Columbia Association’s objective is to provide high quality care and supervision for children attending our KidSpace programs. Our programs provide a place where children have positive experiences and parents feel secure and comfortable leaving their children. Columbia Association’s KidSpace programs are managed in accordance with the Maryland State Department of Education’s licensing guidelines, as outlined in the Annotated Code of Maryland (COMAR).

Columbia Association’s policy is to promote equal opportunities in all of its activities and to provide services to the residents of Columbia without discrimination on the basis of race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, physical or mental disability or any other basis prohibited by law.


Our child/staff ratios are based upon best practices and follow legislative and Maryland State Department of Education requirements. A criminal background check is completed for all employees who work with the children, as mandated by the state.

Each site has an experienced manager who is responsible for programming, as well as communication with parents, children and staff. If you have any questions specific to your site, the manager will be happy to answer them for you. Based upon the number of children, a site may have an assistant manager, shift coordinators and aides.

Ongoing mandatory staff training provided by trainers certified through MSDE includes, but is not limited to: cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, safety, Covid-19 Safety guidelines, administering medication, regulatory guidance, age-appropriate activities, constructive discipline and child growth and development.

Special Needs

When a child who has a special need joins the program, information to assist the staff in best serving the child will be requested from the parent. Such information includes instructions for care in an emergency, special dietary needs, effective methods of interacting, etc. Introductory sessions with the child’s parent and KidSpace staff will ensure that all pertinent information is communicated.

Kidspace operates a reservation-based childcare program. While we endeavor to provide as much specialized attention for your child as possible, we are unable to provide 1:1 care or individual companions.

Please feel free to call the administrative staff at CA Headquarters to discuss any concerns you may have concerning a child who has a special need.


Guests will be admitted based on same day availability. There is an $9 guest fee for each visit to KidSpace and must be paid at the time of the visit. This fee allows the non-member to utilize KidSpace for up to two hours that day. This fee does not provide admission to the fitness club. Guest passes may not be used to pay for KidSpace admission.

Personal items of Children

Columbia Association staff are not responsible for toys, money and other personal items your child may bring to the program. Toy weapons cannot be brought to the program at any
time. iPods, handheld video games and other electronic toys cannot be brought to the program at any time. Food and drink (other than plastic bottles and sippy cups of water) are not permitted in the program. Bottles must be labeled with the child’s name and handed to the attendant when the child is signed in.


KidSpace staff receive training in the use of positive methods of discipline. Simple, understandable, realistic rules will be established with the children and reinforced. Constructive methods of discipline may include redirection, separation of the child from the situation, and praise for appropriate behavior.

In cases where a behavior problem is of a harmful nature, the parent will be informed immediatly after the behvior occurs. Parental support will be elicited in developing a plan to help the child control/eliminate the harmful behavior. In cases of harmful or aggressive behavior, a child may be suspended from the program for up to five days. Inappropriate behavior that continues despite repeated interventions by parents and staff may result in permanent removal from KidSpace programs.

The KidSpace program has a zero tolerance policy for physical aggression and/or physical contact of any type. In the event that a child engages in physical contact (rough play, horseplay,
hitting, pushing/shoving, tripping, pinching, throwing objects at another child, kicking, etc.), a progressive discipline policy will be implemented:

The first instance of such contact will require a meeting between the parents/guardians, the manager, the child and a member of the management team. This in person or virtual meeting
must be held within three days of the incident. (Failure of the parent/guardian to participate in the meeting could result in a three- to five-day suspension from the program.)

A second instance of physical contact will result in an immediate three-day suspension from the program.

A third instance will result in an immediate five-day suspension and a second meeting.

Should a fourth incident occur, the child will be suspended indefinitely until all parties (parent/guardian, child, director and member of the management team) can meet. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss next steps.

Drop off/pickup procedures

Children must be signed in and out at drop off/pickup.

  • Parents will check in at appropriate entrance to KidSpace
  • Parents/guardians will be required to present a valid CA-issued ID card or member number in order to drop off/pick up a child. If a picture is not in the computer, parents/guardians will be asked for their photograph to be taken.
  • Children who are guests of the aforementioned parents/guardians will be given an identification wristband.
  • All bottles (water or milk) need to be labelled.
  • Children will be escorted to appropriate play areas.

While we realize that it can be frustrating to be asked to return to your vehicle to retrieve identification, our primary concern is for the safety and security of the children. In the event that no ID is available, the parent/guardian will be required to have their picture on their membership before the child can participate in KidSpace.

Early pickup policy

Parents may be asked to pick up their child prior to the duration of the two hour stay due to excessive crying, sickness or unacceptable behavior. Please see discipline guidelines. Once a parent has been notified their child needs to be picked up, parent has 10 minutes to comply.

Signing your child out

When parents arrive to pick up their child at KidSpace, they must come into the program space and sign their child/children out. List all parents or guardians that will be authorized to sign out. This is for the safety of your child. Without proper authorization, children will not be released to anyone. No exceptions will be made.

