Here's how your kids can have a 'super' summer in Dougherty County

Here's how your kids can have a 'super' summer in Dougherty County
Find the right summer camp or program for your child at the Super Summer Saturday.

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - On May 5, parents and kids have the chance to get a sneak peek at summer programs and camps being offered in Dougherty County.

Merry Acres Middle School will be hosting Super Summer Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It's a chance to meet with camp organizers and explore the camps and programs being offered over the summer.

The event will be at 1601 Florence Drive in Albany and will be held at the school's gym.

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is partnering with Quality Care for Children (QCC) to help parents find camps and child care programs for the summer.

If you would like to find out if a camp or licensed or exempt from licensing, you can visit DECAL's Quality Rated website and search for a camp or pre-K program.

Parents can also speak with a referral specialist at 1-877-255-4254. That line is available Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Our first recommendation to parents looking for summer camp is to start early. Many camps and child care programs offer scholarships, sliding scale fees, and discounts for registering multiple children. By beginning early, families can find child care that fits their budget, alleviate fears regarding child safety, read reviews of the program, and find a program most convenient to where they live. - QCC Chief Executive Officer Pam Tatum?

Officials encourage parents to consider the following questions when selecting a summer camp or child care program:

  • Is the program licensed or accredited? If not, has the program been granted an exemption by DECAL?
  • Has the owner/operator screened all staff, with what methods, and how thoroughly?
  • What are the hours of operation, fees, and payment procedures? ? Are parents/guardians welcome to visit at all times?
  • Is there a daily lesson plan?
  • What are the program’s health, safety, and nutrition policies and procedures?
  • Does the staff/child ratio and group size fit into the Georgia maximum staff-to-child ratio?
  • Is the staff well-trained? Do they have experience with early childhood/school-age care or children with special needs? What about CPR and First Aid training, or appropriate licensing for transporting children?
Parents should be aware that there are no assurances that state health and safety requirements are met or enforced in exempt programs; therefore, they should always check a provider's background and experience before choosing a camp or child care program. Also, exempt programs are required to notify and inform all parents or guardians that they are not licensed by the state. - DECAL Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs

DECAL has the ability to rescind a license exemption if the program submitted false information, loses accreditation or fails to comply with requirements of local, regional and state health departments, fire marshal, fire prevention and building and zoning guidelines.

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