DAY CAMP PARENT HANDBOOK

Welcome to the YMCA family. We’re glad you’re here!

Learn more about your participation in our Day Camp programs.

DAY CAMP PARENT HANDBOOK

Welcome to the YMCA family. We’re glad you’re here!

Learn more about your membership.

WELCOME TO YOUR YMCA!

Founded in 1886, the YMCA of Greater Houston has always been a place where all people can find hope, fellowship and healing. Strengthening community is our cause. We know that a strong community can only be achieved when we invest in our youth, our health and our neighbors.

The YMCA Day Camp program is a values driven program that puts a strong emphasis on our core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility and Faith in hopes of inspiring youth to thrive.

The key to our success is always our well-trained and caring staff who love to work with youth. Strong communication between the staff and parent/guardian is essential to ensure that your camper has a successful summer.

Please take a few moments to read through this Handbook with your camper. It will help familiarize you and your child with our policies and procedures. It explains everything from our program model, policies and procedures to safety, activities and communication. If you have a question that is not covered in this handbook, please contact us at daycamp@ymcahouston.org and one of our Day Camp team members will be happy to assist you.

We look forward to helping your child grow into their full potential as they build RELATIONSHIPS, discover a sense of BELONGING and gain ACHIEVEMENT, at the YMCA of Greater Houston-Not a Place. A Purpose.®

Sincerely,

Avice Chambers
Senior Vice President of Youth Development
YMCA of Greater Houston

A SUMMER OF FUN

YMCA Summer Day Camp offers a safe and healthy atmosphere where youth can enjoy their summer break. Special emphasis is placed on youth choice, achievement and a sense of belonging, with exciting, themed weeks, sports, games, new friends and adventure. At the Y, youth learn and grow with positive role models encouraging them to take on new challenges.

OUR POLICIES

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

No one does camp like the Y! Offered at locations all around the Houston area, our camps place special emphasis on youth choice, achievement and a sense of belonging. We are confident that we have the right camp for your child. Y Summer Camp provides youth ages 5-15 (specific ages vary by location) with supervised activities designed to teach core values, conflict resolution and leadership skills. Campers have fun while making new friends, building self-confidence, appreciating teamwork and growing in self- reliance. The campers are placed into their respective age groups and taken through activities that are geared for their developmental level. Throughout the greater Houston area the YMCA has five types of day camps available.

  • Discovery Camp– Discovery camps are for those who are seeking passions through small groups in the safe environment of your local YMCA center. Campers will discover unexpected fun.
  • Wonder Camp– Wonder camps bring summer camp to the next level, offering uniquely scheduled themed weeks involving both indoor and outdoor exploratory activities.
  • Adventure Camp– Adventure camps allow an opportunity to leave ordinary at the door through an on-site quest for exploration and personal growth. Regionally located, these camps offer a wide-array of predominantly outdoor activities.
  • Explore Camps– Explore camps approaches opportunities to work with families in the communities we serve with holistic and collaborative intention are offered within various communities across the Greater Houston Region. Activities include: STEM Activities, Sports & Outdoor Games, Nature Exploration and Water Safety Training.
  • Academic Academy– Academic Academy is designed to support students to achieve their full academic potential. Young people ages 5-11 are engaged in reading and mathematics with support from academic instructors each morning and have the opportunity to select enrichment programs every afternoon that provide hands-on activities. Activities includes: Literacy, Math, Mindfulness, Enrichment Clubs, Water Safety and Field Trips.

Even the rain will not stop the fun at Y Summer Camp. Our staff members are prepared for rainy days with many backup plan options including songs, skits, games and additional activities.

Our caring and competent staff offer positive reinforcement, safe surroundings, Christian values (caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith), fun and laughter, which in turn help bring these characteristics out in our campers.  Our staff are trained on the Y KIDS first culture!

ACTIVITIES OFFERED

The campers are placed into their respective age groups and taken through activities that are geared for their development level. At certain points during the day, campers are brought together for House activities, songs and/or special events.

A typical camp day includes:

  • Arrival
  • Opening Ceremonies or group activity
  • Morning rotations of camp activities
  • Lunch
  • Literacy
  • Afternoon rotations of camp activities
  • Closing activity
  • Departure

DAY CAMP ACTIVITY SCHEDULE

OUTSIDE PLAY

Outdoor play will be in staggered shifts. If multiple groups are outside at the same time, they should have a minimum of six feet of open space between outdoor play areas or visit these areas in shifts so that they are not congregating. Afterwards hand washing will be done immediately after outdoor play time. Usage of play structures and jungle gyms are prohibited during outdoor play.

Camp rotations include opportunities for campers to learn, play and explore. Our focus on academic achievement consists of a fun and educational blend of literacy activities such as Camp Readers and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) activities to help campers learn to love nature and the way things work.  Of course camp would not be complete without a healthy living emphasis in traditional camp activities of group games and sports, archery, hiking, and arts and crafts.

