Frequently Asked Questions

School Care and Summer Camp



Frequently Asked Questions – School Care


  • When is school year tuition due? And how are the tuition payments calculated?
  • When are school year tuition statements sent out?
  • How do I pay my tuition?
  • Do you accept drop-ins?
  • Is care available when schools are closed for teacher in-service days (planned closings)?
  • What happens on a scheduled (planned) early dismissal day?
  • Is care available on days when schools are closed for inclement weather?
  • Do I need to pre-register for an all day care snow day?
  • What happens on days when schools close early due to snow or inclement weather?
  • What happens when schools open late due to inclement weather?
  • Can someone other than the parents pick my child up from the center?
  • How do I know when my center opens and closes?
  • How are children grouped at the center?
  • What happens in a typical day at the center?
  • Can I visit the program before registering?
  • How will I know about events happening at the center?
  • How does transportation work at St. John’s ABC Care center?
  • Do you accept Child Care Scholarship (formerly known as Child Care Subsidy or vouchers)?
  • How do I change my schedule?
  • Do you have any scholarship programs?
  • Do you offer any discounts?
When is school year tuition due? And how are the tuition payments calculated?

Tuition is due on or before the 15th of the month (August –May). Tuition is based on 180 school days, divided into 10 equal monthly payments with the first payment due August 15 and the last payment due May 15.

When are school year tuition statements sent out?

Statements are sent out via email and through your center mailbox around the 1st of the month. Be sure to mark ABC Care as an approved sender in your email account (or check your junk mail inbox).

How do I pay my tuition?

Tuition can be paid at the center with a check or with an ACH withdrawal from a checking or savings account, or with a credit card through our main office over the telephone (410-751-3700); both of these options can be recurring. Families can manage their payment options through the SmartCare App. We do not accept cash in the Centers.

Do you accept drop-ins?

ABC Care provides drop in care for registered families who need service on an unscheduled day. Please contact your center Director at least 24 hours in advance of the date of service. Payment is due at the time of “sign in” or “sign out”. Drop in service can be denied if there is not enough space for the child. If you are unable to give 24 hours notice, we will do our best to accommodate your family but we cannot guarantee we will have space.

Is care available when schools are closed for teacher in-service days (planned closings)?

Yes, ABC Care has two (2) all day care locations for child care on days when schools are not in session. Parents can complete an All Day Care reservation form to secure a spot. Additional costs apply.

  • Deer Park United Methodist Church (2205 Sykesville Road, Westminster, MD 21157)
  • Sykesville Fire Department (6680 Sykesville Road, Sykesville, MD 21784)
What happens on a scheduled (planned) early dismissal day?

Our staff will be on site at the time of dismissal. There is no additional cost as long as it is one of your regularly scheduled days. If it is not your family’s regularly scheduled day for afternoon care you can “drop in” and pay the drop-in fee at the time of pick up.

Is care available on days when schools are closed for inclement weather?

Please call your center phone number after 6:15am to hear when ABC Care will open and at which centers. If the weather is severe ABC Care may close for the day. Always call the voice mail for the most up-to-date information. Information will also be posted on our website and Facebook page. We utilize the following location for inclement weather closings. Additional costs apply.

  • Deer Park United Methodist Church (2205 Sykesville Road, Westminster, MD 21157)
Do I need to pre-register for an all day care snow day?

No. Unlike a scheduled all day care where pre-registration is required, a snow day all day care does not require preregistration. Families will have to complete emergency information at the time of drop off.

What happens on days when schools close early due to snow or inclement weather?

Our staff is notified and will be on site at the time of dismissal. There is no additional cost as long as it is one of your regularly scheduled days. If it is not your family’s regularly scheduled day for afternoon care you can “drop in” and pay the drop in fee at the time of pick up. Our centers are required to close proportionately early as the number of hours early school released.

What happens when schools open late due to inclement weather?

Please call your center phone number after 6:15 am to hear what time ABC Care centers will open. We open our regular sites on a delayed schedule proportionate to the amount of time schools are delayed. Always call the voice mail for the most up to date information. Additional costs apply.

