If you are considering sending you child or children to a day camp, you are not alone. The number of day camps across the country has increased by almost 90% over the past few decades. These camps offer kids a great way to get much needed exercise, make new friends and the most of their summer breaks. If you want to find the best camp for your child’s needs, you should consider the following tips.

Ask for your friends and family. Getting recommendations from people you know is always a great way to find any kind of service. Your friends and family with children may be able to steer you in the right direction for a good (or bad) camp. Many camps have open houses where you can meet at least some of the staff and see how they interact with kids and each other.

What activities do your kids like to do?  Some camps offer very specialized programs with a specific focus while others offer a wider array of activities and sports. Some provide academic programs to help kids who may need help with certain subjects such as math or reading. These can be really good for kids who do need some support academically and this prevents them from losing ground in that area over the summer. If your kids are younger, it is often better to find a camp that offers a variety of fun activities to keep them occupied and entertained.

Shop around. Ask a lot of questions about the staff, the scheduling and the fees. Like any other service some camps will give you one price that does not include fees they charge. Ask about their refund policy and what they charge for meals, add ons, materials, etc. If your child gets sick or something comes up, you may need to change your plans and need to know what costs you will incur if you remove them early. Some camps have financial assistance for some families so ask to see if you qualify for that.

Find the right location. Convenience is always a concern when you are looking for a place you will have to drive to every day but it should not be the main factor in picking a camp. If you find one that you and your child really likes, find out if anyone you know is sending their kids to the same place. You may be able to find someone with whom you can carpool or make another arrangement.

Not only do summer day camps provide a great chance to make new friends and get decent exercise, they are a fantastic way to get your kids away from their electronic devices. Most American kids spend nearly eight hours a day in front of one screen or another. Day camps help them lean how to interact with other kids in a much more real way.

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