BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL CHILD CARE

   "Developing Creative Minds"


Parent


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:


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

  2. How many days does this cover?
    Typical coverage is for 18 days of service but again it may vary. Ask for the days that service is cost is covering.
     

  3. Do you provide the snack or do we?
    In many programs it does. At this time in many programs the snack or dinner is provided for free. If not, try and provide healthy non-perishable non-peanut choices for your child to bring.
     

  4. What are the payment methods? Credit cards, money orders, checks, cash, etc.
    Not every company accept credit cards, nor do they accept checks. Make sure to verify what payments method they will accept.
     

  5. Is the program open on early release days?
    If your child attend a Broward County Public School students are released for "early release" days six times a year. All Broward County Public schools offer early release programs, however, if you are attending a private day off campus, this is an important question to ask. Some examples of questions you may ask are the following: What do they do for early release days, how do they staff, and what additional activities do they provide? Is there an additional cost?
     

  6. What about teacher planning days? Holidays and breaks? Summer Camp?
    Does the program offer services on teacher planning day? As a working parent you only have so many vacation days, will this program meet your needs? What about Holiday, Breaks and Summer Camp? Ask if they don't offer services if there is a nearby program they partner with who might offer these services?
     

  7. What do I do if my child does not come to school because of a dental appointment, may they come to after care?
    If your child does not come to school, and is healthy, yes they can come to after care.
     

  8. 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?
    Discuss this with the program, it depends if it is a private company or one operated by the school. Each have their own business practice that they follow. Know as much as you can about finances, and don't be afraid to ask questions.
     

  9. If I cannot 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 it is a private company, the corporate office, and if a school then the District department for Before & After School Child Care can be called at 754- 321-3330 and we will assist you.
     

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

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

  12. Homework is really important. What can you do to assure my child is completing his homework?
    Is your child the only one not completing their homework or is it a lot of the students from that class? Try and determine what exactly is happening. Perhaps a conversation with the supervisor and the teacher might need to occur. The child may be struggling with specific areas and need additional assistance in the classroom. Homework time 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 to check to see how they are doing. You may make an appointment to walk with a counselor to visit the program at any time.
     

  14. What types of financial assistance do you offer?
    Scholarships might be available depending on the time of the year. These go quickly, so if you know you are struggling financially when school is just beginning and don't think it's going to get any better, begin to have that conversation about a possible scholarship. Ask about the process, what do 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's always good to know the qualification of the staff who will be caring for your child. Find out if they have at least a high school diploma? Are they required to go through any kind of training prior to, or during their time while they are 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 public schools for K-5 is 1:20, 6-8 1:25
     

  17. Tell me about some of the activities you provide.
    Ask the site supervisor, activites varies.
     

  18. Can I have a schedule of what you do each week in the program?
    Ask the program to provide you with a copy of their weekly schedule so 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, whom do I speak with? If it is not resolved, whom do I speak with next?
    First, it would be the Program Supervisor. If the Supervisor does not address your concern, then speak with the 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, then 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. They typically occur on a early release day or a non-school day when there is more time for a field trip.
     

  21. What do you do if a child has an accident?
    If a child has an accident the parent notified and a accident report is competed by the program. If the accident is serious, 911 will be call and the child will be transported.
     

  22. What do you do if a child is harassing a child?
    Have a conversation with the Supervisor and discuss your concerns of the harassment. The Supervisor will address the concern. At times, it may mean that a student may need to be moved from the group.
     

  23. What do you do if an emergency occurs and you have to evacuate the building? Where do you go?
    Programs practice evacuation drills to keep children safe at all times. However, there may be a time that a school may need to be evacuated to keep the children safe. If this is the case, a text message will go to all parents as to the location of where your child has been evacuated to so you may pick them up at the secure location. Make sure that you notify the program of any phone number change at all times.
     

  24. How do you handle staff behavior problems?
    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 twice a 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 are exempt from licensing.
     


About School Board Operated Programs


  1. 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.
     

  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 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.
     

  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 handles its own registration. Contact your child's school for further information. Click here for the provider for your child's school. 
     

  8. 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.
     

  9. 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.
     

  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 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.


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