Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions families make, but all too often they must rely on word-of-mouth and not every program meets our children’s needs. It is important to ask as many questions as you can before you place your child in the program. Do so in advance, enabling you to check out other programs, which might also be picking up at the school. The school base program might not necessarily meet your family’s needs.
What kind of questions should you ask when you arrive? Many questions are answered in the parent handbook provided by the program. Sometimes it is important to hear the answers from the company providing the service. Below are a few examples to help guide you in the selection of a program, and of course please add more, which might apply to your needs:
- What is the cost of the program?
- How many days does this cover?
- Do you provide the snack or do we?
- What are the payment methods? Credit cards, money orders, checks, cash, etc.
- Is the program open on early release days?
- What about teacher planning days? Holidays and breaks? Summer Camp?
- What do I do if my child does not come to school because of a dental appointment, may they come to after care?
- If I leave the program, do I receive a refund? How much? How do I need to inform you, phone call, in person, or in writing?
- If I cannot reach the program what number do I call? Who should I ask to speak with?
- What happens if I arrive late?
- What happens if I don't pay on time?
- Homework is really important. What can you do to assure my child is completing his homework?
- May I telephone to check on my child? May I visit the program?
- What types of financial assistance do you offer?
- What kind of training does your staff have? Do you have a high turn over of staff?
- How many children are in a group?
- Tell me about some of the activities you provide.
- Can I have a schedule of what you do each week in the program?
- If I have a problem, whom do I speak with? If it is not resolved, whom do I speak with next?
- Do the children take field trips or do field trips come to the program?
- What do you do if a child has an accident?
- What do you do if a child is harassing a child?
- What do you do if an emergency occurs and you have to evacuate the building? Where do you go?
- How do you handle staff behavior problems?
- Ask the program why they think your child should attend their program.
- Who oversees the Quality of the program?
- Are you Child Care Licensed?
About School Board Operated Programs
- Can I pay for my child's child care weekly?
Fees are usually paid one month in advance. Parents of children in School Board operated programs can pay through the estore. Check with your program supervisor for special payment arrangements.
- Will my child have time to complete his homework in after care?
Yes, all programs provide homework assistance time.
- If my child takes medication, will the program give it to him?
After care programs do dispense medications once all of the proper paperwork has been completed and personnel has been trained
- Can my child attend the after care program if he attends a private school?
The programs are for students enrolled at that school site. However, with principal permission a child may attend a program other than their home school.
- How do I get a scholarship or reduced rate for my children?
You need to contact the Program Supervisor for information on reduced rates. They will provide you with the web address and access code for the account name and password.
- Does the program provide care on Early Release days?
Yes, until 6:00pm, or program close time.
- How do I register my children for after care?
Each school handles its own registration. Contact your child's school for further information. Click here for the provider for your child's school.
- What will my children do during their time in after care?
Your child will have the opportunity to have a snack, do their homework, with assistance and then participate in several scheduled activities. These will include an academic enhancement, a technology session, creative play or dramatic arts, outdoor activity, to enhance fitness and a free choice. Your child might also learn a foreign language depending on the school schedule.
- How many children are in a group?
The adult to child ratio maintained at all times is one adult to every 20 children in grades K-5. There is one adult to every 10 children in our 3 and 4-year-old groups.
- Will my child be asked to leave the program if he or she does not behave?
Every program has a behavior plan that is similar to the school's discipline plan. All children are expected to follow the District's Code of Student Conduct policy. Children's behavior will be guided with positive reinforcement; however, there are consequences for inappropriate behaviors. You will be notified of any misbehavior that warrants a write up. Children may be exited from the program if they present a danger to themselves or others.
If a program does have a child care license, you may view the Broward County Licensing reports. These are public records, Click here to view.