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Once you’ve selected which childcare option you’re going to use for the summer, you need to research the local providers. Asking the right questions will guide your decision, so here are some thoughts.
First, ask yourself these questions:
If time permits, visit the childcare centre, daycare, or summer camp location and discuss your expectations with the potential childcare provider, and always check references before deciding which service to use. Good quality childcare providers support the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of children in their care.Secondly, ask the childcare provider these questions:
For a Nanny/Au Pair
As the parent, lead the nanny/au pair in what you’d like your child to do this summer—don’t just leave it up to the caregiver. Discuss your expectations with your caregiver, and then let he/she tell you what they have planned in order to establish open communications right away.
For a Childcare Centre or Summer Camp
Taking the time to thoroughly research your options will set your child up for a fun and memorable summer.
One of the most important and stressful decisions a parent can make is choosing the right care for their child. As summer approaches, some parents might be looking for childcare options for their kids. But they need to first decide what type of care is the ideal fit for their child, as well as the family’s needs.
Nanny/Au Pair: Hiring a nanny or au pair is a popular choice for parents with young children, or several children needing care, and for parents who prefer to keep the kids at home instead of going to a camp or daycare. Parents will often choose this option when they have odd or very long work hours. Having a nanny/au pair allows your child to spend their day in a familiar environment with less routine and more flexibility.
Licensed Childcare Centre: These facilities often offer summer programs and group children by age. A daily routine is followed with regular planning of activities. In the summer, special outings are often offered, such as trips to water parks, the zoo, or beach. Parents often will choose this type of care because they want structure for their children and they want to ensure that activities and socialization are geared to their child’s age level.
Summer Camps: Summer camps often give parents the ability to give their children structure while they’re not in school, in an environment catered to their children’s interests (i.e. soccer camp, music camp, or nature camp). Summer camps can be offered as day camps for a week or more, or even as sleepover camps. Families can provide their children with a variety of camps over the summer, allowing children to build new skills and make new friends.
Explore all the options available in your community to determine which ones suit your family’s needs, make you feel comfortable, and cater your child’s interests.