Late pickup

Your child may attend KidSpace for two hours each day while you utilize the fitness facilities. Should you fail to return within the two hours, you will be assessed a late pickup fee. The charge is $5 for the first 1-5 minutes and $15 for every 15 minute increment thereafter. The late fee must be paid before the child’s next visit to KidSpace.


Childcare staff must monitor children for signs and symptoms of acute illness and notify a child’s parent or guardian upon observing signs or symptoms of acute illness. Staff must provide temporary isolation for the affected child in a suitably equipped separate area within sight and hearing of an adult. Staff may not admit a child to care or allow a child to remain in care when the child is exhibiting symptoms of acute illness.

A child may be excluded from Kidspace if:

  • The child’s illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in activities that the facility routinely offers for healthy children or mildly ill children.
  • The child is displaying any of the signs and symptoms that require an evaluation from a health care provider as indicated by the child’s age and condition. In this situation, the parent is notified of the need for immediate emergent or urgent issues.
  • The illness requires more care than Kidspace staff is able to provide without compromising the needs of the other children in the group.
  • The child exhibits an acute change in behavior. Examples may include lethargy, a lack of responsiveness, irritability, persistent crying, difficulty breathing, or a quickly spreading rash.
  • The child has a fever at or above 100.4 degrees F, taken orally, or by a temporal scan.
  • The child has diarrhea. The child will not be readmitted to Kidspace until diarrhea-free for 24 hours.
  • The child is vomiting. The child will not be readmitted to Kidspace until vomiting has ceased for 24 hours.
  • The child has impetigo/scabies. The child will not be readmitted until treatment has started, as verified by a healthcare professional.
  • The child has Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease.
  • Symptoms indicating a probable case of COVID-19.
  • Sick children and staff will be required to stay home. Sick staff will be sent home immediately and sick children are required to be picked up by a parent or emergency contact immediately.
  • Keep sick children and staff separate from well children and staff until they can be sent home.
  • Sick staff members will not return to

Should it be necessary to contact a parent regarding illness or injury, it is the parent’s responsibility to pick up the child immediately.


Staff cannot administer medication during daily drop off Kidspace. For full day programs only — Medication administered when parent provides Medication Administration Authorization Form approved medication sheets.


The program staff will call you if your child sustains a serious injury while participating in the program. Parents will be contacted for all head injuries.


If a child has allergies or sensitivities to any food or drug, the parent should discuss these with the Shift Coordinator on Duty.


Due to sanitation guidelines and company policy, the staff members at KidSpace will not provide diapering service for your infant or toddler. Should it become necessary to change a child’s diaper while in our care, one of the staff members will locate you in the facility so that you may come to the KidSpace area and take care of your child’s needs.

Shoes and footwear

Children may not participate in KidSpace in their bare feet. Children who are not crawlers or walkers may attend in socks. Children who are mobile must wear closed-toed, closed-back shoes. Sandals, flip-flops and crocs/croc imitations are not appropriate footwear for participation in KidSpace. Sneakers/running shoes/athletic shoes are the safest option for your child. These closed shoes provide support and traction and prevent outside irritants (mulch, twigs, bees) from entering your child’s shoes. Children who do not have proper footwear will not be permitted to attend KidSpace. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Swim Regulations

Pool Safety Test: KidSpace participants swim assessments will be conducted by CA Aquatics staff with assistance from the KidSpace staff. The Pool Safety Test will consist of swimming two lengths of the pool (50 yards) in a strong fashion and treading water for one minute. This test will only be administered to those who wish to use the pool without a Life Vest and believe they have the ability to complete the test. A strong fashion means no holding on to the wall or lane line, no touching the bottom, and consistently swimming in a horizontal position. Children who pass this assessment will have a note added to their account for future reference by KidSpace staff.

Wading Pool (Life Vests optional)

  • Non-swimmers who wish to stay in the wading pool are not required to wear a Life Vest, however, Life Vests will be required if they want to use the main pool.

Main Pool (must wear life vests or pass the pool safety test)

  • Non-swimmers, who wish to use the main pool, must wear a properly fitted Life Vest.
  • KidSpace children will be instructed in the proper use of the Life Vests before entering the main pool. They will be able to use the recreational swim area and will have a red wristband.
  • Swimmers who pass the Pool Safety Test will be issued a green wristband and allowed to use all parts of the pool. Wearing of a Life Vest is optional.

Inclement weather

During inclement weather, KidSpace will operate as follows:

  • If public schools are delayed two hours, KidSpace will open at the regular time.
  • If public schools are closed, KidSpace will operate in conjunction with the facility, i.e., if the facility is open, KidSpace will be open.
  • For any other closures (mechanical failures, power failures, etc) KidSpace will operate in conjunction with facility hours.
  • Please call the facility to be certain that staff are present to care for your child.