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What to Look for When Selecting a Day Camp
Virginia, Washington, DC, & Maryland
Day camp options number in the thousands, and choosing the right site for your child can sometimes be overwhelming. The key to identifying the best program is to do your research and know what your legal rights are.
Is Your Day Camp Safe?
Every state establishes minimum requirements for the care and safety of your child. These standards are set by your state's Health and Human Services Department, which administers and enforces all licensed operations. With the help of an experienced attorney, parents can have access to the following public information:
- Star rated license information
- Administrative actions taken
- Complaint investigations
- Sanitation scores
Do Your Research
The best day camps provide programs suited for specific age groups. Other important details to consider in choosing the right day camp include:
- What are the benefits of the various activities provided?
- Does the camp fit your child's personality?
- What is the child to counselor ratio?
These resources can help you make an informed decision:
- Get recommendations from people you trust who have had experiences with different child care programs
- Visit multiple facilities and check out their programs first hand
- Contact referral agencies who provide information on child care programs
Know the minimum and maximum age groups and what the planned agenda is for each class and why. Consider the following factors when choosing the right group for your child:
- Does your child need individual attention? If so, consider a younger group
- Does your child embrace challenges and connect well with older kids? An older group may be a better match for your child
Good camps carefully plan an agenda according to the child's age. Here are some guidelines and activities to look for:
- Infants to Young Preschoolers
- Are children under 4 years old accepted?
- Are fun age-appropriate workshops offered for babies and preschoolers including: storytelling, games, and music?
- Ages 5-7
- Does the camp offer music, gymnastics, dance and sports for kindergarteners?
- Are there academic and language activities?
- Ages 7 to Teens
- Will my child be grouped with his/her peers?
- What kind of outdoor and indoor activities are offered?
- Can my child choose which activity he/she can participate in or is there a set agenda?
The American Camping Association advises looking for a facility that "fosters a sense of a caring community, offers educational and social development and provides a safe and fun place for children to enjoy."
In Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland, contact our Maryland Attorney Office for a consultation with our day care legal specialists at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. We're ready to serve you and give you the personal attention you deserve.