Water breaks and hand washing are provided during rotations and group transitions between rotations.

As part of a national effort to help combat childhood obesity, the YMCA of Greater Houston will limit the use of television, movies, digital devices and computers to no more than one hour per day and for educational purposes only.

Many children throughout our community lack access to the educational opportunities they need to succeed. Summer is a particularly critical time because children can lose two or more months of academic skills when not engaged in structured learning over their summer break. This phenomenon, known as summer learning loss, is most acute among high-needs students in under-resourced communities.  The YMCA is helping to prevent this summer slide by providing enriching summer programs that build skills in math, science and literacy in fun and interactive ways.

Daily camper needs:

  • Healthy snacks/lunch
  • Labeled Water bottle (must have)
  • Face mask (optional)
  • Towel
  • Spray sunscreen (staff do not directly apply to campers)
  • Comfortable play clothes
  • Bug spray (staff do not directly apply to campers)
  • Cap/visor
  • Closed-toe/closed-heel athletic shoes
  • Good attitude

Campers do not need:

  • Cell phone
  • Makeup
  • Electronic device
  • iPods, iPads, tablets or Mp3 players
  • Toys/stuffed animals
  • Money
  • Weapons
  • Trading cards
  • Jewelry

All necessary personal items that come to camp should be clearly labeled with the camper’s name. Items that are lost will be placed in a lost-and-found area. Due to our limited storage space, if items are not claimed by the end of the camp session, they will be donated to local charities. Please remember we are not responsible for lost, misplaced or stolen items.

FIELD TRIPS AND SPECIAL EVENTS

Throughout the summer, Camps will plan different events to add something special to your camper’s experience. Special activities may include programs, treasure hunts, talent shows, speakers and virtual field trips. These will take place during the regular camp day and give your camper the total experience of Summer Camp.

Our Adventure Camps are going through a revolution to become a destination experience for campers around the city. To develop this experience we are focusing our efforts on enhancing the on-site program for the campers. This will mean there are no field trips at Outdoor Adventure Camp.

Additional waivers may be required to participate in certain activities.

Bussing

We ask that you speak with your camper regarding proper safety guidelines. Our primary goal when transporting campers is to ensure their safety. The Y reserves the right to suspend or dismiss a camper if they are behaving in a way that is unsafe or inappropriate. Campers are expected to observe all usual program safety and bussing rules below:

  • Comply with seating assignments made by the driver and / or YMCA staff member.
  • Follow the driver’s directions at all times.
  • Enter and leave the bus in an orderly manner at the designated stop.
  • Keep feet, arms and personal belongings out of the aisle.
  • Do not deface the bus or its equipment.
  • Do not put head, hands, arms, or legs out of the window, hold any object out of the window, or throw objects within or out of the bus.
  • Stay seated while the bus is moving.
  • Fasten their seat belts when riding a bus that is equipped with seatbelts.
  • Wait for the driver’s and / or YMCA staff members signal upon leaving the bus and before crossing in front of the bus.
  • Follow any other rules established by the operator of the bus.

Misconduct will be addressed in accordance with the Discipline and Guidance Procedures outlined in the Parent Handbook.

WATER ACTIVITIES

Campers participate in swim test prior to using the pool. They are marked with a neckband, wristband or other identifying mark.

MEALS AND SNACKS

Nutrition and healthy eating is an important part of a successful Day Camp Program. Some centers will require campers to bring all of their own meals, snacks and water. We ask that campers not bring fried foods and foods high in sugar and saturated fats, such as chips, cookies, gummies, fried chicken nuggets, etc. In addition, we request that no outside food be brought into camp from local restaurants. We are unable to provide accommodation for meals that require refrigeration or heating/cooking.

All meals provided by the Y comply with USDA program guidelines. Weekly food menus are posted on parent boards or at the parent table to review. Check with your local camp regarding meals and snacks.

YMCA of Greater Houston partners with The Houston Food Bank’s Kids Cafe to provide free meals and snacks at select Day Camp locations. The objective of Kids Cafe is to help alleviate childhood hunger by providing children with access to fresh, healthy and warm meals in after-school or child care programs.

https://www.houstonfoodbank.org/our-programs/kids-cafe/

ANIMALS

Parents and campers will be notified in writing if their campsite has animals. All animals will be current in vaccinations and visits to the vet. Health records from the vet visits will be available for your review. Campers will be required to practice good hygiene and hand washing after handling or coming in to contact with an animal and items used by the animal, such as water bowls, food bowls and cages. Personal pets or animals are not allowed at camp.

HOURS, DAYS AND MONTHS OPERATION

Y Summer Camp is offered during the day, Monday through Friday, from the end of the school year in May/June to the beginning of the new school year in August. Hours vary from camp to camp, but typical hours are 6:30 or 7 am to 6 or 6:30 pm.

