Working moms can find affordable, full-time summer childcare. With these tips in mind, you will know exactly where to search and what to look for.
Many working moms are in search of summer childcare that are offered during the full work day and don’t require half of their weekly take home pay. With a little research and an open mind, you can find a summer camp open longer than 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. with a price tag less than $250/week.
In my area, daycare centers are the most expensive, followed by the YMCA, and Parks & Recreation camps are the least expensive option. I’ve had great success with summer camps offered through my city’s Parks & Recreation department.
Avoid Expensive Themes
I think themed camps, in general, are “overpriced” like wedding-themed items can be. Themed camps such as sports, nature, and animals tend to be more expensive than a general activities camp. Consider whether your child truly has an interest in the camp’s. If not, you are simply in need of childcare.
Sports camps can be expensive because of the cost to compensate the professionals involved and the cost of sports equipment. I have avoided “camps” because they are typically not offered full day and tend to be more expensive than other forms of summer care.
If your child is really interested in sports or is in need of some skills practice, a better alternative may be sports clinics (which usually last anywhere from a couple of hours to a half day) and participating in sandlot sports programs.
Choose an Organization Wisely
Consider camps or summer childcare that are provided through your local City/Parks & Recreation department, daycare centers, churches, or the YMCA. The prices are likely to vary widely.
It’s tempting to over-schedule and overspend on camps because you are trying to get as much summer enrichment in as possible. For most elementary aged to tween kids, a summer daycare program can be sufficient.
Consider your child’s personality and interests. Based on personality, your child may enjoy attending the same camp or child care program all summer. If sports are truly an interest, you may consider some of the suggestions I made regarding sports camps.
Early registration is usually the least expensive option. On-time registration is regular price. You guessed it…late registration will typically incur a late fee. Although, some programs offer a rolling registration throughout the summer.
If If your child has attended a before-school or after-school program during the school year, you will likely be able to save money on deposits and registration fees, as well as your child’s adjustment period.
Be Open to The Location
Do you have the choice between a city vs. county, where you live vs. where you work, or even a neighboring locality? Your school year child care center may offer care for summer. If your child says they don’t want to attend, you may need to dig into why they are unhappy with the center. (Wondering what you need to know about childcare?)
General camps cover many themes, take the children to many different activities such as skating, bowling, movie theaters, and swimming. While at the center the children can participate in crafts, sports, outside play at the park, socializing, and video games.
Saving on summer childcare is easy when you are aware of themes, wisely choose an organization, monitor registration dates, and are open to the location.