Magazine article Consumers' Research Magazine

My Summer Vacation

Magazine article Consumers' Research Magazine

My Summer Vacation

Article excerpt

Daytime care can present a problem for working parents, particularly during the summer when their kids are out of school. If you need help only during the summer, a summer camp may be the answer.

Camps are organized in both overnight and day arrangements and some focus on specific interests, such as music, sailing, or space exploration, that may interest children. There are thousands of camps in the United States, so finding a suitable one shouldn't be a problem.

After you have narrowed your choices contact the camp's director to ask about his background and the qualifications and experience of the camp's staff. Ask if the camp is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA); they inspect camps to insure they meet reasonable standards of safety and service. Ask for references from parents in your area.

Some ACA chapters (most often those in the Northeast and in bigger cities) offer free referral services to match kids to camps or publish free guides to accredited camps in the local area. Check your library for the ACA's comprehensive "Guide To Accredited Camps," which includes advice on choosing and preparing for a camp trip. It can be ordered for $10.95 if you call (800) 428-CAMP or write the ACA Bookstore, 5000 State Road 67 North, Martinsville, Ind. 46151.

You might decide that your child, particularly if he is younger than five, will be better off in a child care program. This may be more convenient if you will continue to need child care after the school year starts.

You should first decide whether you want your child cared for in a home, your own or someone else's or at a center. …

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