SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Parents and kids have already started counting down the days to summer break. If you're planning to sign your kids up for summer camp or daycare, summer camp programs say right now is the time to do it, because spots are already filling up.
Parents who wait until kids are already out of school usually end up on the wait list.
"There's a possibility that they won't be able to choose the daycare or summer program that best fits their child," says Amber Ficklin, owner of Cutie Pies Development Center, which has locations across the area.
That means parents will either have to find another solution while at work and waiting for a spot to open, or they will have to look farther away from home.
When school lets out, Ficklin opens summer camp for older kids. She says each program is different. "You have karate summer camps... gymnastics summer camps," she says, adding that the idea is to keep kids busy. "We do field trips every single day."
Ficklin estimates the average summer camp program is about $100 a week- which includes food and everything your kids do.
But she has a warning if you're looking at a summer camp program that doesn't double as a daycare. "You have to be very careful in the place that you send your children. And for one reason is, they are not required by the state and DSS to have fingerprints and background checks on their people."
According to Ficklin, some programs do it anyway to give you peace of mind, "But I would make sure that there are fingerprints and background checks on every person in the building and child abuse checks."
Ficklin says since the area keeps growing and more people are moving here, summer camps are filling up even faster.
Here are a list to some summer camps around the region:
Cutie Pies Child Development Center: http://www.cutiepiesdaycare.com/index.html
Coastal Carolina Kids Camp: https://www.coastal.edu/outreach/youth/index.html
North Myrtle Beach Aquatic & Fitness Center: http://afc.nmb.us/Page.aspx?news=true&id=107
YMCA of Coastal Carolina: http://www.coastalcarolinaymca.org/
City of Conway summer camp: http://www.conwayparksandrecreation.com/summercamps.html