ENROLLMENT PROCEDURES

All enrollment is completed electronically at ymcahouston.org/camps. Registration fees must be paid at the time of enrollment. Please allow time to complete your registration in one sitting as it will time out after 30 minutes.

The following items are needed to enroll:

  • Name, address, and phone number
  • Your child’s shot record
  • Your child’s school ID or lunch ID
  • Emergency contact information included address for someone other than yourself (not parent or guardian)
  • Contact information for others authorized to pick up including Driver’s License or government issued ID
  • Payment information
  • Registration fee
  • Insurance information
  • Doctor and Hospital information

If special accommodations are needed, a meeting must be conducted prior to the camper attending the program. Please contact the Program Director to set up a meeting with you and your camper. Child day care operations are public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title III. Visit the ADA website for more information. If you believe that such an operation may be practicing discrimination in violation of Title III, you may call the ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).

ARRIVAL, DEPARTURE AND RELEASE PROCEDURES

Parents/guardians must sign their camper in and out each day in the designated sign in and out area. Campers are prohibited from being dropped off or released at other camp locations and field trips.

Campers will only be released to the persons listed on the emergency or authorized pick-up section of the enrollment form. This person will be requested to show proper identification (Driver’s License or government issued photo ID). Please bring your ID to the camp site. Only those designated on our enrollment form will be allowed to modify your information. All changes must be made with the program director in writing.

If you indicate on your child’s enrollment form that he/she may be released to a sibling under the age of 18, the sibling must be listed as an authorized person to pick up your child on the child’s enrollment form.

If a parent/guardian is not allowed to pick up a child, the YMCA must have a copy of the court order signed by a judge. Without this documentation, we are obligated to release a child to either parent/guardian, if both are listed on the enrollment paperwork. The Y will only follow what the court order states. In the unfortunate event of a difficult/dangerous custody situation where a court order is in place, please contact the Youth Development Operations Director to set up guidelines regarding the release of your child. You must have a copy of any court documents regarding the restriction of release of children in our care. Parents are responsible for resolving any issues that may arise from their child’s participation in our programs. The YMCA will not get involved in disputes between parents.

We use an electronic sign-in/out system operated by Alaris. The system is built for use on mobile devise and tablets. The goal is to provide families an engaging and modernized experience. YMCA staff verify all authorized adults and record a digital signature before releasing.

IMMUNIZATIONS TB TESTS, HEARING AND VISION SCREENING

In order to participate in the program, children are required to have been examined within the past year by a licensed physician. Children must be mentally and emotionally able to participate in the program activities. Immunization records, a TB test, hearing and vision screenings must be current and on file at your child’s school.

HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES, ILLNESS & EXCLUSION

The YMCA of Greater Houston does not require child care staff to receive any additional immunizations in order to work with children. In order to ensure the health and safety of all, employees who work directly with children will follow required procedures to prevent the spread of exposure to disease:

  • Wearing gloves when handling or cleaning body fluids, such as wiping noses, mouths, or tending sores
  • Specifying that an employee with open wounds and/or any injury that inhibits hand- washing, such as casts, bandages, or braces, must not prepare food or have close contact with children in care
  • Removing gloves and washing hands immediately after each task to prevent cross- contamination to other children
  • Excluding the employee from direct care when the employee has signs of illness
  • All campers must have been examined within the past year by a licensed physician and must be mentally and emotionally able to participate in the program activities. Immunization information is required at the time of enrollment. Campers with food allergies are required to have an emergency plan in place. The camper’s health care professional and parent must sign and date the plan. The plan should include: allergy, cause, severity and treatment.

General Health Practices

  • Campers with colds or illness will not be admitted. Please do not put us in the position of refusing your child.
  • Campers with head lice will not be allowed to attend camp. Our camp follows the same guidelines as the public school system.
  • All campers are required by the Texas Department of Health and Texas Health and Human Services to have current immunization record information on file. Campers age 4 are required to have a physical examination from a doctor on file. Please let us know immediately if your child has a communicable illness or infection. This will allow us to notify the parents of children attending our program. Campers with communicable conditions may not return to camp without a note from their physician.
  • Prescription medications will not be administered unless a Medication Authorization Form has been filled out. All medication must be in the original container and a medication form must be completed. Over-the-counter medication will ONLY be administered if a doctor orders for the medication to be given. Medication will be administered during lunch.
  • No camper may attend the program barefoot. All campers must wear closed-toe and closed- heel shoes at all times. Flip-flops and sandals are not safe in a camp environment. Campers will be sent home if this policy is not followed.
  • Staff will not be permitted to transport any camper.
  • Anyone working with children is required by law to report any suspected child abuse. This includes physical, sexual, emotional, mental abuse and neglect.
  • Staff are not permitted to babysit or participate in non-Y organized activities with participants in the program.

ILL Participants

If a participant develops symptoms of a fever of 100.4 while in the program, the following will take place:

  • Participants will be separated immediately from the group.
  • Parent will be called to be pick up participant immediately.
  • Cleaning guidelines will be followed immediately in the area the participants was.

