Support for Including Children with Special Needs

“Inclusion embodies the values, policies and practices that support the right of every child and his or her family, regardless of ability, to participate in a broad range of activities as full members of families, communities and society. The desired results of inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities and their families include a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach their full potential.” 

-Adapted from the Joint Position Statement of the Division of Early Childhood and the National Association for the Education of Young Children 

Teachers with Children


A child with special needs or challenging behaviors is a child who may require enhanced childcare services over that of a typically developing child due to an actual or perceived developmental disability and/or delay, health/mental health, or behavior issues. 

Childcare Referral Services

United 4 Children’s Resource and Referral services help families locate and select childcare meeting their unique needs. Specialized referral and support services to locate inclusive childcare are available to families of children with special needs. Inclusion specialists help families find programs that are dedicated to giving the best care to ALL children, including children with disabilities or special needs. Families may complete our intake form, call us at 800-467-2322 ext. 160, email us at,  or use the Inclusion Services Map to access inclusion referral services in their region.

Children with developmental, behavioral, or physical challenges and their families are offered security, compassion, and understanding. We assist families in locating quality inclusive programs and work with the program staff to assure the best care possible. The more we learn about children’s development, the more we know how important it is to intervene sooner rather than later when a child has a developmental delay, disability, or other special need including challenging behavior. 

We also know that the American with Disabilities Act (the ADA) requires that childcare providers make reasonable accommodations to meet the needs of these children. Our hearts tell us that we want to meet the needs of ALL the children we care for – but it’s not always easy to know HOW to successfully include a child with special needs. 

Coaching and Technical Assistance 

United 4 Children’s  Inclusion Specialists  offer the following services to assist you as you work to meet the needs of children with special needs in your licensed and licensed-exempt centers and homes. 

On-site or telephone technical assistance, short term observations, consultation, and training specific to the needs of a particular child. This service is provided  free of charge. 

Community-based workshops about Inclusion.
Watch for information about dates and times several times each year in email notices, flyers, and on the Missouri Training Calendar.

Providers – Click HERE  to view the specialist in your area map.  To reach your Inclusion Specialist please call 1-800-467-2322 plus your Inclusion Specialist’s extension below. You can also email

Social Emotional Early Childhood (SEEC) Project

The State of Missouri has the highest level of school suspensions in the nation, with St. Louis being the highest concentration in the state. In fact, in St. Louis, children score 61% higher in social-emotional delays than the national average. There are many areas throughout Missouri who are underserved, have minimal resources, and have an overall lack of support for teachers and childcare programs. Many of these counties include children and families who are at-risk, who have experienced child abuse and neglect and have limited resources to support these families and childcare programs.

The SEEC Project is a multi-tiered research-based approach that teaches social-emotional skills in which all children benefit from provided preventative strategies for children who are at-risk for social-emotional delays and help determine interventions for children exhibiting challenging behaviors.

To learn more and apply to participate in the St. Louis City SEEC Project, click here.

To learn more about the Inclusion State Pilot Project, click here.

Amber Simino-Velasquez 
MO Inclusion Specialist     Eastern Region
            (800) 467-2322             ext. 115

Telese Pickens
MO Inclusion Specialist
Western Region

(800) 467-2322
ext. 154

Samantha Dugger
MO Lead Inclusion Specialist
Southwest Region

(800) 467-2322
ext. 132

Christine Pogue
MO Inclusion Specialist
Southeast Region

(800) 467-2322
ext. 160

Becky Vogel
Early Childhood Specialist         (800) 467-2322
ext. 140

             Tara DeVore                    MO Inclusion Specialist             NW/Central Region                    (800) 467-2322              ext. 153


Gail Wulff
Director of Inclusion Services- Eastern Region
(800) 467-2322
ext. 117


Children with developmental, behavioral or physical challenges and their families are offered security, compassion and understanding. Inclusion Services assist families in locating quality inclusive programs and work with the program staff to assure the best care possible. 



Received training on best practices



Received on-site consultation



Maintained quality placement



Received Assistance

United4Children is the only Missouri State funded program addressing the federal recommendation of reducing suspension rates.

Phone: (314) 531-1412
Toll-Free: (800) 467-2322
Fax: (314) 531-4184

5501 Delmar Blvd.
Suite B520
Saint Louis, MO 63112