Can someone other than the parents pick my child up from the center?

Yes, please be sure to write a note and/or call, and leave a message with the center Director so they will have a name/address to compare to the person’s identification when they arrive. If the person picking up will be a regular pick up person, the Director will have you add their information to the emergency card and take the necessary steps to get them their own Smartcare QR code or PIN number.

How do I know when my center opens and closes?

Check your center’s webpage on our website. Hours of operation differ from center to center.

How are children grouped at the center?

Children are grouped by age at our centers. Typically kindergarten, first and second grade make up our “Juniors” group and third, fourth and fifth grade make up our “Seniors” group. At larger centers there may be a “Middies” group of second and third graders.

What happens in a typical day at the center?

Check your center’s webpage for the daily program schedule (on the right hand side). Children have an opportunity for snack, homework, outdoor play, self selected activities, arts/crafts, cultural activities, sign language and team building activities.

Can I visit the program before registering?

Yes. ABC Care has an open visitation policy. We encourage you to check in with the Director upon your arrival so they can answer any additional questions you may have.

How will I know about events happening at the center?

We communicate in several ways with families. Our website contains a large amount of information about our centers – the ticker, announcements box and each center’s webpage. At your center you have a family mailbox for any handouts and fliers. The parent table at your center will also have an announcements board for news and information. We also use email blasts to communicate with our families.

How does transportation work at St. John’s ABC Care center?

Our St. John location in Westminster provides child care for multiple schools. We utilize our van for transportation to and from East Middle, Cranberry Station, North Carroll Community School, William Winchester and West Middle.

Do you accept Child Care Scholarship (formerly known as Child Care Subsidy or vouchers)?

Yes, please contact Maryland State Department of Education for more information.


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How do I change my schedule?

Your schedule change request must be in writing. Please complete a Schedule Change Form and provide one month’s written notice of the change to your schedule. The form can be printed from the website. A schedule change fee of $30 will be applied to your account for the first schedule change; each additional change per school year will be $50.

Do you have any scholarship programs?

Yes. ABC Care has an Angel Assistance Fund set up to help families in need of short or long term assistance so that they still receive child care services despite financial hardships or family emergencies. Families may request an application from their Director or main office staff.

Do you offer any discounts?

Yes!

New Family Referral Discount

Submit potential new family’s contact information to ABC Care. If your referral enrolls in one of our afterschool programs for the school year, you will receive a $25 credit. There is no limit for the new referrals per family per calendar year.

Sibling Discount

The 2nd, 3rd, etc., child will receive 10% off monthly tuition if both children attend full-time (5-AMs & 5-PMs or 5-PM at early bell site: Eldersburg or Friendship Valley).

All Day Child Care Discount

Families registered with a full-time (5-AMs & 5-PMs or 5-PM at early bell site: Eldersburg or Friendship Valley) schedule receive a 10% discount for All Day Care.

Families registered with a five day after school only (5-PMs) schedule or a five day, before school only (5-AMs) schedule will receive a 5% discount for All Day Care.

School Year Bundling Discount

All families who register for before and after care for the same days regardless of the number of days, receive a discount over the separate AM and PM prices.

Military Discount

Parent/Guardian serving in the military as active duty or deployed reservists receive 12% discount on full time (5-AMs & 5-PMs or 5-PM at early bell site: Eldersburg or Friendship Valley) monthly tuition with appropriate identification.

Teacher Discount

Parent/Guardian who works for a private or public school in Maryland or Pennsylvania as a classroom teacher, school nurse, guidance counselor, or instructional assistant receives a 10% discount on full time (5-AMs & 5-PMs or 5-PM at early bell site: Eldersburg or Friendship Valley) monthly tuition (may only be used with 1 child) with appropriate identification. Call the main office for the Teacher Discount Verification form.

**Sibling, Military or Teacher Discounts may not be combined



More than 70% of students in STEM afterschool programs express more interest in careers in science. They also build essential skills, such as perseverance and critical thinking.