MEDICATION POLICY

Your camper’s safety is most important to the Y. If your camper requires regular or emergency medication such as an Epi-pen, please complete a “Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan (FARE)” and “Authorization to Administer Medication” form which can be provided by the site staff. This form requires the listing of the specific dosage your child is to be given and it must accompany all medications. Medications must also be in the original container with your youth’s name and all labels intact. If over-the-counter medication must be administered, it must also be accompanied by signed “Authorization to Administer Medication” form, in its the original container, labeled with your child’s name, with all labels intact and have a signed doctor’s order outlining when the medication should be administered and in what dosage.

MEDICAL AUTHORIZATION FORM

ALLERGY & ANAPHYLAXIS EMERGENCY PLAN

Families seeking assistance with medication expenses are encouraged to visit the resources below and/or speak with their local healthcare provider:

ACCIDENT OR MEDICAL EMERGENCY

Our staff makes sure your camper’s safety is their number one priority. Should your camper need medical attention, the Camp Director will try to notify you immediately. Parents are asked to notify the Program Director immediately of any change of address or telephone numbers. If parents cannot be reached, the Director has the authority to seek medical attention at the parent’s expense.

If the situation is a major medical emergency, the Camp Director will call 911 immediately. The parents will assume fees for the emergency transportation. The YMCA takes head injuries seriously. Suspected head injuries will require a 911 call. Bumps, jolts or blows that cause the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth can be serious even if it appears to be minor.

CAMP CODE OF CONDUCT

All youth are entitled to a pleasant and safe environment while participating in this program. The five Y core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, caring and faith will be used in the before school and after school program.

Youth are expected to behave as follows:

  • Be responsible for personal belongings
  • Participate in all activities
  • Possess positive and caring attitudes
  • Follow proper safety procedures at all times, including:
    • Never opening outside doors
    • Not fighting or using foul language
    • Not running in school
    • Not playing in the restrooms
    • Not playing on or under the tables
  • Respect for fellow participants and staff
  • Stay with their group and listen to their counselor at all times

Unacceptable Behavior (includes but is not limited to):

  • Refusing to follow check-in and -out procedures
  • Refusing to participate in daily camp activities
  • Ignoring or disobeying rules of safety
  • Disrespecting another child or counselor
  • Verbal or written threats to another child or counselor
  • Using foul language
  • Stealing or defacing another child’s or counselor’s propertY
  • Engaging in fighting or intentionally injuring another child or counselor
  • Engaging in texting or verbal conversations that are sexual
  • Public or inappropriate displays of affection
  • Inappropriately touching a peer or counselor with or without their consent
  • Leaving group and designated areas without permission or going into unauthorized areas
  • Defacing or vandalism of YMCA, school property, field facilities or any property visited such as church, park or special event location.
  • Bringing or using any illegal substances and/or weapons
  • Bringing or using alcohol, drugs, tobacco of any kind, electronic cigarettes or any smokeless products
  • Not adhering to rules outline in “Bussing” section of Parent Handbook

Gang Free Zone: Under the Texas Penal Code, any area within 1,000 feet of a child care center is a gang-free zone, where criminal offenses related to organized criminal activity are subject to harsher penalties.

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

The Y has the authority to establish appropriate disciplinary consequences to ensure the safety and well-being of participants and Y staff. Unacceptable behavior may result in suspension of care pending an investigation. The investigation may entail getting statements from witnesses, viewing video footage and awaiting results of the investigation conducted by Texas Human and Health Services. Due to privacy laws, the Y is limited to what can be shared with a parent/guardian if other parties are involved in the investigation. Incident reports are made available to a parent/guardian within 48 business hours of incident being reported to Texas Human and Health Services. Other consequences may include loss of privileges or activities and termination from the program. There are no refunds for suspension or termination due to unacceptable behavior.

1st Incident: Y staff discuss positive alternative behavior with youth. The parent/guardian will be notified verbally and/or in writing. Depending on the nature of the first incident, a student may be suspended for up to three days or terminated from the program.

2nd Incident: The youth will receive a written warning and up to three-day suspension. The parent/guardian will meet with the Program Director to discuss unacceptable behavior and develop a Behavior Plan to assist youth with improving behavior before the youth return to program.

3rd Incident or Gross Violation: Suspension or termination of care. This is considered as a last resort. The action taken is at the discretion of the Youth Development Director of Operations and District Executive Director of Youth Development, after appropriate consultation with the parent. The YMCA considers behaviors such as hitting staff or other students, damaging school property or supplies, running away from the program and inappropriate touch are examples of behaviors that can immediate termination of care.

