Headed Back to Work? The Cost of Summertime Childcare
The initial coronavirus outbreak triggered an onslaught of remote workers. Now, many are cautiously returning to in-person work — with adjustments, of course, as 81 percent of businesses are altering safety requirements.1 With a combination of remote work and business closings, America encountered a natural pause on childcare programs.
If your job is reopening for on-site work and you’re in need of childcare, these are the costs you might be facing this summer.
Summertime Childcare Options
Childcare is a pretty general term during the summer. It can look like a lot of different things, including, but not limited to:
Babysitters or Nannies
Many working families opt to hire a dependable babysitter or nanny during the summer. This can be a great option, as it allows your child to benefit from one-on-one attention with an individual they’ll grow to trust overtime. If you choose to hire a babysitter, utilizing an interview process is a great idea.
Day Summer Camps
Organizations all over advertise summer camps for children. These typically span over an average workday, offering a limited hands-off approach to parents as their child socializes and partakes in fun activities during the day. There’s a wide array of day camps to choose from, differing in length, age demographics and programs.
Overnight Summer Camps
Overnight camps are much more hands-off than day camps and typically suited to older children. If you’re considering enrolling your child in an overnight camp, make sure that you make the decision alongside your child. For many, it’s their first time being away from home for an extended period of time. Just like day camps, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to overnight camps.
Many daycare centers offer summer programs. If your child currently attends daycare, investigate whether the same program offers a summer session. Keeping them in the same program increases comfortability and lessens stress for you.
For parents in search of summertime childcare, there’s no shortage of options. However, there’s one fact that can’t be avoided across the board: it’s going to cost money. On average, families in the United States allocate 20 percent of their summer income towards summer childcare programs.2
Naturally, certain options are more expensive than others; overnight camps, as expected, tend to be some of the most expensive programs. Private daycares are similarly expensive. During a time of tumultuous finances for many families, cutting out a huge portion of your paycheck to give your child the care they need can be detrimental.
Ways to Reduce Costs
If you’re still in need of summer childcare but put off by the price tag, these three tips will help lessen the high costs associated with childcare.
Tip #1: Use Day Camps
The price of full-time private daycare adds up. Many nonprofit organizations or church groups offer day camps for children at cheap prices. Overall, day camps tend to be much less expensive than other options, provide a fun experience for your children and take the same stress off your hands.
Tip #2: Work With Other Families
Turn to a community of other parents; a lot of working parents are probably facing the same struggles as you. Consider organizing a camp-like program on a rotating schedule, where you can swap days for childcare. You could also split babysitter costs with another family close to yours.
Tip #3: Hire a Babysitter
Many college students home for the summer are in need of work. Their rates are typically lower than more professional “nannies,” although that by no means signifies inferior care. Look for someone who’s CPR certified and experienced with children; great options include students studying education or nursing.
Childcare costs are notoriously high, but they don’t always have to be. Take the time to explore all the options available to you, and make an informed decision. If you put the effort in, you’ll be able to find a childcare program that will not only alleviate the pressure on you as your return to work, but foster fun summer memories for your child.
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