Many parents are eager to have their children enrolled in a summer camp or play scheme, but worry about the quality of care their child will receive. Below we have prepared a checklist of a few questions you can ask to help ensure your child will have a safe, fun and education experience:
- What is the adult to child ratio?
- How old are the staff working with your child? Are they high school students or professionals in the field of developmental disabilities?
- Are there other children with special needs?
- Can you send in your own support person?
- What is the level of communication between the camp and parents?
- Are you able to come and observe?
- What is the background of the employees and do they need to meet any requirements to obtain the position?
- Can you try it for a few days/weeks, or are you locked into a certain number of weeks?
- What type of activities will they be doing and can you have a copy of their schedule? You may need to prepare for special activities such as water parks, horseback riding or canoeing.
- Ask around. Post on forums to speak with other parents who may have sent their child to the camp you have chosen.
Above all, go with your gut feeling. If you feel uneasy about the way staff interact with your child or don’t feel the lines of communication are open, you should go somewhere else. Even the best facilities are not right for everyone and you know your child best.