BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL CHILD CARE

   "Developing Creative Minds"


Parent


Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions families make. All too often, families must rely on word-of-mouth. Knowing that not every program meets a child's needs, it is important to ask as many questions as you can before you place your child in a program. Do so in advance, enabling you to research programs that service children at the school.

What kind of questions should you ask when visiting a program? Many questions can be answered in the parent handbook provided by the program. Sometimes it is important to hear the answers from the company providing the service. Here are some some examples that might help guide you in the selection of a program.


  1. What is the cost of the program?
    The cost may vary. Please request a copy of the payment schedule and due dates.
     

  2. How many days does the payment cover?
    Typical coverage is for 18 days of service, but this may vary.
     

  3. Does the program provide snack, or must students bring snack from home?
    At this time, many programs offer free snack or dinner. If snack or dinner is not provided, try to provide healthy, non-perishable, peanut free choices for your child.
     

  4. Which payment methods are accepted?
    Some companies may not accept credit cards or checks.
     

  5. Is the program open on early release days?
    If your child attends a Broward County Public School, students are released for "early release" days, six times per year. All Broward County Public school operated programs offer care on early release days, however, if your child is enrolled in a privately operated program, this is an important question to ask. You might also ask the following: What do they do on early release days, how do they staff, and what additional activities do they provide? Is there an additional cost?
     

  6. What about holidays and breaks? Does the progam offer summer camp?
    Does the program offer services on teacher planning days? As a working parent, your vacation days may be limited, will this program meet your needs? If the program does not offer services, ask if they partner with a nearby program that does offer these services.
     

  7. What do I do if my child does not come to school due to a doctor or dental appointment? May he attend after care?
    If your child does not come to school, and is healthy, he can come to after care.
     

  8. If I withdraw my child from the program, do I receive a refund? How much? What is the procedure for informing the program of the withdrawal: phone call, in person, or in writing?
    This policy will depend upon whether the program is a private company, or one operated by the school. Each private company follows their own business practices. Do not be afraid to ask questions, so that you know as much as you can about the program's finances.
     

  9. If I need to reach the program, what number do I call? Who should I ask to speak with?
    Every program should have a designated phone number. If not, an alternative number for the administration should be provided. If the program is a private company, the corporate office may be contacted directly. If the program is operated by the school, contact the Before and After School Child Care department of Broward County Public Schools at 754-321-3330.
     

  10. What happens if I arrive late?
    A late pick up fee is of $15 for increments of 15 minutes will be charged.
     

  11. What happens if I do not pay on time?
    If you do not pay on time, you will need to re-register your child into the program.
     

  12. What can you do to assure my child is completing his homework?
    Try to determine the reason for the issue. Is your child the only one not completing their homework, or is it a common issue for children in the program? It might be necessary to have a conversation with the supervisor and your child's classrrom teacher. The child may be struggling with specific areas, and need additional assistance in the classroom. Homework should not take the entire afternoon, and should be able to be completed during the timeframe given.
     

  13. May I telephone to check on my child? May I visit the program?
    If you are concerned about your child, for any reason, you may absolutely call the program. You may also make an appointment to walk with a counselor to visit the program at any time.
     

  14. What types of financial assistance do you offer?
    Depending on the time of year, scholarships, or discounted rates may be available. Scholarships go quickly, so if at the beginning of the year, you are struggling financially, have a conversation with the program's supervisor about a possible scholarship. Ask about the process, what you need to do to qualify, and how many are available.
     

  15. What kind of training does your staff have? Do you have a high turn over of staff?
    It is always good to know the qualifications of the staff who will be caring for your child. Find out if stafff members have at least a high school diploma. Are staff members required to go through any kind of training prior to, or during, their time in the position? Who provides the training? Do you notice that there seems to be a lot of new faces? Why are there always so many new staff members?
     

  16. How many children are in a group?
    The ratios for any program operated in a Broward County Public School are 1:20 for K-5 and 1:25 for 6th grade and up.
     

  17. Tell me about some of the activities you provide.
    Activities will vary.
     

  18. Can I have a schedule of weekly activities?
    Ask the program to provide you with a copy of the weekly schedule, so that you can see what each group is doing. Ask how this is communicated to the parents weekly. Is it emailed, or is it given to them?
     

  19. If I have a problem, with whom should I speak? If the problem is not resolved, whom do I speak with next?
    First, contact the program's supervisor. If the supervisor does not address your concern, then speak with the school's principal. Ask the principal whether they have a private provider or they operate their own program. Find out who is responsible for the program on their campus. If the principal is unable or unwilling to address your concern, contact the Before & After School Child Care department at 754-321-3330. We will work with you to see what we can do to meet your needs.
     

  20. Do the children take field trips or do field trips come to the program?
    Some programs take field trips to off-site locations. Field trips typically occur on early release or non-school days.
     

  21. What is the procedure if my child has an accident, or is injured?
    If a child has an accident or injury during program hours, the parent is notified and an accident report is completed by the program. If the accident is serious, 911 will be called and the child will be transported.
     

  22. What should I do if I feel that my child is being harassed by another child?
    Have a conversation with the program's supervisor to discuss your concerns. The supervisor will address the concern. At times, the resolution may be to move a student to another group.
     

  23. What is the procedure if an emergency occurs and the building has to be evacuated? Where do you go?
    Programs practice evacuation drills to keep children safe at all times. However, there may be a time that, to keep the children and staff safe, a school must be evacuated. If this is the case, a text message will be sent, to all parents, informing them of the situation and where to pick up their child. It is the parents' responsibility to notify the program of any phone number changes.
     

  24. How do you handle staff behavior issues?
    Staff is expected to behave in a professional manner at all times. If they do not, they will be terminated.
     

  25. Ask the program why they think your child should attend their program.
    "Why should my child attend your program?". This question should really make the supervisor think. Their answer will perhaps be the reason you select this program for your child.
     

  26. Who oversees the quality of the program?
    If this program is on Broward County Public School grounds, it is overseen by the Before & After School Child Care department a minimum of twice per year.
     

  27. Are you Child Care Licensed?
    If the program is a private provider program, then it is licensed by Broward County Child Care licensing. Broward County Public School run locations are exempt from licensing.
     


About School Board Operated Programs


  1. Can I pay for my child's child care weekly?
    Fees must be paid in advance of service. Parents of children in School Board operated programs can pay through the estore. Check with your program supervisor for special payment arrangements.
     

  2. Will my child have time to complete his homework in after care?
    Yes, all programs provide homework assistance time.
     

  3. 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.
     

  4. 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. 
     

  5. How do I obtain a scholarship or reduced rate for my child?
    Contact the program's supervisor for information on reduced rates. The supervisor will provide you with the web address, username and password.
     

  6. Does the program provide care on early release days?
    Yes, until 6:00pm, or program close time. 
     

  7. How do I register my children for after care?
    Each school organizes their own registration. Contact your child's school for further information. Click here to find the provider at your child's school. 
     

  8. What will my child do during their time in after care?
    Your child will have the opportunity to have a snack, do their homework, with assistance, and participate in various scheduled activities. These activities will include academic enrichment, a technology session, creative play or dramatic arts, an outdoor activity to enhance fitness, and a free choice. Your child may also learn a foreign language.
     

  9. How many children are in a group?
    The adult to child ratio maintained at all times is one adult to every twenty children in grades K-5, one adult to every ten children in our 3 and 4 year old groups, and one adult to every twenty-five children in our 6th grade and higher groups.
     

  10. 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 School Board of Broward County 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.


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