• What childcare options exist for children over the age of 12, with and without special needs? I have noticed that daycares only go up to age 12.

    Many child care providers do not accept children over 12 years of age, but there are many other great options for children who are over 12 years old and require after school care and/or summer care programs.

    Once a child turns 13 many schools offer various after school programs that can be participated in under the supervision of a coach, a counselor, or a teacher. The programs that may be offered in your school district may include sports, drama, band, and clubs (Chess, Math, Debate, etc). These activities not only keep the child under supervision for a couple hours before you get home from work, but also allow your child to interact with peers and gain new knowledge and skills.

    There are also some organizations outside of school that offer after school programs. Organizations in your area may include the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and other community recreational facilities (contact the local Department of Parks and Recreation for facilities in your area). The Boys and Girls Club have nearly 4,000 clubs throughout the United States that provide after school programs for children ages 6 through 18. They offer a variety of programs including everything from leadership and educational programs, to sports and art programs.

    Summer time can be tricky when you need full time care, but there are still a lot of great options. Many of the same organizations that offer after school care (Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, and other community recreation facilities) also offer summer camp programs. The local school districts also often have summer programs for children with specific interests such as Cheer, Drama, Science, and Football.

    If your family is looking for child care for teenage special needs children you can start by contacting your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency (Child Care Finder). The local agency may be able to provide your family with a list of licensed providers that work with special needs children of all ages.  Also another good resource is the local Easter Seals office. Easter Seals has a Child Development Center Network that consists of nearly 80 inclusive child care providers around the United States.Inline Image

    Victoria Ianni
     Child Care Aware of America
    Senior Consumer Educational Specialist

    Victoria began working for Child Care Aware of America in July of 2009. She started out working in the Subsidy Department before transitioning to a Consumer Educational Specialist role. She helps families understand the importance of regulated care and assists them with child care questions and concerns. Victoria volunteers as a coach for Special Olympics Gymnastics and has previous experience working as a counselor for a therapeutic recreational camp for elementary school aged children with developmental delays. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a focus on Early Childhood Development from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).