It’s that time of year again…
If you have school aged children that are still not quite old enough to not need childcare this summer, you may be wondering how you will fit it into your budget. Don’t worry! There are many ways you can make childcare for your older children work while they are out of school for the summer and still keep it within your price range.
How to Afford Summer Childcare
Hire a teacher. Since school is out, many teachers are looking for summer work and are willing to do so at an affordable cost. They may offer classes on hobbies or sports so it may not even feel like an extension on school for your child. Check around before school gets out so you can make arrangements before spots fill up.
Remember to keep records so you can deduct child care costs over the summer from your taxes for the year. Of course, you won’t see the deduction immediately, but it will help you come April.
Look into parks and Rec day camp options. Many local Parks and Recs offer weekly affordable summer day camps. These are often on a sliding scale and run throughout the whole summer. The YMCA also offers summer camp options that are similar to what the Parks and Rec offers in many communities.
Ask a friend. You never know if they would be open to it, especially if you are willing to pay them something. You will probably pay less than at a center with a family member or friend.
Look into childcare assistance programs. There are programs that are private and federally funded that offer parents a chance to continue working during the summer and have their children in state approved facilities for a sliding scale cost. You can usually make a modest income and still qualify for the help as the threshold is set higher than other financially based help programs.
Hire a college student nanny. College students are often looking to find steady summer work and many of them get into nannying during the summer. Make sure you do a background check on these eager students, and ask about their experience, but generally speaking, they charge lower rates than a typical nanny would sent by an agency.
Look into churches and private schools. Many of these places offer scholarships for childcare during the summer in their programs. Since these are non-profit, they often open their facilities for a summer program to offset costs during the school year.
Look into private home daycares. They are often cheaper than a center and must be licensed in the same way as centers in order to legally be allowed to run. One bonus to them, besides cost, is the children have a better ration of adults in family day care settings.
Ask if you can work more flexible hours. Your employer may be willing to allow you to work the same amount of hours at a different time in order to accommodate childcare. If you and your spouse, partner or even a friend can both make your hours opposite from each other, you can work out childcare that fits both of your schedules.