Creative Summer Child Care Options

So summer’s almost here and you’re not sure exactly what to do with your children. Many parents simply throw their hands up at the thought of having to coordinate a summer full of care yet again.

To help you sift through some of the more creative (and often better) options, here are some ideas that are available in most cities: 

  • Summer School.  Many schools offer a summer program that includes educational, fun-filled activities to keep students engaged, having fun, and academically-stimulated while you’re away earning the dough. Check with the communications office of your local school district to inquire about any programs in the district.
  • Summer Day Camps/Recreational Programs.  Summer day camps and recreational programs vary in the type, length, and frequency. Whether it’s a Cooking Camp, Nature Explorations Camp, or Mad Scientist Camp, kids usually experience hands-on fun and learning. And don’t forget your local YMCA or Community Center–they typically offer fun, affordable programs to keep your camper well-inspired.  To find a listing of summer camps in your area, go to your favorite search engine and type in “summer camps” along with the name of your city/area.

  • Local Stay-at-Home Mom.  Is there someone you know and trust who’s a stay-at-home Mom who may be interested in earning extra money for the summer? Think about neighbors and friends who might enjoy an opportunity like this one and afford you the peace of mind of knowing your child is safe and happy.
  • In Home Childcare (e.g., licensed in-home childcare).  Many in-home childcare providers have numerous vacancies during the summer due to families taking children on vacation, school teacher Moms being home for the summer, etc.) Enrollment for these providers can typically drop more than half! Call your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there are any caregivers listed. Many churches may also be able to put you in contact with an in-home childcare provider.

  • Hire a Summer Nanny.  Caregivers are often looking for summer work while off from college, teachers off for the summer, or other seasonal reasons. Take advantage of the large pool of summer job seekers to help keep your kids active, engaged, and cared for. Find caregivers seeking summer work by running a search and setting your search criteria for those who have selected “Summer” availability.

Whatever option(s) you pursue, remember to lock in your plans EARLY. Everyone is feeling the same burn, so options can start to become unavailable super fast.

Hiring a Summer Nanny

Don’t look…summer is almost here AGAIN!

If you’re looking into hiring a summer nanny, read on for things to consider during your search.  Make sure you discuss any applicable items with your prospective nannies during the interview process.

Summer Travel?  Will you be traveling and would you need the nanny to accompany you?  If so, confirm their availability to travel.  If not, confirm that they can accomodate a schedule that has breaks.  Also determine how/whether you will compensate them during your absense.

Driving?  Will the nanny need to transport the child(ren) to activities, camps, playdates, etc?

Flexible Schedule?  How flexible does the nanny need to be…will your scheduling needs vary?

Summer Only?  Are you looking for someone ONLY for the summer, or is there the potential to keep them on longer term if things go well?  If so, be sure to pursue people who will be available longer term.

Swimming?  Do they need to be able to swim?

Academics?  Do you want the summer nanny to include any tutoring or academics for your child(ren) during the summer to keep their skills sharp.

Once you’ve selected your new summer nanny, be sure to perform the proper screening steps recommended for a successful hire.  We recommend you perform these steps on anyone you plan to hire to work in your home.

Are there other critical areas you ask about when looking for a summer nanny? Comment and let us know!