Summer Break Options For Childcare

With summer just around the corner, many working parents of young school-age children are wondering what their child care options will be once school gets out. If you are one of these parents, the following are a few options to consider.

Option #1: Hire a nanny

This option isn't just for the rich and famous. If you live near a college campus you may have access to students looking for summer employment. Some may even be studying child development or be in an education major, giving you top knowledge at a fraction of the cost of a full time professional nanny. This option is best if your child is involved in many summer activities, such as swimming lessons, that will require daytime shuttling around. It is more expensive than some other daycare options, though.

Option #2: Join a co-op

A babysitting co-op consists of several member families that exchange childcare services. This option works best if you only work part-time. This way you can have someone watch your children on the days you work, and then you can watch their children on your day off. This option is great if you don't have the funds to pay for childcare, but you will be sharing your days off with another family's children.

Option #3: Look into day camp opportunities

There is a day camp for just about every interest and skill, so this can be a fun and educational way for your child to spend their summer days. Opt for camps that offer extended hours so they will align with when you get off of work, otherwise you will still need daycare in the afternoons. This option is probably the most expensive choice unless your community has a lot of competitively priced offerings.

Option #4: Use traditional childcare services

Don't overlook daycare centers just because your child is now in school. There are plenty of daycare centers that take older children; in fact, many centers up their age requirements in summer to make way for kids on summer break from school. If you aren't sure where to start, begin by calling the daycare center you used before your child began school. They may be able to refer you to a center if they don't take older children. A daycare center provides a lower cost alternative to camps or nannies, and it also has the peace of mind of knowing that your child is in a safe environment.