The typical school-age child has 10 weeks of summer vacation. That’s at least 70 full days with you or another caregiver–be it a daycare provider, camp counselor, nanny, babysitter, family, or a friend. Regardless of your family’s regular schedule, it’s likely you could use a bit of additional childcare this summer. Now is the time to think about lining up your summer childcare help, here are a few options to get you started:
Summer camp doesn’t have to mean an entire summer away from home. A week or more of ½-day soccer, gymnastics, or swim/tennis camp could be just what both you and the kids need to make it a fabulous summer. If you haven’t already registered your kids for summer camps or maybe you thought camp didn’t fit the budget this year, be sure to check out our earlier post –Tips for Choosing Summer Camps for Your Kids. We’ve included links to help find affordable mini- and day-camp options for your kids, and provided tips for choosing camps that give you the most bangs for your buck.
Regularly Scheduled Babysitters
If you don’t have your kids in a camp or daycare, you’ll definitely need a break, and so will your kids. Shake things up by hiring a regularly scheduled sitter to babysit a couple mornings every week while you run errands, hit the gym, do a bit of housework or simply relax child-free. Many parents who have an infant and older kids, find it helpful to hire a sitter to stay with the baby while he naps and they spend some quality time with the older siblings, or the flip side – they have the sitter take the big kids somewhere fun, while you get things done at home when the baby’s asleep.
How do you find these sanity-saving sitters? Reach out now to find local college or high-school students or neighborhood mother’s helpers.
- College students typically have some babysitting experience and are hungry to earn extra money. Students at nearby schools or locals who are home for summer break are especially good options. Expect to pay what you would pay a seasoned babysitter, and be sure to get a commitment well before summer break starts as their time is likely in high demand.
- High school sitters, though less experienced, are often in the eyes of your child the most fun and energetic sitters. For those who have little experience with kids, plan to have them play with your children for a short time while you’re at home, or cover for you while you make a quick run to the grocery store until you are both comfortable with you leaving them alone. Negotiate hourly rates based on experience.
- Mother’s Helpers are typically teens looking to get babysitting experience and earn a bit of money. Many start offering their help after completing a local babysitting or CPR course aimed at preparing them for potential childcare emergencies. Regardless, it’s best to leverage them as fun-loving, responsible kids to help out while you’re at home. Hourly rates are far less. Talk with the helpers or their parents to determine a rate that’s fair.
Your Go-To Source for Trusty Babysitters, Whenever the Need Strikes
- See which babysitters are recommended personally by parents in your local network (friends, parents at your child’s school, YMCA, mother’s clubs, etc.).
- Need a Monday-Wednesday afternoon sitter or someone to drop the kids off at camp? Post a job and sitters will apply if they’re interested.
- Schedule interviews online and even screen sitters beforehand by watching their video profiles!
- Did you know the site even has a feature that allows you to shop by rate? Yep, you can search for a babysitter with the best rate, one that fits your budget.
You can rest assured there’s always a fantastic sitter ready to take your kids off your hands for a bit, whether it to entertain them at home, take them on a fun field trip, or even just take over carpool duty.