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.
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
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 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 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
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
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.