With the end of the school term looming just over the horizon, parents of school-age children face the annual question, “What can our kids do during the summer that they will enjoy and be loads of fun?” The people at Childcare Network have the answer, and it’s EPIC.
“We are going to have an EPIC summer in our Adventure Summer Camp this year,” says Tomye Redden, district manager for Childcare Network. “We have 13 weekly themes with daily activities planned, as well as multiple field trips each week.”
Those 13 themes are broken down into four categories that make up our EPIC summer. They are Explorations, Possibilities, Investigations, and Curiosities. The field trips have also been carefully planned with COVID safety in mind.
“This year we are organizing our summer program into smaller group sizes while in the center and smaller teacher-to-student ratios while on field trips so that we can have the safest summer possible.”
Redden says Childcare Network teachers go through multiple sessions of training on field trips, transportation, and summer safety each year in preparation for the summer adventure camp.
Redden continues, “New to our summer program this year we have technology-based programming to help fill the learning gaps that we know could have happened due to the pandemic and the school year looking different in 2020 and 2021. We have iPads for the students to have access to a math-focused enrichment program that is monitored and adjusted to the child’s skill level often. This program can also be accessed by the parents at any time so they can check their child’s progress as well as continue the learning at home.”
“We are also piloting two other learning programs at two of our local centers. One is literacy-focused and the other is one-on-one tutoring based on the child’s need. We are very excited to see the progress our students make over the summer and glad to be able to help them get ready for the next grade.”
The cost of childcare is a consideration for all parents. Redden says there are various ways to address this concern. “Childcare is expensive so I would really like to encourage families to reach out to us if they may not have the essential worker vouchers that are being provided by the state. If a parent qualifies for these vouchers, their weekly childcare is covered. There are so many occupations that people may not realize are covered under this funding source. And income levels do not matter, they are accepted based on occupation and not salary. They include emergency responders, manufacturing, education, food chain supply, healthcare, sanitation, and public health. We can help anyone who is interested apply for the essential worker vouchers, even if they are not enrolled in our program.”
Parents or guardians interested in enrolling with the Childcare Network may call 866-521-KIDS (5437).
Childcare Network opened in 1988 with two locations in Georgia. Now, there are more than 200 schools in 11 states, with 13 locations in Central Arkansas, 7 of which are here in Saline County.
Childcare Network serves more than 800 children ages 6 weeks to 12 years in Saline County, employing more than 150 people. Most locations are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. www.childcarenetwork.com