Frequently Asked Questions – Summer Camp


  • Are camps licensed and/or inspected and what are the ratios for camp activities and swimming?
  • What is the procedure for drop off in the morning?
  • What items will my child need each day at summer camp?
  • Are morning and afternoon snacks provided?
  • What is lunch bunch?
  • What items will my child need for swim trips each week?
  • How are non-swimmers kept safe while at the pool?
  • How are swim lessons taught?
  • What is the procedure if I need to pick my child up from field trip locations and not use the transportation back to camp?
  • What is the procedure for pick up in the evening?
  • What are the procedures for severe weather while at camp?
  • What are the procedures for a code red day?
  • What are Fierce Fabulous Friday Trips?
  • Where are the transportation van/shuttle pick-up and drop-off locations?
  • What are the van transportation/shuttle times each morning and afternoon?
  • What happens if I miss the van transportation/shuttle in the morning?
  • What if I am running late to pick up in the evening beyond the close of camp (whether a van transportation/shuttle stop or the camp location)?
  • How can I make a payment if we are taking the van transportation/shuttle each day and not going directly to camp?
Are camps licensed and/or inspected and what are the ratios for camp activities and swimming?

Camps are licensed through the Department of Mental Health & Hygiene as Youth Camps. Camps are inspected annually by the State Fire Marshall and the Department of Mental Health & Hygiene.

  • Swimming ratios are 1:10. (This ratio does not include the lifeguards). With lifeguards on duty, the swimming ratio is 1:6.
  • Field trip ratios are 1:12.
  • Regular camp activity ratios are broken down by ages. Ages 4-5: 1:12; Ages 6-14: 1:15
What is the procedure for drop off in the morning?

An ABC Care staff person will be on site at the pavilion to greet families each morning (6:45 am at Deer Park and 7 am at Piney Run Park). Staff will receive any paperwork from you (required camp forms, etc). Parents will be required to sign your child in on the sign in form. Upcoming events for the week will be listed on a dry erase/chalk board. Please take note of what time field trips are scheduled to leave/return so that you can arrive on time.

What items will my child need each day at summer camp?

Lunch with 2 drinks OR sign up for Lunch Bunch (Fridays only)

  • Plastic or Metal refillable water bottle (we provide refills throughout the day)
  • Sunscreen with name on it
  • Closed Toe shoes
  • Tote bag or book bag to keep items together
  • Hat / sunglasses (optional)

Reminder slips will come home when a special event/activity will be occurring the next day (fishing day, crazy hair day, sunglasses day, etc.)

Are morning and afternoon snacks provided?

ABC Care provides an AM breakfast snack for children arriving prior to 9 am.

ABC Care provides a PM snack after 3 pm.

What is lunch bunch?

Lunch bunch is optional and is offered on Fridays only. Families can sign up at the parent table at the beginning of each week. Payment is due by Wednesday each week. Lunch bunch includes 1 (or 2) slices of pizza, drink, chips, & dessert. Campers can also choose to pack their lunch from home.

What items will my child need for swim trips each week?
  • Lunch with 2 drinks
  • Plastic or Metal refillable water bottle (we provide refills throughout the day)
  • Sunscreen with name on it
  • ABC Camp tote bag
  • Bathing suit
  • Towel
  • Swim goggles (optional)
  • Water shoes (optional)
How are non-swimmers kept safe while at the pool?

Wrist bands will be given to children identifying their ability: red bands for children who are only allowed in the shallow water; orange bands for swimmers who can use the slide, but must exit the deep end immediately after; green bands for children who are accomplished swimmers and can go in the deeper water.

Staff are positioned both in and around the outside of the pool watching the children at all times.

How are swim lessons taught?

Initial swim level is determined the first week of camp by ABC Care lifeguards/swim instructors. Campers take part in a 30 minute group lesson. Each week camper will work on basic techniques from their swim level (levels 1-7). When necessary, campers will take a swim test to determine if they have mastered the necessary skills to move to the next level. Families will receive a weekly report from the swim instructor detailing their progress.

