Summer as we all know, is rapidly approaching. This means VACATION, no car pool, no packing lunches, easier mornings!! During this three month “break,” life is supposed to be easier and slower. But, is it? Your mind may be focused on your vacation to Florida or a camping trip in Oregon, but have you figured out what you are doing for the other 2 months of the summer?
There are many options to consider when it comes to summer care for your children. Summer camp, sports camp, acting camp, sleep away camp. Have a nanny come in. Staying home by themselves is also a scary option. Switching days of the week staying at friends houses.
You and your children have so many choices on how they will spend their summer. Of course most teen kids are going to want to stay at home all day by themselves. The prospect of sleeping in and playing video games all day, eating what ever they want. Yes that does sound amazing right? Not Right! It is terrifying!
It’s Time To Make A Plan!
The only way to go into this 3 month time frame is, to go in with a plan. I would recommend to get the calendar out and sit down with your child. Pull out the camp catalog for your neighborhood and see what interest them or the activities they want to do. Write them down! Have a daily plan of how they will spend each day. If you have more than one child, I suggest doing this separately. This gives each child the opportunity to decided on their own how they want to spend their summer. It also helps create a sense of independence for each child.
Now that you have made camp plans, do you notice that most summer camps are not all day camps. Even the ones that say “All Day Camp” they start at 9:00 and end at 4:00. What will the kiddos do before and after camp? How do they get to and from each day? Another situation is, the cost of summer camps can add up. If you have more than one child, you can spend up to $600-$1000 a week.
What To Do With The Gap Hours?
What are Gap Hours you ask? Gap Hours are the times the kids are not in school or camp, and you are still at work! We all know that childcare is a little pricey, but we want to give our children everything we can to make them happy. Also we want to keep them busy so they do not get into trouble.
So, where do you go from here? You have a few options to think about. Of course, my number one recommendation is finding a nanny. To have someone who you trust, who cares for your kids, and provides a safe environment. This is a lot less stress than having your kids home alone for hours at a time. A nanny is able to fill in all those gap hours when you don’t have them in camps or play dates. During the school year for after school care.
I am finding that more families are interested in having a nanny, but the cost of a full time nanny can add up. Most nannies are able to care for up to 3 children, depending obviously on their experience. If your kids are just wanting to hang for the summer with their friends, I recommend looking into a nanny share. This can bring the cost for each child down by breaking up the total cost of care between the families. This not only gives the children the opportunity to stay at home for the summer, it also opens up the types of activities and destinations they do on any given day. This type of summer care is also great for families who have two children, with one child who is still too young to go to day care or summer camp.
Here’s An Idea!
An other option to fill in time is, invite the grandparents to stay with you for a week at a time. It’s always nice to give your children the opportunity to spend time with family. How about an older cousin?
Also you can schedule with a few of the neighborhood friends, play dates. One day a week mom or dad can take a day off from each family and care for all the kids on their designated day.
It’s time to get creative with your child’s summer. One thing we do not want, is let them get bored! Lets keep those kids busy!