CAMPER BELONGINGS

Campers should be dressed for active indoor and outdoor play. All campers must wear athletic shoes (no open-toed or open-heeled shoes), pants/shorts and a shirt. All clothing must be appropriate for camp activities. A change of clothes is recommended. Parents will supply their camper with insect repellent and/or sunscreen if necessary. YMCA staff will not purchase, provide or apply insect repellant and sunscreen on campers. Items brought to the program by your camper must be labeled and we expect campers to be responsible for their personal belongings. Please leave toys, money, video games and players, iPods or devices and cell phones at home. The Y cannot credit or compensate for lost, damaged or stolen items.

PARENTAL NOTIFICATIONS

Parent/guardian notifications may be made in writing via letters, emails, fliers and/or signage at the parent table at each site. Notifications may also be made by phone calls or directly in person by site staff. Open communication is very important to the success of your child’s Y experience. Conferences may be requested at any time by emailing the Program Director. Activity schedules, menus and other pertinent information will be available for you to view at the parent table.

PROCEDURES FOR PARENT INTERACTION-VISITING, COMMUNICATION

We would like to learn how our program has made a positive impact on your family. You may direct suggestions, concerns, compliments and complaints to the immediate caregiver, the Program Director, the Senior Director, the Director of Operations or the District Executive Director of Youth Development to their direct email or daycamp@ymcahouston.org. You can also share your feedback by visiting the following link https://ymcaassociation.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eaFFPH3QAikSlDM

Parents are welcome visitors to our program. Please check daily for posted notices, fliers or other information about program activities. We appreciate input regarding program expectations, suggestions, ideas and comments on ways to improve our service to you and your family.

Provider’s Guide to Parent’s Rights

PARENT ENGAGEMENT AND VOLUNTEERING

Parents are welcome and encouraged to participate with their children in a variety of activities. Three to four times per year, the YMCA will host activities or events designed for your entire family. These events will include opportunities for you to be physically active and to learn more about healthy food choices and nutrition. Please read our newsletters and watch for tips on helping your family to be healthy and active. Sample engagement activities include,

  • June: Day Camp Family Orientation, event held to welcome and acclimate new/returning families.
  • July: Family Outing at the Y. Activities include enjoying summer-themed snacks, a talent show, recreation activities and more!

We hope you will attend an orientation prior to camp and summer family events to meet your child’s new friends.

In order to volunteer in a YMCA Camp Program, volunteers must have a clear criminal background and FBI check. Volunteers will also need to complete a volunteer application and take the Y online child abuse and prevention training course. Parents and volunteers are never left alone with a group of children.

The Directors of Operations below can assist with general questions regarding Day Camp Programs. Connect with your child’s program director should you need assistance with your account or have site or program specific questions or feel free to email our general YMCA account at daycamp@ymcahouston.org.

Teresa Arana
teresaa@ymcahouston.org
YMCA at Conroe’s Tree of Life Lutheran Church
The Woodlands Family YMCA at Branch Crossing
The Woodlands Family YMCA at Shadowbend

Kendra Carroll
kendra.carroll@ymcahouston.org
Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA
Houston Texans YMCA
M.D. Anderson Family YMCA
Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA
Trotter Family YMCA
Weekley Family YMCA
West Orem Family YMCA
Aldine ISD Camp

Josh Cruz
josh.cruz@ymcahouston.org
Baytown
Perry Family YMCA
Vic Coppinger Family YMCA
Brenda and John Duncan YMCA
T.W. Davis Family YMCA/Jones Creek Ranch

Jocole Rogers
jocole.rogers@ymcahouston.org
Mark A. Chapman YMCA at Katy Main Street
Aristoi Classical Academy

Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch
Fort Bend Family YMCA

Monica Thompson
monica.thompson@ymcahouston.org
D. Bradley McWilliams YMCA at Cypress Creek

Lake Houston Family YMCA

Langham Creek Family YMCA

BILLING POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Payments are due Wednesday before the start of each session. No refunds or credits will be issued to anyone withdrawing once the session has started. The balance is based on the schedule selected and is charged regardless of attendance. To ensure a spot and to avoid late fees it is recommended that you schedule payments with an auto-draft. Drafting is available through a credit card or EFT. Payment may also be made in-person at the Y on Wednesday prior to the start of the session. Cash, check, credit card, money order or cashier’s checks are accepted as forms of payment. No payments will be collected at off site camps. Late payment will result in termination of care until balance is resolved; spots are not guaranteed once care is suspended.

Cancellations/program withdrawals

Cancellations must be made in writing and dropped off in person five days prior to the first day of that session. (A minimum of one week in advance). Registration fees are non-refundable; this includes registration fees. In the event of program cancellations due to inclement weather or facility issues that prohibit children from attending school, the YMCA recognizes three days of care as a full week of service. Based on this balance billing, accounts will be credited for a maximum of 3 days in any full week of cancellation.

Late Pick-Up

Please call the camp site lead if an unexpected emergency will cause you to be late picking up your child. There is a $1 per minute charge for campers not picked up by the program’s closing time. In the event that a camper has not been picked up within one hour of the stated closing time, Y staff members will call Children’s Protective Services. In the event that a child is repeatedly left past the closing hour, the Y reserves the right to terminate the child’s enrollment in the program.

