It’s time for summer planning! Have you decided whether your child will attend summer camp, child care, or be at home? Research has shown students experience learning losses when they don’t engage in educational activities over summer break. One way to prevent this from happening is to make sure that your child is in a quality care setting during summer vacation—as well as all year long!
Here are some things to think about when looking for summer care:
Choose a program that follows your child’s interests. Talk to your child about what he or she would like to participate in this summer. If your child is interested in space exploration, gymnastics, art or robotics; it may be beneficial to find a program or camp focused around these areas. Look for a program that has a well-thought-out curriculum that will keep your child engaged in different activities and projects all summer long.
Ask questions. Here are some questions that can help ensure that your child will have a safe and fulfilling summer experience.
- Is there a calendar of activities?
- Are field trips off-site or are special activities held on site.
- Is transportation provided and/or do children walk to nearby field trips?
- Do departure and return times work for your work schedule so you can easily pick-up and drop off?
- Are the staff working with your child and accompanying your child on field trips first aid and CPR-certified? (In the event that your child takes medication at the program, be sure to address the plan with the administrator before the camp begins.)
- What is the screen time/social media/cell phone policy?
- Ask for their policies on things such as: sunscreen use, heat index, breakfast-lunch-snack-water, rest time/quiet time, family vacation, tuition, cancellation and reimbursement.
Research the program or camp’s rating or accreditation. A program that has the ratings and accreditation proves the program or camp is going beyond state licensing regulations and using quality indicators to ensure a safe learning environment. Quality rating systems in Kentucky and Ohio help parents understand the level of quality in child care programs and compare different programs by using the same set of standards. There are national accreditations to look at as well, such as NAEYC. Summer camp options, either day or overnight, are accredited through the American Camp Association (ACA).
There are a lot of factors to consider when you are searching for summer care. But ultimately it’s all about finding the best fit for your family and your child. 4C for Children can help in your search for a child care program. Reach out to our team and they will assist you in finding the options for quality child care in your area.
This article was written for the May 2019 edition of Parent Source.