“Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; It is generally the by-product of other activities” – Aldous Huxley
School holidays are almost upon us. For many parents this can be quite a stressful time – trying to juggle the demands of work with making sure your children are looked after and having fun in holiday care. For parents with children with additional needs the search for holiday care can be even more stressful. Children with additional needs often require additional care and finding services that can provide this level of care can be very tricky.
Before starting your search it’s probably helpful to think about the role holiday care is playing for you and your family. Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Do you want your child to attend holiday care only with other children similar to them?
- Do you want them to be integrated with typically developing children?
- Are you looking for respite?
- Do you want your child to attend an intensive therapy group to boost a particular skill?
In doing your research as to what the best option might be for your child, you may want to think about the questions to ask a service provider, such as:
- How many children will be attending?
- What is the ratio of staff to children?
- Does the staff have training in working with children with additional needs?
- What level off independence does my child need to participate in the program?
It is also worth considering your child’s individual needs. Are they independent with feeding? Toileting? Can they cope amongst a lot of people? Do they benefit from being in a structured environment? Or can they cope with a flexible and free program?
No matter what your child’s needs are, we highly recommend you contact the provider directly and discuss what they offer, the level of care provided and whether your child can be supported in their care.