Receipt Request

When making payment, you are able to print copy of receipt through your online account. Retain all receipts and canceled checks for your records. The Y Tax ID number is 74-1109737.

Financial Assistance

The Y is a community-based organization and believes that its programs and services should be available to everyone regardless of age, background, ability or income. The Y offers financial assistance to participants based on your individual financial situation. Limited financial assistance is available to individuals and families who substantiate a need.

Due to the limited availability of funds for after school, families needing assistance should:

  1. Contact Workforce Solutions and complete paperwork to determine if qualified for public assistance. Call 713-334-5980 or visit their website. Families approved by Workforce Solutions can visit here to transfer their funds to a new location.
  2. Apply to the YMCA for financial assistance until workforce solutions completes their approval process.
  3. Once Workforce Solutions has made a determination about assistance please provide an acceptance or denial letter to the YMCA
    1. If accepted, the YMCA will adjust your account for NCI payments and parent co- payments
    2. If denied, the YMCA will reassess the original financial assistance application and increase percentage based on need and current availability of funds.

To begin the process you must have a Y membership to create an online account. You can become a member by visiting our website, ymcahouston.org and to become an Impact Member and register for program of interest. Learn more about our impact memberships.

After you become a member, you can create an online account so that you can register for child care. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for paperwork to be processed. Paperwork must be processed entirely before your child may begin the program.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

The Y is community-based and believes that its programs and services should be available to everyone regardless of age, background, ability or income. The Y offers financial assistance to participants that is designed to fit your individual financial situation. The Y has two different types of financial assistance available.

Due to the limited availability of funds for after school, families needing assistance should:

1. Contact Workforce Solutions and complete paperwork to determine if qualified for public assistance. Call 713-334-5980 or visit www.wrksolutions.com/for-individuals/financial-aid/financial-assistance-for-child-care/parent-and-child-care-scholarships#Apply. Apply to the YMCA for financial assistance until workforce solutions completes their approval process. Families approved by Workforce Solutions can transfer their funds to a new location by visiting https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/14929e8a64f345fa9ba65423a3cc4fa3.

2. Once Workforce Solutions has made a determination about assistance please provide an acceptance or denial letter to the YMCA.

a. If accepted, provide the YMCA with a copy of your approval letter – 2450 form. The YMCA will adjust your account for NCI payments and parent co- payments. Families are responsible for suspending care and / or transferring care to a different facility when school is out of session. A Workforce Solutions Accounts Payable Representative can assist with task.

b. If denied, the YMCA will reassess the original financial assistance application and increase percentage based on need and current availability of funds.

To begin the process you must have a Y membership to create an online account. You can become a member by visiting our website, ymcahouston.org and to become a member and register for program of interest. Learn more about our impact membership.

After becoming a member, you can create an online account so that you can register for child care. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for paperwork to be processed. Paperwork must be processed entirely before your child may begin the program.

Child Care Licensed Summer Camps who are vendors with Work Force Solutions include:

  • Alief Family YMCA
  • Aristoi Classical Academy
  • Baytown Camp @ Trinity Episcopal Church
  • Duncan Family YMCA
  • Houston Community College Main Campus
  • Huntsville Children’s Academy
  • Texas Medical Center YMCA
  • The Woodlands Family YMCA @ Branch Crossing
  • TMC Children’s Academy
  • Trotter Family YMCA Day Camp
  • University Park Children’s Academy
  • Weekly Family YMCA
  • Wendel D Ley Family YMCA Day Camp
  • West Orem Family YMCA

Annual Campaign

To enroll in Summer Camp using YMCA Annual Campaign dollars completed Financial Assistance applications and supported documents may be accessed from the YMCA of Greater Houston website at www.ymcahouston.org and applications may be submitted to your local YMCA.

Please allow 2 weeks for your application to be processed once you have submitted a completed application.

Limited financial assistance is available to individuals and families who substantiate a need.

Camps licensed through the Texas Department of State Health Services include:

  • Conroe Family YMCA @ Tree of Life Lutheran Church
  • D. Bradley McWilliams Family YMCA
  • Fort Bend Family YMCA
  • Harriet & Joe Foster Family YMCA
  • Houston Texans Family YMCA
  • Lake Houston Family YMCA
  • Langham Creek YMCA
  • Mark A. Chapman YMCA @ Katy Main Street
  • MD Anderson Family YMCA
  • Monty Ballard Family YMCA
  • Perry Family YMCA
  • Tellepsen Family YMCA
  • The Woodlands Family YMCA @ Shadowbend
  • TW Davis at Jones Creek
  • Vic Coppinger Family YMCA

Y STAFF TRAINING & RATIOS

The Y believes that staff training is essential to providing quality programs. All of our staff are required to attend 40 hours of training before working at camp. Their training hours are spent on CPR, first aid, character development, age-appropriate activities, bullying prevention, child abuse awareness and a variety of other topics to ensure your children have a safe and fun experience at camp.

