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CHILD CARE AWARE OFFERS TIPS TO STRESSED-OUT PARENTS ON HOW TO FIND SUMMER CHILD CARE

 MINNEAPOLIS, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Stress is up for working parents these days as they scramble to make summer child care arrangements, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). The survey asked counselors at child care resource and referral agencies across America about the types of questions they are getting from parents during this annual shift in child care arrangements.
 The agencies are all participants in the Child Care Aware national public education program on quality child care. The $2.8 million campaign, sponsored by Dayton Hudson Corporation, its foundation and its Target, Mervyn's, Dayton's, Hudson's and Marshall Field's stores, is a cooperative effort with prominent child care organizations: Child Care Action Campaign, NACCRRA, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association for Family Day Care.
 "Resource and referral agency counselors are reporting that parents are under stress in trying to arrange high-quality, affordable child care this summer," said Denise Nelson, NACCRRA's Community Coordinator.
 Parents' Concerns
 The most common concerns parents are presenting to counselors this summer are:
 1) finding programs that offer high-quality, age-appropriate activities;
 2) the additional cost of care for school-age children who must now be supervised during workday hours;
 3) transportation safety and convenience of location;
 4) ability of the child care provider to accommodate parents' working hours;
 5) finding programs for kids over age 10 (too young to be unsupervised, not happy in traditional child care);
 6) licensing and monitoring of programs and providers;
 7) the child's interest in the activities offered;
 8) easing the child's transition into the program.
 "School is out for an estimated 18 million children whose parents work during the day," said Barbara Reisman, executive director of Child Care Action Campaign.
 "Securing adequate summer child care is a major national headache each year because there is no unified system of care in this country. Parents with fewer resources often face very troubling choices -- including leaving children unsupervised or settling for low-quality child care. In fact, in a recent NAEYC study, nearly one-third of parents reported leaving their children unattended during summer workdays," she said.
 Help for Parents
 To help parents seek out quality summer child care, Child Care Aware provides parents with a toll-free national information line at 1-800-424-2246 to put them in touch with the child care resource and referral counselors in their own communities. The campaign also has developed a five-step plan and some tips for working parents (see attached pages).
 Dayton Hudson Corporation, based in Minneapolis, is one of America's largest retailers and corporate philanthropists with 1992 revenues of $17.9 billion and a corporate giving program totaling more than $20.7 million.
 The Corporation has committed $10 million over seven years to improve the quality of child care in America. Dayton Hudson operates 848 stores in 33 states.
 TIPS FOR PARENTS SEEKING SUMMER CHILD CARE
 The Five-Step Plan
 1. LOOK. Explore all types of care options -- family child care, centers and day or overnight camps. Visit several programs. Do they look safe? Do the staff enjoy talking and playing with the children? After you start using a program, continue to go back and check it out.
 2. ASK. Ask your child what types of programs he or she would like. Involve kids in the decision-making. Look for programs that focus on their interests.
 Ask about the training and experience of all adults who will be with your children. Do they have first aid and CPR training? Are their discipline policies compatible with your philosophy? Are children able to choose among activities? What do the adults know about child development? How will they encourage your child's independence and build self-esteem?
 3. COUNT. Count the number of adults and the number of children they will each be supervising. Be certain there are enough adults to supervise all of the different activities that are planned.
 4. CHECK. How long has this program operated? What percentage of children return each year? Is the program certified or accredited by a professional association? Check references from parents who have used the program.
 5. BE INFORMED. Find out about efforts in your community to expand and support summer child care options. For more information, contact your local child care resource and referral agency.
 TIPS FOR PARENTS SEEKING SUMMER CHILD CARE
 1. Consider enrolling your child in the same summer program as your child's best friend.
 2. Children over age 12 may benefit by being in leadership or counselor trainee programs.
 3. Remember to ask about additional fees for such things as field trips and transportation.
 4. Make sure your child's nutritional needs will be met either by the program, your "brown bags" or, if you qualify, by your community's summer nutrition program (information available from your local school district).
 5. Investigate the providers' insurance coverage and clearly understand what they expect your family's insurance to cover if anything should happen.
 6. Be sure to ask about any scholarship or financial assistance that may be available.
 Parents can get additional help in finding quality summer child care by calling the Child Care Aware toll-free information line at 1-800-424-2246 for referrals to child care resource and referral agencies in their own communities.
 -0- 6/7/93
 /CONTACT: Barbara Reisman of the Child Care Action Campaign, 212-239-0138; Laura Anders of Child Care Aware/Dayton Hudson, 612-370-6622; or Denise Nelson of the National Assn. of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, 507-287-2220/


CO: Dayton Hudson Corporation ST: Minnesota IN: REA SU:

AL -- MN002 -- 5931 06/07/93 10:25 EDT
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