Warm weather, pool days, ice cream cones – OH MY!
Summer is right around the corner, and it is time to start planning for your school-ager’s summer care. It may feel early, but summer camps and care programs fill up fast! Consider these tips as you choose summer care for your school-ager:
Ask your school-ager what they would like to do
There are many different types of summer camps and care to choose from, and many differ in programming. Knowing your child’s interests can help you narrow down your search! A program may have weekly themes (e.g. STEM, Lego, nature, etc.), while others will take field trips to pools and other local summer spots.
Determine what days, hours, and weeks you need care
Summer camps and care all have different types of hours and days of operation. Some programs offer morning camps for only a few weeks of the summer, while others may offer a camp in the morning with optional extended care in the afternoon for the entire summer. Before you choose, ask, “ What are your days, hours, and weeks of operation?”
Determine your budget and plan for extra costs
Costs for enrollment, as well as when you pay, depend on the summer camp and care you choose. Many summer camps will ask you to pay the fee at the beginning of the summer, while others will ask for weekly payments. Additionally, extra-curricular activities, like a pool days, Kona Ice visits, or a field trip to the zoo may not be included in the total costs. Before you pay, ask, “Are all costs of the program, including extra-curricular activities, included in the fee?”
Update as of May 11, 2022: Your family may qualify for a Build, Learn, Grow Summer Scholarship – covering up to 80% of your summer program tuition. To qualify, one adult in your household must work in an essential business such as health care, human services, education, retail, restaurant and food service, essential infrastructure, media, manufacturing and logistics, religious and charitable organizations and many others. Apply today.
Ask questions about the programming and schedule
Before making your final decision, ask questions about the program’s schedule and programming to know more about the care. Here are some questions to ask:
- Will my child be with children their own age, or will this be a multi-age program?
- Will snacks or lunch be provided? What and when will they be eating?
- What will I need to provide for my child? (e.g. food, suntan lotion, hat, etc.)
- Is the staff seasonal, and what are their qualifications for working with young children? (e.g. CPR/First Aid)
- Is there a mandatory naptime or quiet time in the afternoon?
Research program safety and supervision
Many summer camp and care programs for school-agers may not be regulated by Indiana’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. Leverage our Choosing Care page for tips on determining if a summer program, whether regulated or not, is the best choice for your family. To view inspection reports for regulated programs, visit in.gov’s Child Care Finder website.
Additional Resources for Summer 2022 Camps and Care
Looking for a program? Check out one of these community lists and resources.
Note: Use the tips above to research any individual programs on these lists, especially considering that some may not be regulated.
Virtually explore Indy’s Child top summer camp options. To learn more in person, consider attending their Summer Camp Fair on Saturday, March 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Park Tudor School.
Scroll through Indianapolis Moms’ list of summer camp options for the greater Indianapolis area.
Learn more about academic programs with enrichment opportunities across Indianapolis.
Explore nature with hands-on activities and Parks & Recreation naturalists.
Child Care Answers is here for you!
Looking for a summer care option? We can provide tools to help you in your search process and guide you to the best decision for your family. Visit our family information form to get in touch!
Need some tips and tricks for summer activities? Explore our Summer Break Tips and Activities for your School-ager resource.
Planning a staycation and looking for summer hot spots? Visit our Family Fun page.