All potential employees are required to pass a criminal background screening and FBI background check which includes fingerprinting at our child care licensed camps. Y staff members are not permitted to have outside contact with children enrolled in our camp program. Please do not ask staff to babysit, drop off or pick up your child.

We adhere to a 1:6 ratio for campers five years old and 1:10 ratio for campers six and up.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN

Staff members are trained in basic emergency procedures to respond to natural disasters (floods, tornados, hurricanes, etc.), hostile situations, fire escape routes and other emergencies.

Drills

The YMCA of Greater Houston will run on-site emergency drills to ensure everyone involved is prepared. Your camper might experience those drills on the following basis.

  • Monthly- Fire Drills
  • Periodic- Severe weather, hostile situations/lockdown, water rescues, first aid and evacuations
    • The water rescue and first aid drills may involve the use of a mannequin

Evacuation Procedures

In the event of an evacuation due to a gas leak, fire or other facility issue, your camper will be relocated to a secured off-site location and you will be notified immediately via email and / or phone call to pick them up.

If evacuation is necessary, staff will relocate campers to a designated safe area or alternate shelter known to all employees, caregivers and volunteers. Evacuation procedures also address the care of campers with limited mobility or who otherwise may need assistance in an emergency, such as children with mental, visual or hearing impairments. Head counts and roll sheets will be used to account for campers and conducted by two or more caregivers. At all times, our emphasis will be on keeping campers safe.

Severe Weather Procedures

In situations where severe weather develops during the day, we may communicate and ask that parents pick up their camper early to ensure that both campers and staff can get home safely. Parents will notified by email.

If there is advance notice of severe weather and location start times are delayed, do not open or have an early closure, parents will be communicated with via email.

EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS

Parents/guardians are encouraged to dress youth to maintain a comfortable body temperature. In warmer months, wear lightweight cotton. In colder months, wear layers of clothing. Closed toe shoes are encouraged at all times. During warm seasons, participants are encouraged to take a break and re-hydrate every 30 minutes. Water stations are available in program area. “Cool down” periods are incorporated during outdoor and strenuous activities.

During cold seasons, participants are encouraged to wear coats/sweater for outdoor play when the temperature is below 65 degrees. Outdoor play is avoided when the temperature is below 45 degrees.

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/duringstorm/indoorsafety.html

TEXAS HUMAN AND HEALTH SERVICES

YMCA Camps are licensed through one of two state agencies. By choosing licensed camps, you and your family join your child in new experiences and relationships. You, the Program Director and site staff have a responsibility to protect the health, safety and well-being of your child. The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Licensing Division may also be a part of this partnership.

A copy of minimum standards required for licensing school age programs and most recent inspection is available for your review at the school site or it can be found online at www.hhs.texas.gov. You may also request a copy of these standards or the inspection report from your local child care office. A list of these offices may be found on the HHS website: www.hhs.texas.gov, DFPS website: www.dfps.state.tx.us or by calling the Child Care Information Line at 713-287-3238 or 1-800-862-5252. The operation’s most recent licensing inspection report is also available for your review at the camp site.

Texas Department of State Health Services Youth Camp Division 512-834-6600

TEXAS RISING STAR

The YMCA of Greater Houston participates in the Texas Rising Star program. It is a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for child care programs participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) Child Care Services program. Texas Rising Star certification is available to licensed centers and licensed and registered child care home facilities that meet the certification criteria.

The Texas Rising Star program offers three levels of quality certification (Two-Star, Three-Star, and Four-Star) to encourage child care and early learning programs to attain progressively higher levels of quality. These certification levels are tied to graduated enhanced reimbursement rates for children receiving child care scholarships.

CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION

The YMCA of Greater Houston is committed to keeping all children safe and we make every effort to prevent child abuse. The Y recognizes that child abuse exists in a number of forms, including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, as well as child neglect. As mandated reporters, it is our responsibility to recognize and report all suspected child abuse to the appropriate authorities.

To help prevent child abuse the YMCA of Greater Houston has implemented the following procedures:

  1. Our staff and volunteers are trained on comprehensive and innovative practices around child safety to ensure children are safe in our care. This includes annual child abuse prevention training. When we KNOW how abuse happens and SEE the warning signs we can RESPOND quickly to prevent it.
  2. For the safety of children entrusted in our care, the YMCA conducts and requires a background check and references for all camp staff, as well as every person employed in or by our centers and programs.
  3. Allegations or suspicions of child abuse are taken seriously and are reported to the police and state agencies for investigation.
  4. Parents/guardians of youth involved in the alleged incident will be notified immediately following fact-gathering. They will not be informed if doing so places the child at further risk of significant harm. The investigation will conclude once appropriate advice has been sought after and received from the police and state agencies. Advice received from the police and state agencies will be taken into consideration when determining what and whether or not communication with families not involved in the incident will take place.
  5. YMCA programs are structured and observed so that staff and volunteers are never the only adult present with children with the possible exception of emergency situations.
  6. Evaluations are conducted with parents regarding day to day experiences, encouraging reports of any event out of the ordinary.
  7. Staff are required to report all incidents and/or the disclosure of abuse.

