Back to Basics Summer Care Program FAQs


Update: new mask policy goes into effect on monday, august 3

Below are answers to questions regarding safety and health, cleaning protocols, pick-up and drop-off, camp activities, groupings, lunches, registration, new applicants, refunds, and more. Questions will be updated regularly, please check back for more information.

Safety and Health Questions


Are children required to wear face masks? 

Update: as of Monday, August 3, face masks will be required to be worn indoors. 

Do adults need to wear a mask when dropping off their child in a car line?

No, unless they need to speak with a staff member/get out of their car and cannot maintain social distancing while doing so.


Do adults need a mask to pick up or drop off my child from a class or a program (not a car line)?

Yes. Parents need to wear a mask when walking up to a group.


Do kids need to have a mask on when being dropped off and picked up?

Yes, children should have masks at pick-up and drop offs.


What if a child forgets their mask?

We will have extra disposable masks on hand, but we do request this be a priority to check prior to coming to the Park District.


Will the kids be able to take breaks to remove their masks?

Staff has planned for breaks for children in longer programs when they are outside and socially distant.


My child is in the Summer Care program. Do they need a mask? Do they have to wear it all day?

Children entering kindergarten and up need to wear a mask while indoors AND when they are outdoors and not able to be socially distant from one another.


How will you handle kids enrolled in Summer Care, Kids Clubs, and/or other classes who refuse to wear a mask or keep removing it?

They’ll gently reminded that the rule is in place for their safety. Staff will speak with a parent and outline consequences if this continues.


How many masks should my child bring with them every day?

We suggest two or three. Please bring them in a Ziplock bag with your child’s name on it.


Do children need to maintain social distancing when wearing a mask?

No, they both should be masked.


What about when my child eats or drinks inside?

Masks may come off to eat and drink from water bottles. Children are socially distanced from one another when eating and drinking.


Will teachers help kids put their masks on?

Staff plans to teach children how to put them on and take them off properly. 


Do you recommend a certain type of mask?

Cloth or disposable masks are both fine. They should properly sized and cover both their nose and mouth.


What are some other examples of times when my child will need a mask?

Children enrolled in Summer Care or (another) indoor programs need to wear mask when they are transitioning to the bathroom or a different activity inside a Park District facility.


My child is a preschooler, do kids that age need a mask?

No, the policy is in place for children in kindergarten and older.

I think my child will be afraid of staff members if they are wearing masks.

We will hold one-on-one Zoom calls so that your child can chat with their counselors and see what they are going to look like on that first day.

How are you cleaning the toys?

Our toys are fully sanitized each day. Not only do we clean the individual toys, we also run them through our sanitizer.


How are you taking children’s temperatures?

We use an ear thermometer with disposable covers.


What safety precautions are being put in place for both staff and children?

We will be doing temperature checks for all children and staff. Our maintenance team has increased their cleaning protocols to include highly touched areas such as doorknobs and light switches. Our staff will be issued PPE, including masks, gloves, and work-specific clothing that will be laundered on-site.


What would happen if either a child or staff member were to become sick? Would the entire program shut down or just the group that had the sick person?

If a child or staff member were to become sick, we would immediately notify Public Health officials who would come on site to determine the best practices for potential closure. All families would be notified immediately too.


Summer Care Activities and Group Info

 Why is your maximum capacity 100?

We want to ensure each group has a home base since they will no longer be traveling off-site. Our community rooms have been set up with activities, toys, games, and art materials so each group has a space for fun!


Is there care for children 12 and older?

At this time, we currently do not have care/camp for kids 12+. If state-wide regulations ease, we will consider planning activities for older children in August.


What will pick up and drop off look like?

We will be doing a car line! All pick-up and drop-offs for school-aged children will happen at Watts’ main entrance. Your pick-up/drop-off time will be between 7 AM-9:30 AM and 3 PM – 6:30 PM. Preschool-aged children will be picked-up/dropped off between 7 AM-9:30 AM and 3 PM – 6:30 PM at Takiff’s preschool entrance. For pick up, you will again pull up to the car line and a staff member will bring your child to your vehicle.


Are parents allowed to enter the building?

Parents will not come in the building.


Will siblings be placed in the same cohort?

No, they will be with other children their age.


What about friend requests?

We are not accepting friend requests. Your child will be placed in a group of his/her peers, but due to the small sizes, we are not taking requests.


How do I talk to my child’s counselor if I never see them?

You can message your child’s teacher directly through the Brightwheel app. You may also reach out to the Program Manager at any time if you have questions or concerns that you would like to address.


Will my child get to go outside?

Yes, each group will have time for games on the field, nature walks, and other gross motor fun! The groups will be assigned a specific bin of toys to use during those times.


What should I pack for my child? 

Your child should bring one set of extra clothes in a Ziploc bag, along with sunscreen. They should also bring a water bottle and their lunch.

What will their daily experience be like? What activities will they be doing?

Children will be involved in play! Whether it be free time in the activity room, a structured art project, or running on the field, your child’s day will be full of fun.

Without field trips, what “special events” can our kids do?

The children will be engaged in fun activities through the day. During this phase 3 program, special performers will not be permitted on site. Our staff has plenty of fun activities planned.


Are they allowed to go to the Glencoe Beach?

No, due to the limited beach capacity, we will not be traveling to the beach.


How are the groups being divided up? (How many children and how many counselors)

There are 10 children with two staff members in each group. Children will be divided by age.

Are the staff required to always wear masks/gloves around my child?

Staff is required to wear masks. If they need to be close with a child or deal with any first aid or bodily fluids, they will be required to wear gloves as well.


Is lunch provided? If my child has dietary needs, are they allowed to bring a lunch from home or can the Park District provide it?

We will not be offering the catering option this year. You should pack a nut-free and fish-free lunch for your child each day in a disposable bag. No reusable containers will be allowed. Snacks are provided, but if your child has specific dietary restrictions, please reach out to the Program Manager.


Should I refer to the Summer Camp guide the Park District sent out or rely on new information being sent to me?

Please rely on the new information; the brochure is not up to date.

How will you ensure my child has a great summer experience with all the changes going on?

We promise fun and that is what summer is about. Our staff members are eager to hold summer care and provide enriching activities throughout the day.


Is there a virtual camp option?

We currently do not have a virtual camp option. Be sure to check our social media and your emails for virtual enrichment classes.


Depending on how many children attend our summer care program, will similar age groups stay together or will there be a mix of age groups?

The children will be placed with similar age groups. Depending on the families that attend, some ages may be combined as long as they are within one school year of each other.


If more restrictions are lifted, what changes could we expect to see? What would be added?

We are working on tentative plans on how we can add more experiences. As of right now, we are waiting on the Governor’s update.


Registration, New Applicants, & Refund Info

 What if I did not sign up for camp yet? Will I have an opportunity to sign up for the new summer care option?

Yes, if there is space and after all enrollment dates. Please email the following Park District Staff to be placed on an email list to communicate if spots are available:

·       Amanda Giacomino at for preschool-aged children

·       Stephani Briskman at for children entering first-grade -sixth-grades


If I enroll in the Summer Care Program but end up wanting to drop the program, will I get a full refund?

For our Summer Care Program, we will be following our camp refund policy which you can read here.

What are the rates? 

The cost for residents per child for the July session is $1,400 for preschoolers and $1,200 for children ages 6-12. The non-resident rate is $1,610 for preschool and $1380 for youth. There is no sibling discount. We will likely follow the same protocols in August with registration preference to those enrolled in our July Summer Care program.‚Äč