When asked what information parents and kids ought to know before coming to SIL in the summer, many parents wrote that “kids love childcare!”

The SIL-UND childcare program resembles a summer camp more than a day care program. Activities include arts and crafts, singing, indoor and outdoor games, learning activities (especially about other countries and cultures), field trips and swimming. Older children visit the Grand Forks Public Library’s wonderful children’s library once a week to check out books, attend story time, and take in special community summer programs.

The childcare facilities are in the same residence hall where most students and faculty live, and children eat all meals with their parents. The program is also available to student and staff families who are living outside the SIL dormitory.

Childcare operates during most class hours (weekdays 8:00-11:00 and 1:00-4:00), allowing all parents to enroll in a full schedule of classes if they wish. When there are academic activities outside of childcare hours (such as the colloquium lecture series), parents take turns watching each others’ kids, or can hire one of our resident teens.

For current charges, see our separate information about costs (scroll down).

child safety

SIL-UND cares deeply about children and wants them to have a positive, warm, and safe experience. The emotional climate is family-friendly, with lots of opportunities to develop healthy relationships with adults. We are particularly concerned to keep children safe from sexual exploitation, but are concerned about all aspects of child safety: physical and emotional too. In order to promote safety in our environment, we (in cooperation with UND) pre-screen all students and provide a required training session (about 1 hour) at the beginning of the program that focuses on child safety and appropriate behavior with children. Childcare workers receive extra screening and training, and are assigned in such a way that children are always supervised by at least two non-related workers.

You might want to read our child protection policy.

age groupings

Children are divided into groups by age. Typically, there are separate groups for babies, toddlers, preschool, early elementary, and older elementary. Exact groupings are determined once we know who all is coming and are sometimes adjusted during the summer to better fit the needs of the children.

babies and toddlers

Families with babies and toddlers are often assigned to bedrooms near their childcare groups. When this is possible, the children may be able to nap in their own beds during childcare ours, under supervision of childcare workers.

Please try to make schedule adjustments (feeding and naps) before you arrive. Childcare hours are 8:00-11:00 and 1:00-4:00, with most people eating meals at 7:00, 12:00, and 5:00.

We and UND are supportive of breast-feeding. Mothers of infants sometimes choose to care for and feed their children in class; this is permitted (even encouraged) as long as it is not disruptive.

health and special needs

Please do not allow your children to be exposed to chicken pox or other “childhood diseases” during the month preceding the beginning of the course. If they are exposed, please notify us in writing before you arrive so that we can help you prevent exposing other children and adults.

Please advise us of any special needs your children may have. We can often accommodate them but we are more likely to be able to do so if we have plenty of advanced notice.

teen workers

Children who are age 14 and over may apply to the SIL-UND Director to participate as helpers in the childcare program; see contact info.

any further questions?

If you have any questions or concerns about the childcare program or family life in general at SIL-UND, please contact the SIL-UND Director.