CCR&Rs Can Provide Essential Support As Summer Programs Reopen

May 13, 2021

running outside in summer

When matched with children’s interests, summer camps with safe, healthy environments and practices can be fun places for children to learn and grow. Whether they’re day camps or sleepaways, summer camps can support children’s learning and development. Camps can also serve as safe places for children to be while their parents are at work.

As our second summer during the COVID-19 pandemic draws near, many families are making decisions about their child’s participation in summer camps. Meanwhile, summer camp administrators are making decisions and plans for program operations. On April 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance for youth and summer camps. This information is vital to informed decision-making and planning for both families and camp administrators.

Changes in the guidance include:

  • Updated information for what is known about COVID-19 and transmission among children and in summer camp settings
  • Added vaccination information
  • Updated guidance on physical distancing
  • Updated guidance on camp activities, including sports and athletic activities
  • Updated considerations for screening testing and contact tracing
  • Updated guidance on cleaning and disinfection
  • Removed guidance on physical barriers
  • Updated guidance on developing emergency operations plans
  • Updated guidance on ventilation and water systems
  • Updated guidance for communal spaces, food service, playgrounds and play space
  • Updated guidance for overnight camps

Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) can take steps to support summer camp decision-making, planning and operations, particularly for those camps offered by local nonprofits or school districts.

Network and local CCR&Rs can:

This list of activities describes only some of the ways that CCR&Rs can support families and summer programs. Throughout the pandemic, with shoe-string budgets, many CCR&Rs have provided heroic levels of support to families, child care and summer programs. But CCR&Rs need adequate funding and support to provide responsive and innovative services. CCAoA encourages Lead Agencies to partner with and financially support CCR&Rs and to invest in standing up CCR&Rs in the few areas where they currently do not exist.

Topics: Business Operations for CCR&Rs, Family & Community Engagement, Best Practices, Health & Safety, Coronavirus

Jennifer Drake

Written by Jennifer Drake

Jennifer Drake is the director of the Emergency Child Care and Technical Assistance Center™. She has more than 20 years of system-level experience in early childhood care and education, family engagement and training and technical assistance. Before joining CCAoA, Jennifer worked in a regional CCR&R agency for 15 years including seven years as Executive Director. Besides her organizational leadership role, Jennifer collaborated extensively in numerous state-level early childhood care and education and family engagement initiatives. Jennifer holds a Master of Science in public service administration. She lives with her husband in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jennifer is committed to advancing a child care system that effectively serves all children and families—during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.