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Children drawing at a daycare center.

As school lets out for the summer, parents eagerly hunt for day care, camp, and job options to keep young kids and teens occupied. Luckily, many positive activities exist throughout Massachusetts to provide enriching summer experiences for youth. If you’re seeking summer entertainment for a child or teen, explore the options available to determine what the best fit is for you and your family.

Day Care

Family child care programs are a great summer option for infant to school-age children. These programs typically handle a maximum of six to ten children (with an additional assistant) and all providers are licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). An EEC License indicates that a program and its facilities have met standards for health, safety, supervision, and staff training. Before selecting a family child care provider, be sure to research key components such as the curriculum, environment, qualifications, diversity, and level of parent engagement for the program itself.

Summer Camps

Over 25 summer camps operate in the state of Massachusetts alone for children age seven and up. These camps are required to be licensed by the local board of health in the city or town where it is located. All regulatory standards established by the Department of Public Health must be met, as well as any additional local requirements for the camp to be licensed. When researching the various choices, be sure to ask each camp for a copy of its policies. Inquire about staff background checks, as well as health care and disciplinary procedures.  Additionally, DPH’s Questions and Answers Guide for Parents is a great resource to consult when picking out a summer camp that is right for you and your children.

Summer Employment

Summer jobs can be a great opportunity for teens to gain new experience and save up some money of their own. Massachusetts residents under age 18 must apply for and obtain a youth work permit before starting a new job. Permits are issued either by the superintendent of schools for the municipality in which the minor lives or attends school.

Many Massachusetts communities participate in YouthWorks, a state-funded youth employment program. Youthworks provides funds for target communities to pay wages to low-income youth, aged 14-21, for summer jobs in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Participation in YouthWorks is limited to eligible youth in select cities throughout the state. Remember to follow the guidelines for youth employment, including permit laws and amount of legal work hours allowed.

Quality summer care and job programs can play a crucial role in the social, emotional, and mental development of children and teens. Take the time to research options and choose the right program for your little ones this summer.

What are your recommendations for great summer day care, camp, and teen job resources? Share them with us by commenting below, or tweet us at @MassGov.

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