WESTFORD — A number of new programs were available to make Annual Town Meeting more accessible, including on-site child care hosted by the Recreation Department.
Head of the Recreation Department, Michelle Collett, told WestfordCAT, “I’m not sure there is a current plan on expanding rather than making some minor adjustments to make it flow better.”
In her opinion, providing child care at Town Meeting was “very successful, especially for the first time doing it.” She continued to say that they will be able to adjust the program as necessary.
The Recreation Department found the registration process “easy to use” and will use it in the future. “The kids were well-behaved and easy to please, we just wish it was a bit warmer out so we could have spent more time outside,” Collett said.
Collett believes the check-in process and some signage would make the program more accessible in the future. Additionally, Collett suggested more communication, reminders, and assigning someone to guide parents and children. She plans on adjusting the process for the next town meeting.
Town staff who work with children have background checks and are first-aid and CPR certified. Parents were required to fill out child information sheets at the time of registration.
The information included emergency contacts, allergies, and any specific information about the child that needs to be made aware of. Two staff are required per 12 children. Collett said it “was well within an appropriate ratio.”
Collett looks forward to organizing and implementing child care for the next town meeting. “My hope is that more people will take advantage of these options so they can have a nice town meeting experience without worrying about their children,” Collett said.