to the daycare that they:

  • Play games and activities that do not require hearing.
    • Games like Simon Says or Marco Polo would be very hard for deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Twister and tag would be better.
    • Twister is easy for deaf or hard-of-hearing child to understand.
    • For the game tag, use a bright hat in the game and say that whoever is It has to wear the bright hat. This helps deaf and hard of hearing children to figure out who's It and who's not.
  • Explain the rules for all activities or games to your child.
    • Every time you teach a game or activity, you MUST explain things step by step to her. Explain things to her before everyone gets together to play.
    • Many people think that deaf children already understand the rules for games. That is not true. She misses out on many things compared to a hearing child. This is because she cannot hear like a hearing child does.
    daycare center
  • Hold a fun workshop for all of the children (and teachers) to learn about deafness. Learn basic important signs for please, how are you, do you understand, good morning, good bye, come over, and excuse me.
  • Hang up a sign language alphabet poster at the daycare or classroom.
  • Add comics and stories to explain what it is like to be deaf or hard-of-hearing. This helps other people to learn to be sensitive and thoughtful about a deaf or hard-of-hearing child's needs.
  • Always try to remember that the child is deaf or hard-of-hearing.
  • Do not only speak out instructions and announcements. Write them on the board as well.
  • Do not try to only clap or whistle to get everyone's attention. Flash the lights and wave your hands as well.

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National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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