How to Get More Referrals for your Summer Camp

By Christen Balistreri, Parent and Employer Services Specialist

Suddenly it's spring and you realize that school will be out soon – but you still have spots open in your summer camp. What do you do?

Filling summer camp slots is often difficult for child care providers. Many parents have their child care needs met during the school-year. But are their options when the child’s day is no longer spent at school? That’s where you come in.

Aside from advertising, one of the best methods of ensuring you are getting calls, e-mails, and questions about your child care summer camp is to contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency (CCR&R). CCR&R’s are located almost everywhere – sometimes in each county, other times in general regions. When a parent calls a CCR&R looking for child care, a database is pulled up of all the options they may have. While these options depend on many variables, a large one is whether or not your information is up to date. Some information in these systems is automatically updated and pulled from state databases, but other information isn’t. If a CCR&R doesn’t know you accept school-age children or have a summer camp, they won’t be able to refer you. If your hours or rates change in the summer, this won’t be reflected in the system unless it is updated.

The easiest way to ensure your information is up-to-date is to contact your local CCR&R. If you’re unsure where the closest one is to you, you can search it on the national site, Child Care Aware of America here: http:// childcareaware.org/ccrr-search-form/

While referrals to parents are just that – referrals and not recommendations – it is more likely that you’ll receive an increase in calls and inquiries about your program or summer camp once all the information in your profile is up to date. Updating your information should always be free, and depending on your CCR&R can be done online, over the phone, or in-person. If you’re confused about what information is currently in your profile, contacting your local CCR&R can help you find out.

For providers in Buffalo and Erie County, Child Care Resource Network is your CCR&R. Our office features a Parent and Employer Services Specialist designated to helping parents find child care. By working with our Parent and Employer Services Specialist, we’ll work to ensure your information is up to date and help you get more referrals and calls. If you’re located in Erie County you may use this link to update your information about your summer camp or program: http://bit.ly/SummerCampWNY17 For more information on this database or to update your information in our database, please contact our Parent and Employer Services Specialist, Christen Balistreri, at:

Child Care Resource Network

1000 Hertel Ave Buffalo, NY 14216

716-877-6666 ext. 3079 Fax. 716-332-2454

Cbalistreri@wnychildren.org