How to Choose the Best Day Camp for Your Child
Day camp is undoubtedly important for kids' development, but how do I know I'm choosing the right day camp for my child?
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- Inquire about the director: Is she seasonal or full-time? Make sure you have a good rapport.
- Do you need a full-day camp with transportation and extended hours, or is a half-day camp enough for you and your child?
- Does the camp offer activities your child will enjoy?
- Are you comfortable with your child on a bus or are you looking for a closer option?
- Consider the cost: Does it fit within your budget?
- What kind of program (elective or structured) is offered at the camp?
- What is the staff like: How old are the members? Is there diversity? Are they experienced?
- Are you looking for a small, nurturing camp or a larger camp with a wider range of activities?
What should I keep in mind if camps open this summer after the COVID-19 quarantine?
The American Camp Association, NY and NJ is optimistic that summer camps will run this summer, however no final decisions have been made for many camps at this time. Unfortunately, some summer camps in the Northeast have already had to make the difficult decision to not open this summer, ahead of any state or local agencies mandating them closed.
The ACA is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and an outside consulting firm who are convening with public health experts, doctors representing the American Academy of Pediatrics, experts in epidemiology, and camp health experts to develop operational recommendations and resources for camps during COVID-19. Once these guidelines and protocols are complete, they will be shared with state and local agencies who will ultimately decide whether camps operate this summer.
When choosing a camp, it’s important that parents choose an ACA-accredited summer camp or at a minimum, a camp that is licensed by the Department of Health. Accredited and licensed summer camps must adhere to important safety regulations, including reporting of any communicable diseases to the Department of Health and having medical staff available.
Even if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge, it’s a good time to start exploring options—there are so many great day camps in the New York area that will provide your kid with an exceptional and meaningful summer.