Summer Child Care - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Summer Child Care

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.

More Tips

  • Children over age 12 may benefit by being in leadership or counselor trainee programs.
  • Consider enrolling your child in the same summer program as your child's best friend.
  • Consider hiring a mature teenager or college student to care for your children or set up a co-op arrangement with neighborhood families who share the cost of hiring one or two caregivers. These "summer buddies" could provide supervision, companionship and transportation to activities.
  • Make sure your child's nutritional needs are met either by the program, by your "brown bags" or, if you qualify, by your community's summer nutrition program (information available from your local school district).
  • Be sure to ask about any scholarship or financial assistance that may be available.

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.

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