What is the procedure if I need to pick my child up from field trip locations and not use the transportation back to camp?

Please call the camp cell phone to alert the Director/staff of any changes in your transportation schedule so we can arrange a meeting place on location so that all of our children remain safe.

What is the procedure for pick up in the evening?

An ABC Care staff person will be on site at the pavilion to greet families each afternoon until 6:15 pm at all camps. Parents will be required to show identification until staff is familiar with parents on the emergency card. Parents will also need to sign out their child and check their mailbox for any communications from camp. Staff will remain with children until all have been picked up – please refer to #32 if you are running late.

What are the procedures for severe weather while at camp?

All camps use an NOAA weather radio which scans for severe weather alerts for the surrounding areas.

In the event of severe weather such as heavy rain, lightning, high winds, etc. the children and staff will report to the closest shelter either the pavilion or restrooms. The Camp Director will notify all staff via walkie talkie which area staff and campers should report to. Staff members will take role to account for all children once they have assembled within the designated area using the daily roster for the whole camp. If a group has taken shelter in a pavilion and extreme conditions ensue, staff will use the picnic tables for additional shelter by flipping them on their side to provide additional protection.

What are the procedures for a code red day?

Slow down. Limit strenuous activity. Shorten all outside activities, including sports rotations.

Rotate children inside as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, electric fans help evaporate sweat, which cools the body. Put memo out to remind parents to have children wear lightweight, light colored clothing. Drink plenty of water regularly and often. Set up specific times that groups go to the water coolers. You need to drink fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Sports rotations should be half outside activity and other half should be in shade or inside doing another activity.

What are Fierce Fabulous Friday Trips?

Add on trips exclusively for children entering grades 4 through 9. Enrollment is limited and a wait list may apply. Younger campers who do not attend the trips continue with camp activities and rotations.

Where are the transportation van/shuttle pick-up and drop-off locations?

Sacred Heart School in Glyndon

We will be in the parking lot off of Log House Way which runs beside the Sacred Heart School and connects Sacred Heart Lane and East Chatsworth Avenue. There is a large playground with a mulched area as well.

Watkins Park in Mt. Airy

We will be at the pavilion above the tennis courts. Please park and walk up the hill to sign your child in for the day.

Cape Horn Park in Manchester

We will be in the furthest back parking lot when you enter the park. There is a large playground with a mulched area as well.
What are the van transportation/shuttle times each morning and afternoon?

Sacred Heart School in Glyndon

63 Sacred Heart Lane Glyndon, MD 21136
Departing Sacred Heart at 7:45 am (van will be there at 7:15); Returning to Sacred Heart at 5:30 pm (van will wait until 6:00 pm)

Watkins Park in Mt. Airy

7255 Ridge Rd Mt. Airy, MD 21771
Children can be dropped off at Watkins Park beginning at 6:45am until 8 a.m.; Returning to Watkins Park at 4:30pm or 5:30pm. All children must be picked up by 6:15 pm.

Cape Horn Park in Manchester

3292 Cape Horn Rd., Hampstead MD 21074
Departing Cape Horn Park at 8:30 a.m. (Van will be there at 8:00 a.m.); Returning to Cape Horn Park at 5:30 pm (van will wait until 6:00 pm)
What happens if I miss the van transportation/shuttle in the morning?

Please call the camp cell phone to alert the Director/Staff at camp and find out if there is a second run and if there is space for your child. If not, you will need to bring your child directly to Camp.

What if I am running late to pick up in the evening beyond the close of camp (whether a van transportation/shuttle stop or the camp location)?

Please call the camp/van driver/staff member to alert them to your status and refer to our late policy in your summer camp parent manual. The camp/van cell phone number will be made available to you on the first day of camp.

How can I make a payment if we are taking the van transportation/shuttle each day and not going directly to camp?

The ABC Care van driver/staff person will be able to receive a check from you if you need to make a tuition payment. Please call the main office for early bird tuition payment due dates. All other camp payments are due 2 weeks prior to the start of the camp week. Please contact the office for any additional tuition concerns.