The school year is coming to a close across the nation – what are working parents to do for child care during the summer months? Although there may be a sense of relief that parents (and children) get a summer break from rushed mornings packing lunches and hectic evenings with choir performances, many caregivers are scrambling to find options for summer child care that maintain a sense of routine.
We know how important it is that your little and not-so-little ones have safe, dependable, fun and affordable supervision during the summer. For working parents, summer child care comes in many forms. Here are a few options:
Not everyone lives near relatives but for those who do, enlisting the help of grandparents, aunts and uncles can be a terrific option for children. The kids have an opportunity to spend time with family, and parents are afforded extra flexibility that may not come with day care or camp hours. You shouldn’t assume family means free. Discuss whether compensation is expected.
Although a full-time nanny is one of the more expensive options for childcare, search for a college student pursuing teaching or nursing who needs experience caring for children and extra cash to pay for school expenses. Students are often enthusiastic about spending long summer days with your children and will do it for less than professional services. Plus, the nanny comes to you! That means no fussing with dressing the kids and they can play in the backyard enjoying the lazy days of summer.
Have you considered yourself? Depending on your employer, flextime or telecommuting may be an option if you feel comfortable discussing it with your supervisor. Working from home two days a week would significantly lower your child care costs. Consider your children’s ages and the amount of supervision they need before deciding whether this is right for you.
Let your children explore the world at day camps or overnight camps. The fees to attend camp range from less than a hundred dollars and into the thousands so consider your budget. You can line up multiple camp sessions so kids get a taste of the outdoors, sports, music, cooking, robotics, you name it. Often times, scholarships are available for families who need extra help and discounts may apply if you register more than one child from the same family.
TaxSlayer Tip: You may qualify for the child and dependent care credit. Read more here.
Every family has different summer child care needs so take time to consider what works for yours. You could combine a few of the above options to keep from losing your mind and your kids happy at the same time. Whatever you decide, we hope you find time to take a deep breath, slow down and enjoy summer!