A key to keeping children safe is a child’s ability to seek help. They need to know that there are adults at the Y, and at home, who will listen and respond in a supportive way. It is important to be aware that child abusers can be parents, caretakers, friends, neighbors, or even other youth.

  1. Talk to your child – Share with your child that he or she can say “NO” to an adult friend, family member, or an older child, if they act inappropriately.
  2. Be Proactive – Create an environment that encourages children to share their views and concerns. Then really listen to them. Establish safety rule online and offline.

If faced with your child disclosing abuse, or if there is a situation where you suspect abuse, but are not sure or don’t have proof, call the child abuse helpline and get support. Trust your gut and your instincts and take action immediately. If you would like to report a suspicion that a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed by abuse or neglect, call the Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-252-5400. IF YOU BELIEVE A CHILD IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER OF HARM, CALL 911 FIRST. Thank you for helping us keep our children safe.

https://www.txabusehotline.org/Login/Default.aspx

OUR PARTNERS

We partner with countless organizations that believe Houston youth deserve access to quality before school and after school care. Some of our past and current partners include:

Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities for youth and staff development opportunities.

  • CASE for Kids
  • Comp-U-Dopt
  • Houston Children’s Museum
  • Imagine Science

Youth Development Program Assessment Tools and staff development opportunities.

  • Weikart Center for Program Quality

Curriculum and resources focused on creating a sense of belonging so ALL feel safe, accepted and welcomed.

  • YUSA Child Abuse Prevention Grant
  • Opening the Breadbasket

Social and Emotional Learning activities for youth and staff development opportunities.

  • Harmony
  • SEE Learning
  • UT Health
  • We Optimize

Physical Health education and activities for youth.

  • CATCH

Curriculum focused on aiding youth reading at, or above, grade level by the end of third grade.

  • Learning Ovations

Financial Assistance to ensure access to all that seek care.

  • Houston Methodist
  • Perry Homes
  • Robert and Janice McNair Foundation
  • United Healthcare
  • United Way of Greater Houston
  • United Way of Greater Baytown & Chambers County

FAMILY RESOURCES

UT Health McGovern Medical School
https://med.uth.edu/psychiatry/patient-care/adult-services/autism-spectrum-disorder/about/

Navigate Life Texas
https://www.navigatelifetexas.org/en/

PATH Project-Partners Resource Network
https://prntexas.org/texas-ptis/path-project/

Texas Parent‐to‐Parent (Children Disabilities Resource)
https://www.txp2p.org/Media/resource‐lists/Houston‐Vicinity‐2018‐en.pdf

Parent Companion: First Five Years (A guide for Texas parents and caregivers of children with diagnosed or suspected disabilities from birth through five years of age)
http://www.parentcompanion.org/

Bilingual Parent Resources (Help for Parents. Hope for Kids)
http://www.helpandhope.org/default.asp
Spanish-http://www.helpandhope.org/Spanish/default.asp http://www.helpandhope.org/Spanish/Consejos_para_Padres/parent‐resource‐library.asp

Meal Planning and Nutrition Resources
https://www.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-education

Professional Development Trainings on Health and Nutrition:
https://agrilifelearn.tamu.edu/catalog?pagename=Child-Care
https://tecpds.org/wp/find-trainings/
https://www.houstonfoodbank.org/our-programs/nutritioneducation/

Breastfeeding Help Sources
http://www.houstontx.gov/health/WIC/documents/client-help-sources-handout-20180726.pdf

Farm Fresh Resource
https://squaremeals.org/FandNResources/TexasFarmFresh/GardenBasedLearning.aspx

Oral Health Resource
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/oral-health/Pages/default.aspx

Child Care Health Consultant (CCHC) Resource
http://www.texasaeyc.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_5273627/File/HCCT/CCHC%20Information.pdf

Healthy Child Care Texas Resource
http://www.texasaeyc.org/programs/healthy_child_care_texas

Health Benefit Resources
https://www.texaschildrenshealthplan.org/what-we-offer

ECI Resources
https://hhs.texas.gov/services/disability/early-childhood-intervention-services https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/help_pdfs/How-to-Get-Help-forYour- Child_CombinedPDF_EngSpn-2-15-20_508.pdf

Screen Time Resource
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/Where-We-Stand-TVViewing- Time.aspx

Other Resources
https://www.houstontx.gov/education/additional-resources.html
https://hirehoustonyouth.org/resources/

QUESTIONS?

For questions about our program or the policies in this handbook, please email daycamp@ymcahouston.org.