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Summer vacation childcare options for WAHMs

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Kid care while you work (at home)

Don’t look now, but summer is coming. Crazy right? Before we know it, school will be out and work-at-home moms everywhere will be biting their lips trying to decide what to do about childcare for the kids in the summertime.

The good news? You have options.

Working at home has many benefits from a flexible schedule to the ease of walking only a few steps to get to work in the morning. But come summertime, that can become a huge challenge when kids are home from school. You have the same work responsibilities – but you also have children who need attention and some fun. So how do you balance it all?

OK, OK. Balance is a false goal. But planning ahead? That’s an absolute must – particularly because you and every other work-at-home mom in your area are looking for summer childcare right now.

So, what are your options for summer vacation childcare?

Mother's helper

A mother’s helper is typically a tween or early teen. Their job is to entertain and watch your children so you can work. You remain home to work.

Benefit: lower cost and you know your kids are safe

Best for: preschoolers and grade school kids

Nanny

A nanny is a caregiver who comes to your home and watches your children. You are free to come and go as needed, since the nanny is in charge.

Benefit: you can get everything done that you need to

Best for: birth through grade school

Day camp

Day camp is summer camp that children attend for the day only, returning home for dinner and sleep. Usually, you drop off and pick up.

Benefit: homesickness-free fun

Best for: grade school and middle school

Sleepaway camp

Sleepaway camp is that classic camp scene you’ve seen in movies, where parents drop kids off for a week (or more!) of fun at a camp where they will sleep.

Benefit: kids have fun and enjoy independence

Best for: older kids

Daycare

A daycare is a home or center where kids are taken care of by professionals. It may also have a preschool component to it.

Benefit: socialization for younger kids

Best for: toddlers and preschoolers

No daycare

For parents with maximum flexibility, you could do without any daycare or arrangement. Basically, the kids will be home with you and you work when you can.

Benefit: no cost and you can enjoy summer too

Best for: parents who can work around their kids (such as working at night time)

What's right for you?

So which option is perfect for you? It really depends on the hours you work, the ages of your children and how much flexibility you have. Ultimately, you need to weigh all the factors while also considering what's best for your kids.

More on working at home

Work-from-home ideas for stay-at-home moms
Working Mom 3.0: Work at home, spend less
Could you handle being a work-at-home parent?

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