These programs can have a full or part day schedule. While most day camps offer programming for all of the summer months, it is typically done in weekly increments. Day camp programs that operate for less than seven hours a day during the vacation of the public schools must register with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services each year.
Residential camps are licensed by the state in which they operate.
If the camp is paid for with public funds, it must also meet American Camping Association accreditation standards, or be approved by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
What does this mean for me and my child?
Summer camp programs give children the opportunity to develop their talents, experience new activities, learn new skills, and make lasting friendships. Some camps focus on a particular theme; such as sports, academics, arts and crafts, or science; providing many opportunities for your child to explore his or her areas of interest. Consider carefully if your child is old enough or mature enough for a residential camp, or if it would be preferable to try a day camp experience first. Often day camp programs will include the option for your child to participate in one overnight experience during each session.
What should I look for in a summer camp?
Consider whether your child will have enough activities to occupy their time, and also if they will have enough opportunity to relax. For example, if you want to use some of the summer to improve your childâ€™s academic skills, you might consider a camp that has a class or two in the morning and recreational activities in the afternoon. If you have the opportunity to visit the camp ahead of time, are you comfortable with the environment? Does the camp mirror your values and are you comfortable with the campâ€™s policies? Ask about who will supervise your child and the credentials of the camp director and counselors. Use a checklist when you visit, and if your child has special needs requiring accommodations, enhance your checklist with extra guidelines for choosing care. Programs vary in terms of requirements for licensing, certification or registration, and some exceed the required standards by becoming nationally accredited.