Most communities offer a variety of school-age care programs. Families should plan ahead to research and visit the program before enrolling. High-quality school-age care helps ensure healthy physical, emotional, social and intellectual development. Not all programs fit all kids!
The Department of Early Learning (DEL) licenses school-age programs to make sure they meet minimum standards for health and safety. The ratio for licensed school-age programs is 15 children to one qualified staff member.
Learn more about the school-age child care center minimum licensing requirements.
To find licensed school-age care, contact your local Child Care Aware Washington resource & referral agency or call toll-free 1.800.446.1114.
Recreational (unlicensed) care
Not all school-age programs must be licensed, including those that are operated by a local parks and recreation department. Other types of recreational care include:
- Visual and performing arts programs
- Sports leagues
- Recreational groups
- Cultural and social development activities
- Academic assistance and enrichment components
- Community service projects
- Leadership opportunities
To find recreational activities, you can check with your local:
- Community of faith
- Parks and recreation department
- United Way or volunteer center
- Newspapers and publications
- County and city websites
Your local school district, YMCA or YWCA may provide both licensed child care programs and unlicensed recreational activities.