Need summer child care? Start looking now
Are you ready for the summer child care schedule? When thinking about summer child care for your school-age children, it can be a bit stressful and costly. Many parents greet this time of the year with excitement and a bit of anxiety. There tends to be a lot of juggling to create a reliable summer child care plan. Finding the right summer options will require some intentional planning and focused time. Also, you may be trying to find fun and engaging activities for your older children so they are not on electronic devices including watching TV, YouTube videos or gaming every day all summer.
The key is to start looking early so you can identify good options for your children. Some camps fill up months before the summer break. When this happens, you may be able to sign up on a waitlist. It is important to do some research to find out:
- The timeframes that camps are offered (half-day, all day; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. or 9 a.m. - noon)
- Camp categories such as academic, athletic, adventure, arts, religious, special needs
- Recommended ages of campers
- Pick up and drop off options
When selecting a summer activity or camp, it is important to consider your child’s interests, abilities, maturity level, personality and special needs, just to name a few. In addition, parents must consider their personal finances, family vacations or travel plans, as well as their own readiness to send their child to summer camp. Some parents are nervous about sending their child to camp, especially all-day or overnight camps. It is wise to ask the camp directors a lot of questions to help you make a good decision. For example, what is the staff-to-camper ratio? What are the activities or skills being developed? Are there any discounts or special rates? Can you tour the facility in advance? Also, ask other parents for camp recommendations. At the end of the day only you, the parent, can determine if a summer camp option may be a good fit for your child.
Yes, it is true that children and parents need a break over the summer, but the child care responsibilities do not cease over the summer. In many cases the efforts increase. If you are like me, you want to balance the summer with fun activities and down time. You want to create fond memories for your child to remember for years to come while also giving them time to rest from being in school all year. You can do both with some early planning. Make sure to visit our Work-Life website to see the 2023 Summer Camps Directory. There are a lot of helpful websites to assist you in identifying possible camps including the Work-Life working parents website and Lexington Summer Camps website.
Local and regional summer camp opportunities are posted regularly on the Working Parents Teams and private Facebook groups. Learn how to join these groups here.