8 Convenient & Cheap Childcare Options on School Holidays

Today it is common to find many households where both partners are working, creating a childcare crisis for working moms when the schools break. Working moms find it easy when their school-going children are in school, and it becomes a challenge when the school breaks for holidays such on summer or winter.

As such working moms need an extra care arrangement for this period. Below are some of the convenient and cheap options you can consider for your kid’s care during school holidays.

Convenient & Cheap Childcare Options during School Holidays

Convenient & Cheap Childcare Options during School holidays

1. Enroll for Daycare Holidays Programs

One of the places you can take your older child when they close for school are daycares. Only some daycares close during school holidays. Most daycare will continue to run even when the schools breaks on holidays. As such they are an option you can consider during summer or other holidays.

While some daycares may restrict the age they are willing to look after, some daycares run summer programs for older kids. If you have a toddler in daycare, ask if they have summer or holidays programs where you can enroll your older child into.

It is a very convenient option for you especially because of it is accessible, and cheaper for older school going kids than smaller kids hence more affordable.

Note that unless the daycare is close to your home or your office, the option can be highly inconvenient because of the drop-off and pick-up time and preparation hustle involved.

2. Family and Friends can offer Cheap Holiday Childcare

Your family and close friends count as your strongest support system. In addition to being supportive of your career and personal dreams, family and friends come in handy by offering to take care of your kids while you work.

Most working moms are lucky to have family and friends living close and available to offer help when required. They are one of the best convenient and cheap alternatives for childcare that you have for whenever the schools are not running. Between your family and your friends, you will find someone.

Some of the benefits of having your kids under your family or friends during school breaks include;

  • Low/No cost– Your family and friends will rarely charge you for looking after the kids.
  • Convenience– Childcare from family during the holidays is convenient because they are easily accessible to you.
  • Availability– Family and friends are also readily available for holiday childcare. It is a major advantage because other options may delay.

However your baby will lack variety in the childcare especially development opportunities especially because your family and friends are not trained as child care givers .Therefore they may lack the skills and resources to interact and offer age-appropriate engagement and activities.

Read: How to Ask Family and Friends for Help in Baby-Sitting

3. Holiday Nanny/Babysitter

If you do not have the privilege of family or friends offering help, an option you should consider is hiring a babysitter for this period. Holiday nannies or babysitters are available as a temporary option for childcare during school holidays.

You can find one locally and also through an agency, where sitters post a job and the agency will book someone for them. Temporary holiday nannies/baby sitters are most suited for school holidays because of;

  • Convenience– You plan you time accordingly since they come to your house. You do not need to drop them anywhere
  • Availability– It is easy to get one. In addition to experienced baby sitters there are other babysitters such as neighbors or college kids who become available when schools close
  • Temporary– The arrangement serves you well since you only need them during school holidays.
  • Cost– Temporarily hiring nannies and babysitters during holiday is cheaper and inexpensive. Also, sitter-sharing with other moms can bring the cost down significantly.

However consider that it might take time to get one, so prepare ahead of time. Also create a better charging system because charging per hour can cumulatively bring the cost up.

Read: Where to find a Babysitter or Nanny in Last Minute

Convenient & Cheap Childcare Options during School holidays

4. Holiday Day Camps

Day camps are a very popular option for childcare during school breaks. There are several school break camps programs that run from around the time that kids break for school holidays. They are all good alternatives for childcare during school breaks or holidays.

School Day Camps are offered by the schools when the normal program breaks for holidays. Often school programs that offer after-school programs also tend to have day camps during the holidays. They are very good places to take your child when they close for summer or other holidays.

Private Camps are run by private organizations or individuals . Most private camps are run by YMCA, kid gyms, sports complexes, museums, churches, community, etc. They offer personalized and themed day camps such as theatre camps, arts camps, gymnastics camps, zoo, soccer, ski camp, etc.

The good thing about these day camps that makes them a good child care option during school holidays breaks is that

  • They are activity packed hence highly recommended for your child’s development.
  • They offer a place for and age-appropriate activities for your school-going kids.
  • They are good for learning certain skills such as music, swimming, martial arts, etc.
  • They are cheap and affordable- The camps run by the school district or YMCA are particularly cheaper and affordable than other childcare options. However some private camps may be too costly for some working moms.

