With over 21 million families with both mom and dad working full time gigs outside of the home, the month of May can be rather daunting to source a solid childcare plan for your kiddos for the summer. As a family of 4 boys, with one with special needs-we have had our own struggles feeling 100% comfortable having childcare for our crew. Add in some family pets such as two dogs, and you’re asking to get a work from home job, which is exactly what I did. It just becomes too expensive and too distant often dropping your kids off at summer camps, or swimming lessons, or your Aunt’s house, to the local daycare and so on. It can be fun for the children to spice up their routine, but often the parents end up going to work feeling regretful and looking for something more educational for their little ones to do during their school vacation.
Recently the Courier explored these options making a very insightful bullet list of tips and options for parents seeking some advice:
- The Summer Camp Option- These are super cool if you find one that has a specialty course that your child may be interested in. For example, they have art camps, robotics camps, and sports camps all over the country. The downfall is that they tend to be a tad pricey. If you have more than one child to enroll this can be impossible. Plan ahead, if you can swing the fees it’s a cool way for the little guys to spend their time.
- Babysitter- This can be feasible if you want someone to be in your home watching your kiddos, with little change from their normal routine. You can charge per child rates per hour, or put a salary package together for your nanny. Usually school age children don’t require a whole lot of “babysitting” so to speak. They need meals, and supervision for safety, and of course something to do all day, but there is no diaper duties or bottles to feed making the rates usually flexible. Choose carefully when having someone new watch your children, and always get background checks.
- School or Church Programs- These are great because they can often be more economical as far as weekly fees as concerned. Some of them offer day field trips and learning opportunities, and often school age children get to be with their friends which is a perk for them.
- Daycare Centers- This is often the most dreaded option of all offered. There are a few reasons why; firstly, most parents don’t care for centers because their children often end up getting sick a lot. This is mostly in part to the close quarters the little ones have to spend their time in versus an outdoor summer camp or one that is held inside a large gymnasium. They can be pricey as well for group education in this setting versus more personalized care in your home or with a nanny.
Take your time if you have a few weeks to make a final decision before committing your kiddo to a summer full of childcare that they may not thrive in. Ask them or define what their needs may be to get some sort of idea as to what environment they may thrive inside.