Parents Night Out
We are not currently holding Parents Night Out events at the CAC. Our space has changed and we need a new venue and people who are able to coordinate the program in order to host PNOs. If interested, please contact the CAC at 423-531-6961 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents' Night Out (PNO) at the CAC
This program's goal is to provide a fun and safe environment for kids with autism and their siblings AND a provide chance for parents to have some respite with their minds at ease.
We tend to host PNOs about once a month or every other month. They usually run from 5 to 9pm on a Friday evening at the CAC. But, sometimes they occur on other days or evenings at other locations depending on what opportunities and partnerships come available.
PNO dates are announced in the CAC newsletter and CAC Facebook Group. The announcements include a link to the online registration form. You can sign up for the newsletter on our homepage of this website.
Parents Night Out events are typically organized by a Childcare Coordinator who works with several childcare volunteers. Many of these volunteers are students from UTC with majors in psychology, childhood development, education, or social work who are seeking practicum hours. These volunteers go through a background check and must attend or view an autism training seminar that teaches principles and strategies regarding working with kids with autism. The volunteers then receive supervision and training during the PNOs. Interested in being a childcare volunteer? See box at the bottom of this page.
We strive to maintain a 3:1 student-to-staff ratio. The ratio is sometimes modified to a 2:1 ratio, depending on the number of kids signed up who have special needs. The number of slots available for PNOs will vary depending on number of staff available and the ratio of kids with special needs vs typical developing siblings who have signed up.
In the past PNOs have typically been $5 per child. Cost may increase if the PNO is held at a different venue with different costs.
How to Become a Childcare Volunteer:
Interested in volunteering in some of our programs or events? We’d love your support. It is very easy to become a volunteer. Follow these steps:
Step 1 – Register…. complete this online form to be added to our volunteer list. Once we receive your application, the Childcare Coordinator will contact you and discuss upcoming dates and your availability.
Step 2 – Background check…. if you are available for upcoming dates, we will get a little information from you and run a background check.
Step 3 – View or Attend A Training on Autism…. you will receive an invitation to attend one of our volunteer training sessions. If a live training session is not scheduled in the near future, you will be sent a link to a 15 minute online video training session. The expert presenters are Alyce Benson, LCSW and Meghan Lindsay, BCBA. This required training will help your volunteering experience be a positive one and the most productive for all participants.
Step 4 – Begin Volunteering…. the Childcare coordinator will schedule you for the events. We are also happy to sign off on school-required paperwork to confirm your volunteer hours. In cases where volunteers assist at more than 3 events, and demonstrate exemplary skills, there is a potential for the childcare coordinator to write letters of recommendation regarding your performance and experience providing childcare for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Link to the video seminar "Childcare Training for Kids with Autism"