The childcare offered by day-camps also have limited coverage since they do not run for the whole day/week. It, therefore, means you still need to find alternative care for some hours/days of the week. You are also limited and may not find a camp for your younger kids.

Convenient & Cheap Childcare Options during School holidays

5. Drop-in Childcare Services

If you cannot get help to your house, maybe you can get to the help. Around the school holiday breaks, some people offer drop-in services for school-going kids. As it is an option that you can consider for your school going kids.

It is typical home-based care when you drop in your kid in the morning and pick them up in the evening. The caregiver may have several kids under her care. The benefits are;

  • The program is affordable because there are several kids under the care, you are able to costs share. The arrangement is similar to nanny sharing, only for older kids.
  • It is easy to access and find drop-in child care services during the school holiday. There is no booking needed so you can find one urgently, which is a huge benefit of using these services compared to a daycare.

To ensure this arrangement is convenient for you, find one that is close to your home or your office because of the drop offs and pick ups.

Read: Choosing between Daycare or Nanny for Toddlers

Convenient & Cheap Childcare Options during School holidays

6. Childcare Help from Mom-Friends

Your group of mom friends can organize a temporary care situation during the holiday. You may have one mom care for the all kids in the group for maybe a day or two.

Another mom can take over from the other the next day and so forth until the school break or holiday is over. All you need is for each working mom to have her designated care days when she can take work off days.

The advantages of this arrangement is that

  • You get childcare during school holidays at no cost. There is no payment whatsoever as you will all equally take responsibility for looking after the kids.
  • It is convenient because you and your mom friends live in the same area. Also having the same interest improves the quality of care the kids will receive.
  • Moms friends offer socialized childcare services. It is a chance for the kids to meet and play with other kids. This is good for their social skills which most working parents agree is beneficial to the kids.
  • It supports development. The kid benefits from being in a different environment. They also get to play with different types of toys and engage with different activities at each house.

On the other hand it can be inconvenient because of the hustle to drop off and pick up the kids from the different houses of your mom’s friends.

Read: How to Make and Keep Mom Friends

7. Your Spouse/ Partner

If you have a partner, you and your husband can take turns in taking off work days that alternate with yours. Therefore it will be either you or your husband at home with the kids. It is a great convenient option and will save you a ton of child cares costs that you may have used during the holiday period.

8. Switch to Work from Home

Alternatively, you can consider asking your employer to let you temporarily work remotely from home during the holiday or the school breaks. The option will allow you to stay home and keep an eye on your kids as you work.

Working from home while still taking care of your kids will be demanding and super hard but it is entirely doable. Depending on the kind of work that do you do, you could do it in the off-hours. If you can flex your work hours, do as many hours as you can after bedtime and during naptime all the days of the school breaks/holiday and weekends.

Read: Working from Home with a Baby

How to Choose Childcare during School Holidays

While looking for a childcare option for your kids during the school holidays you need to consider several factors.

  • Go for an option you will be able to afford- Mom friends, district camp, family and friends fall into this category. Private camps and babysitter costs are on the higher end of cost.
  • Consider your convenience- You need an option that is less demanding on you in terms of time and energy. Nannies, baby sitters and daycares within your location are good for this reason. If you can, avoid options where you have a long commute dropping off or picking up your child. Camps, daycares, and drop-in services will require drops off and pickups, preparation which are time-consuming and draining.
  • Favour options that offer variety of activities. Growth and development is still key even when kid breaks for holidays. Holiday camps and daycares are good for keeping your child simulated during the school holidays.
  • Be on the look out for the quality of care. The kids will get more attention when there are fewer kids under care such as under a babysitter, friends/family, and mom friends sharing.

Read: How to Find the Right Childcare Option

Most of the above programs and their availability will vary a lot from one location to another. Where you live is therefore a major factor in the type of care mentioned above that you will have access to. For instance break camps are location-specific and your area may or may not have one.

Also, you may not find a fit-all care option for the entire holiday. As such you may need to patch things up. It means using several care options when they are most convenient for you. You may find yourself for instance using a camp and a babysitter at the same time.

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