New Daycare to open for special needs children

Carrie Curton
Carrie Curton
Alanna Hepler
Alanna Hepler

A state of the art child care facility in Amarillo will soon open for kids with special needs.

Alanna Hepler has a 5-year-old son with autism who doesn't speak.

She's also a part-time local social worker who knows the struggles parents with disabilities have.

"Ethan [her son] would probably need one on one which in any daycare environment, they are not going to be able to guarantee that kind of ratio," she said.

Carrie Curton also has a child with special needs.

After years of trying to find a daycare while she went to work as a teacher, she decided to open her own specialty daycare, Unique Individuals.

Recent reports nationwide show child care workers who abuse disabled children, and many parents like Hepler are reserved to allow just anyone to care for their child.

"It's horrible because with Ethan being non-verbal, I can't just trust anyone to just take care of him," said Hepler.  "With unique individuals providing the mommy cam, being able to go in on my computer at work...and be able to check on him and see him with my own eyes, gives me a piece of mind that I haven't had."

Hepler and Curton both know what it's like trying to work and give their child the care they need.

They say interaction with other kids their own age is the most important.

"If they need a little one on one to be in the daycare or preeschool setting that's what were going to do," said Curton.

The child care center is not only for children with disabilities.

Curton says about thirty children are already signed up, and a handful of them have special needs.

The center is expected to open in August at 7701 South Coulter in Amarillo.