Client question: We run a Summer camp that’s held from 8 am to 3 pm. We’re considering offering extended care from 3 pm to 6 pm. What issues do I need to consider when setting up this option?
Offering extended care for your Summer campers is an excellent idea. Not only can it provide an additional stream of revenue, more importantly, it can make the difference between whether or not a parent signs up for your camp!
For many working parents, picking their child up at 3 pm is not an option. You need to be capable of watching their child until the parent gets off work, or they will find another camp that can.
Here are four steps to get started …
Check with your legal counsel to determine whether or not there are specific requirements in your state with regards to caring for children. Depending on your state, licensing may be required.
Make sure that any staff members you hire to watch the children are properly screened. I recommend running a background check on every employee in your organization, but this is particularly important for any employee who will be caring for children.
Protect yourself by training your staff on how they should care for children. Have clear-cut policies on safety standards and disciplinary procedures. For example, you want your staff to know exactly where the children may not go. You need them to be clear on what to do if a child is misbehaving. Your staff should not be allowed to go into a restroom alone with any child.
Shield yourself from potential lawsuits by ensuring that everybody under your employ understands and follows your procedures.
Provide plenty of games and activities to keep the children entertained for three hours. Some suggestions are board games, puzzles, Lego blocks, and stories.
With a well-thought-out plan, providing extended care can be a real boon for your Summer camp.
Meet the author: Sifu David Chang and his wife Elizabeth Chang are the owners of Wushu Central Martial Arts Academy with two locations in California. Sifu Chang is a former Wushu style forms national champion and Elizabeth is the brains behind the business. They teach over 600 students and currently employ 17 instructors.