In these days of two-income households, summers aren’t what they used to be. Unfortunately, instead of kicking back, sleeping in, swinging high in the backyard, and jumping on trampolines…kids do jump…but instead, it’s up early to pack their bags and get ready for some sort of continued school environment called daycare. Then for the parents, the lazy days of summer are more hectic than ever with vacation days morphing into basically the same as school days with a hefty price tag attached. Let’s say no to added stress and make the summer months affordable for mom and dad and fun for the kids with three creative ways to reduce summer childcare costs!
A penny saved is a penny earned. This also applies to dollars spent on childcare options. Talk with friends and coworkers to find available stay-at-home parents or responsible teenagers. Without paying anything, you can help each other by rotating one favor for another. For example, there may be a stay-at-home mom who is at the house all day with her kids but never gets a night out. Keeping your child can give her kids someone to play with which allows a break on that end. You can then return the favor to give this couple a night out or even a mini weekend vacation, especially if she keeps your kids all week. College students are often searching for a temporary job and would love to hang out and watch TV with your little ones in return for a small paycheck. The cost will be tremendously less than what you would pay at a daycare or other organized summer care options. Put your imagination to work with those in the same boat as you to come up with some creative ways to rotate and save!
Rely on Family
If you are fortunate enough to have family living nearby, what grandparent, aunt, uncle and more wouldn’t love some precious one-on-one time with their grandchildren, nieces, and nephews? Building memories will most likely be all the payback needed, although an offer of financial compensation often makes the heart willing and wanting to do more! Just be sure to send along lunch and some snacks so the generosity doesn’t become your helper's costly burden. This is a plan that should be a win-win for both sides which will likely create a door always open in the future.
In today’s world, many jobs include teleworking. If both mom and dad have this option it can be split down the middle to allow each to continue frequent days at the office if needed. For older kids, be sure to line up easy hunger deterrents like continuing to prepare lunch boxes as if they were headed to school. This way it’s a quick fix for you or the kids can grab it themselves when lunchtime arrives. For babies, prepare bottles, diapers, wipes, and other necessities ahead just as you would for daycare. Also, provide entertainment and things to do so they don’t burst in on your phone calls or Zoom meetings! Some employers offer daycare options at the office. If not, this might be something you could suggest to your boss. He or she may have the same struggles with the care of their own children. They may see it as a brilliant idea that could come up during your next review! Again, bringing in an older student or two at the office could offer very affordable, on-site, summer childcare while also being a huge perk for future employees! If company owners and bosses put that into their employee benefits package and pay the caregivers themselves, they could save the business some serious cash when they offer salaries and incentives.
Put these ideas into play or use them to trigger new ones in this new world of keeping fun and low costs in summer!