1. Start Early
Start getting information together in advance. Finding the right camp option can take research and time evaluating the options.
2. Make the Call
Begin by calling 877-ALL-GA-KIDS (877-255-4254) to get a list of providers that match your specific criteria for summer camp. An online search is available at www.allgakids.org.
Contact each summer camp program to check vacancy availability, camp times, fees, and program activities.
3. Visit, Ask Questions, Observe Quality Indicators
1). Child to staff ratio:
Ask how many campers are with each adult. Generally, at day camps, the ratios range from one staff for every eight campers in the age range 6 to 8 years; one staff for every 10 campers in the age range 9 to 14 years; and one staff for every 12 campers in the age range 15 to 18 years.
2). Group size:
The group size can be a larger number of children assigned to two or more teachers.
Ask how many campers are in the group. Usually the smaller group size is better. Make sure you feel your child will get plenty of attention.
3). Caregiver qualifications:
Ask about training and education requirements for staff. Some programs require staff to have degrees and/or training in early childhood. Some staff may be trained in first aid and CPR, emergency procedures, and specific procedures for supervision. Most camps require the majority of the staff to be at least 18 years old.
4). Staff turnover:
Ask how long the caregivers have served as staff. Ask about the number of staff who are returning for one or more years. If there is evidence of staff turnover, ask why.
Health and Safety: Make sure safety practices are in place for sports activities, transportation and offsite visits or field trips. Emergency contact information should be given for each child. Know what their policy is for sick children.
Learn if the summer camp program is regulated by a state agency or if they voluntarily follow state standards. Some camps are accredited by a national organization or follow the American Camping Association guidelines. For more information on accreditation, click here.
4. Make a Choice
Review information, evaluate your preferred choices and select the best summer camp for your child.
5. Stay Involved
Be available to stay in touch with the camp staff. Make summer camp a good experience.
*Portions of this page were reprinted with permission from Child Care Aware, a program of NACCRRA.