5 steps to choosing summer child care
1. Look. Explore all types of care options - family child care, centers, parks and recreation departments, community-based organizations, school districts and day or overnight camps. Visit several programs. Do they look safe? Do the staff enjoy talking and playing with the children? After you start using a program, continue to go back and visit.
2. Check. How long has the program operated? What percentage of children return each year? Is the program certified or accredited by a professional association? Check references from parents who have used the program.
3. Count. Count the number of adults and the number of children they will each be supervising. Be certain there are enough adults to supervise all of the different activities that are planned.
4. Ask. Ask your child what types of programs he or she would like. Involve kids in the decision-making. Look for programs that focus on their interests. Ask about the training and experience of all adults who will be with your child. Do they have first aid and CPR training? Are their discipline policies compatible with your philosophy? Are children able to choose among activities? What do the adults know about child development? How will they encourage your child's independence and build self-esteem?
5. Be Informed. Find out about efforts in your community to expand and support summer child care options. For more information, contact your local child care resource and referral agency. To find your local agency, contact Child Care Aware at 1-800-424-2246.
Information provided by Child Care Aware . Child Care Aware is a national initiative, conducted by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), committed to helping parents find the best information on locating quality child care and child care resources in their community.