Parents: After-School Programs

Checklist: What to look for in school age/child care programming

Use this list as a guide to finding the ideal program for you and your child.

Program Safety and Health

Is the program/provider OCCS licensed or exempt? This information must be posted.

Is the facility well maintained and secured?

Is the staff trained in First Aid and CPR?

Does the provider carry insurance?

Is the space adaptable for children of all abilities?

Hours, Logistics and Cost

What is the cost?

Is there a sliding fee scale or scholarship support available?

What are the program's hours of operation (year round, including weekends and vacations)?

Does the program provide safe and convenient transportation?

Is it convenient to my child's school, home or my place of work/study?

Program and Administrative Structure

Is the schedule balanced? Do children have many opportunities and choices?

What is the program's philosophy?

What is the program's discipline policy?

What is the staff to student ratio?

Are nutritious meals/snacks served?

Does the type of programming match my child's needs and interests? (every day or drop-in, music lessons, homework help, etc.)

Does the program encourage parent involvement?

Does the program offer a variety of age appropriate activities?

Does the program make good use of community resources (museums, libraries, local theater groups)?

Indoor/Outdoor Play Area

Is there adequate space for children to play?

Is there a quiet space for doing homework?

Are bathrooms easily accessible?

Are children being monitored?

Is the play area enclosed, safe and uncluttered?

Are toys and materials safe and appropriate?

Program Staff

Does the staff communicate well with children?

Do the children seem happy around the staff?

Are the staff warm and attentive to children's needs?

For further information, visit the website of Parents United for Child Care at