Yesterday we looked at how to afford summer camp, even on a tight budget. Still, camp is not for every family, and if you’re working during the summer you still need a place for your kids to be. Here are some other ideas…
Set up a neighborhood group ‘camp’ – while you may not be able to take the whole summer off, you might be able to snag one day a week off every other week. Maybe some other parents in your situation can as well. If you get enough families together you can create a co-op camp of sorts. For example, you have all the kids on Monday, on Tuesday your neighbor Bob gets them, and so fourth. Of course one, you’ve got to trust your neighbors and two, the plan for this camp will need to be hyper organized.
Hire a local teen – teens who need a summer babysitting gig are often less expensive than other arrangements. Although, in my opinion, you get what you pay for. Don’t go too low on sitter wages or you may end up with a shoddy sitter situation.
General day care option – beyond camps there are many day care programs around. Some may even offer sliding scale fees or scholarships. Make sure you start looking now as summer slots can go fast at the best day cares. Here’s a tip, check with your local colleges – many have day care programs that are excellent. Sometimes you have to be a student to use these services, but not always.
Get some help – from family (hello grandparents!), your friends, a SAHP you know, or so on. Be honest about what you can afford to pay for; in this case just a small stipend may suffice.
If you work at home, and the kids will also be home all summer, you may want to read managing work in a chaotic household.
What do you do with your kids in the summer? Camp, hired help, another idea?
[image via stock.xchng]