Frequently Asked Questions

“What is a PPEC?” “Who pays for it?” Our team answers all of your questions. If you don’t see your question below, schedule a time to discuss with us.

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What is Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC)?

Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care, also known as a PPEC or PPECC, is a medical daycare center staffed by nurses and aides who care for children with complex medical needs — up to 12 hours per day, and up to age 21. It’s a safe place for children to receive the medical care and therapy they need, while benefiting from a social environment.

What does a child's day look like at Spark Pediatrics?

In the morning, we pick them up and bring them to our center. There, they'll typically engage in alternating sessions of learning and fun, care and therapy, meals, and naptime. Every child's schedule is personalized to their care plan and developmental needs, and they are assigned groups based on developmental age. We prioritize their medical care first, but strive to provide a balance of engaging, enriching activities that stimulate mental and social development. Therapy is also provided at the center according to their providers' recommendations. Every evening, we offer return transportation that accommodates the family's schedule.

What does Spark Pediatrics do differently?

We are a nationwide PPEC. Our network of centers have provided care for children with a wide range of medical conditions. So we’ve developed our standards of care and safety from our combined wealth of pediatric experience across all locations. We’ve learned what provides the best outcomes, but we are constantly evolving our approach with the latest research and equipment. At Spark Pediatrics, every child has a chance to learn, play, and develop bonds and friendships in a social daycare setting.

How do children get approved?

Our centers treat children with a wide variety of conditions that require skilled nursing care. We care for children from infancy (including premature babies) up until age 21. If the child requires daily medical care, we help families find coverage. We encourage families to give us a call and discuss whether Spark Pediatrics is the right fit for them.

How do we work with families?

We’ll collaborate with the family on their child's care plan, and work directly with their doctors and specialists to set goals and meet their medical needs. Their care plan will be regularly revisited to ensure we’re adapting to their development. We update families with daily communications and meet regularly to review our overall care. We know that care doesn’t stop when children go home, so we offer family-centered education and resources to support them.

Who pays for this care?

PPEC services are completely covered by Medicaid, Medicaid-managed plans, and some insurance providers — at no cost to families. We will work with the family's provider, and handle all communications and paperwork directly so there is no additional burden.

What if I don’t live near a center? Do you provide transportation?

Spark Pediatrics coordinates transportation from door to door — one of our team will escort the child at all times and ensure their safety. This service is provided for free.

Why choose Spark Pediatrics over home care?

Our medical daycares give children a chance to experience childhood in a safe, social setting. Our nurses and aides are all required to have pediatric experience (more than is required for home care nurses). Every child in our care has a reliable team responsible for their development. From therapy to transportation, everything is covered by Medicaid.

How does our nursing team differ from home care?

All of our nurses and aides are required to have recent pediatric experience. Every center is managed by a Director of Nursing with NICU and/or pediatric intensive care experience. Our team always includes at least one registered nurse (RN) working alongside licensed practical nurses (LPNs), certified nursing assistants (CNAs), and home health aides (HHAs). They care for children with a wide range of conditions, providing medical care and supporting overall development. Private-duty nurses who provide home care are primarily licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and home health aides (HHAs) who are only permitted to administer medical care.

What’s the difference between the different centers?

All of our Spark Pediatrics centers follow the same standards of care and safety. Our teams of nurses and aides are all required to have pediatric experience. And our Director of Nursing at each center is also required to have NICU or pediatric intensive care experience. Our care and services are held to the same high bar at every center.

Can you tell me more about therapy?

Children can receive all of their speech, occupational, and physical therapy without leaving our center. We have therapists who come to us, so families never have to miss work or school to take their child to a session. Our highly-qualified therapists will work with the child one on one and report back on their progress. For children who need it, we also offer behavioral therapy and access to mental health resources. Sessions are offered multiple times per week in accordance with the child's care plan.

Can you tell more about the curriculum?

At Spark Pediatrics, we offer the Funshine curriculum for children in our care. Our curriculum is meant to support children with complex medical needs. We introduce educational sessions within our daily medical care to ensure every child has a chance to thrive. Funshine covers five subjects including reading, science, and music. Every session is tailored to the child's developmental age and interests.

Can you tell me more about safety?

At Spark Pediatrics, all children have a team of trained nurses and aides providing attentive care and supervision. Our centers are designed for kids with complex medical needs and have the latest, state-of-the-art medical equipment and developmentally-appropriate toys and play areas. By following strict health and safety policies, we were able to stay open during the peak of the COVID pandemic. Many families are nervous about sending their child out of the home, but we can assure families their child is in a safe place here.

Still curious about our care?

Do you have a question we haven’t answered? We’re happy to chat. Schedule a call to speak with someone at Spark Pediatrics.

Have a question we didn’t cover?

We’d love to share more about how we care for children with complex medical needs. We’re available, any time, at your convenience.