Time to find Summer Care: now what?

Summer is right around the corner and it’s not too soon to start planning. Finding summertime care for your school aged children offers special opportunities as well as challenges. However, high quality school age summer care is just as important as securing quality care for younger children in full year programs. Quality school-age summer programs help your child grow socially, emotionally and physically.

Here are a few options for you to consider as well as tips for selecting care.

1. Summer day camps can be a great option. These programs typically build in lots of activities, as well as some free time for simply socializing and interacting with their peers. Day camps may be offered at your local Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA or Park Departments. Camps are often flexible, allowing parents to book time by the week, which allows for families to accommodate summer vacations or travel.

2. Week long camps offer an additional option and can cater to a child’s unique interest. Camps can be related to sports, visual or performing arts, career exploration focused (primarily for older children), or simply exploring and living in nature.

3. School run programs often through Recreation Departments offer a variety of structured activities at locations often familiar to children. Programs can vary from school yard games to cooking classes.

4. Traditional child care programs may be the best option for you either in a group center or family care setting. As always, seek high quality, regulated child care.

Just as quality indicators are used when seeking care for infant and preschool aged children, there are also key indicators in identifying high quality school age programs and activities. What to look and listen for and ask about on your visits:

  • Identify an appropriate child to teacher ratio. Children do best in small groups typically no more than eight for preschool, and 10 to 25 for school age children depending upon the age of the children. Good staff-child ratios allow individual attention and help children build strong relationships with caring adults.
  • Does the program seem clean, safe and organized?
  • Quality school-age programs have clear goals and support your child’s learning. Are there adequate materials and space for a variety of activities?
  • Are there quiet, soft spaces for reading, quiet games and relaxing as well as space for active play?
  • What are the experiences and training of the director and staff?
  • Is the program regulated?
  • How is disciplined handled? Seek programs that focus on guiding children’s behavior in positive ways that help the child rather than humiliate them.
  • Seek a program that welcomes parent involvement with information openly shared.

Identifying programs, care and activities for your school aged children need not be difficult if you focus on what is best for your child’s unique interests or needs, and use the same quality indicators as you would for younger children.

As always, Child Care Resource & Referral has an extensive database of regulated child care programs and information for selecting quality child care:  To begin your search visit: http://bit.ly/1TioXje. For additional information or questions call a Child Care Resource & Referral Specialist at 1-920-886-1211.

Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Initiative

CCR&R would like to recognize and congratulate the following child care program for successfully completing the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Initiative, certifying them as a breastfeeding friendly child care program:

Mary's Tiny Treasures, Winnebago County

Interested in learning more about the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Initiative?
Contact Dana Bain at Child Care Resource and Referral
to find your local breastfeeding friendly child care representative.
(920) 886-1211 x101

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The Wisconsin Child Care Information Center (CCIC) is a mail-order lending library and information clearinghouse serving anyone in Wisconsin working in the field of child care and early childhood education. Our goal is to help Wisconsin child care professionals give the best possible start to Wisconsin's children.

Early Care and Education Garden Micro Grant

Community GroundWorks is now accepting applications for its Early Care and Education (ECE) Garden Micro Grant project. With funding from Race to the Top, these one-time garden micro grants will offer regulated Wisconsin child care programs participating in YoungStar up to $1,000 to create new gardens or up to $300 to expand existing gardens.

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