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.