Author Topic: Summer Childcare Expenses  (Read 9701 times)

Carini

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Summer Childcare Expenses
« on: April 23, 2015, 07:18:21 AM »
Wife and I are dealing with this for the first time ever.  In the past, she was running a daycare out of our home and so our kids were set for the summer.  They are 9,6, and 3.  We are scrambling to come up with a plan. With their ages, there is absolutely no option where we can take them all to the same place unless it's an individual or in-home setting.  Our parents will be able to help piece together a couple of weeks, we'll need to use our vacation time to cover a couple of weeks, but I would love to hear any other creative options people have come up with?  Would also be interested in hearing the crazy costs you all pay over the summer for your little ones.

We are also thinking of finding a responsible college student that is home for the summer to stay at our house during the day. I just have no concept what that would cost?? 

charis

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2015, 07:34:13 AM »
Have you checked your local YMCAs?  They usually run affordable weekly camps all summer from preschool and up, with before and aftercare options.  A babysitter might be less expensive with three kids, though.  Cost depends on where you live and how old/experienced the sitter is.  In my LCOL city, it would probably be 10-12/hr for an older high schooler or college kid.

Carini

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2015, 07:41:06 AM »
Have you checked your local YMCAs?  They usually run affordable weekly camps all summer from preschool and up, with before and aftercare options.  A babysitter might be less expensive with three kids, though.  Cost depends on where you live and how old/experienced the sitter is.  In my LCOL city, it would probably be 10-12/hr for an older high schooler or college kid.

I have looked into the YMCA in our area. It's pretty affordable, but unfortunately we've heard bad things about the program here from a few different parents. Just that the counselors they have running it and folks in charge are not very good with the kids.  Still going to probably look into it to form our own opinion. Might be ok to use for a week or two depending on the camp. 

Thanks!

Winter's Tale

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2015, 07:48:29 AM »
What about hiring a nanny for the summer? I worked as a nanny for a family for several summers in college.  I took the kids to the pool, museums, etc. and we had a ball. When my brother and I were younger, my parents hired nannies for the summers, too.  I have great memories of them.  My favorite was a school teacher who was looking for some extra income over the summer.

charis

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2015, 09:25:02 AM »
Have you checked your local YMCAs?  They usually run affordable weekly camps all summer from preschool and up, with before and aftercare options.  A babysitter might be less expensive with three kids, though.  Cost depends on where you live and how old/experienced the sitter is.  In my LCOL city, it would probably be 10-12/hr for an older high schooler or college kid.

I have looked into the YMCA in our area. It's pretty affordable, but unfortunately we've heard bad things about the program here from a few different parents. Just that the counselors they have running it and folks in charge are not very good with the kids.  Still going to probably look into it to form our own opinion. Might be ok to use for a week or two depending on the camp. 

Thanks!

There are a number of Y's in our area that run camps, and some are definitely better than others.  It's totally worth looking into.

ldk

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2015, 11:13:32 AM »
I second the advice to hire a college student to nanny for the summer.   I expect you would be looking at about $10/hour plus activity costs. (Trips to the movies/zoo, etc.)

swick

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2015, 11:24:54 AM »
If you have a spare bedroom in your house you could also look at getting an Aupair. Prices are reasonable and would be great cultural exposure for the kids, they might even be able to pick up a second language.

MaggieD

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2015, 11:29:25 AM »
Do you have any friends with kids in a similar predicament?  One of my coworkers, his wife, and their couple friends each took one week off to have, in their case, all 4 kids for the full work week.  Each parent's week was different, and it effectively reduced how much vacation they needed to take.

Carini

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2015, 11:34:28 AM »
Everyone is giving good suggestions for us to think about Keep em' coming please!

TrMama

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2015, 11:37:03 AM »
Is your 3 yo already in daycare? If so, just leave him/her there. Then you only have to worry about the older 2.

My kids are 6 and 8 and I'm an old hat at the summer camp game. In my area, I've found that you really get what you pay for in terms of summer camps. As such, I no longer use the cheapest ones. It's not worth it to me for my kids to be miserable.

Start a spreadsheet with each week you need care per line. In the next column assign that week to either camp, vacation week or Grandparents.

Then start researching what camps are available in your area. Churches and rec centers often offer the cheapest options. Sport-specific camps are often the most fun/useful, but are also more expensive. We use a mix of both types.

FTR my costs for 2 kids in a HCOL area are about $2500-$3000.

Carini

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2015, 11:39:00 AM »
Is your 3 yo already in daycare? If so, just leave him/her there. Then you only have to worry about the older 2.

My kids are 6 and 8 and I'm an old hat at the summer camp game. In my area, I've found that you really get what you pay for in terms of summer camps. As such, I no longer use the cheapest ones. It's not worth it to me for my kids to be miserable.

Start a spreadsheet with each week you need care per line. In the next column assign that week to either camp, vacation week or Grandparents.

Then start researching what camps are available in your area. Churches and rec centers often offer the cheapest options. Sport-specific camps are often the most fun/useful, but are also more expensive. We use a mix of both types.

FTR my costs for 2 kids in a HCOL area are about $2500-$3000.

Spreadsheet is a FANTASTIC idea. I've been starting to mess around with a calendar but I like the visual aspect of a spreadsheet a lot more. Thanks!

mm1970

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2015, 12:59:11 PM »
Wife and I are dealing with this for the first time ever.  In the past, she was running a daycare out of our home and so our kids were set for the summer.  They are 9,6, and 3.  We are scrambling to come up with a plan. With their ages, there is absolutely no option where we can take them all to the same place unless it's an individual or in-home setting.  Our parents will be able to help piece together a couple of weeks, we'll need to use our vacation time to cover a couple of weeks, but I would love to hear any other creative options people have come up with?  Would also be interested in hearing the crazy costs you all pay over the summer for your little ones.

We are also thinking of finding a responsible college student that is home for the summer to stay at our house during the day. I just have no concept what that would cost??
My boys are 9 and (almost) 3.

Generally we do summer camp for the 9 year old.  Being such different ages, they cannot be in the same place.  My daycare provider (home daycare) will take my 9 year old for a few days for half weeks, if needed, because our sons are friends.  Our summer camps have always been the full day variety - a few weeks of YMCA, some of the local university, and maybe a couple of others - but we have vacation in there too.  Another thing to mention is that our preschool was almost year round.  So when my older son was 3-5, his school was open in the summer and only closed down for 3 weeks.  During 2 of those weeks, one of the teachers did daycare at her house.

We have done babysitters, like college students, for holiday breaks.  That might be a good option for 3 kids.  Depends on costs in your area.

These days our local city after school program does a free summer drop in program at 3 schools.  In part it is for the poor kids who cannot afford summer camp, and it comes with food too.  But it's open to everyone (though spaces fill up).  Our son's friend from a different school went last year and his mom worked it at our school, so we signed him up for that.  And we are doing it this year, so we will only need summer camp for 2 weeks.  Our 3 year old is in daycare, and we only have to work around some long weekends that the provider has planned.

As far as future preschool goes, having a preschool that is open full day AND year round is a requirement for us.

mm1970

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2015, 01:00:48 PM »
Is your 3 yo already in daycare? If so, just leave him/her there. Then you only have to worry about the older 2.

My kids are 6 and 8 and I'm an old hat at the summer camp game. In my area, I've found that you really get what you pay for in terms of summer camps. As such, I no longer use the cheapest ones. It's not worth it to me for my kids to be miserable.

Start a spreadsheet with each week you need care per line. In the next column assign that week to either camp, vacation week or Grandparents.

Then start researching what camps are available in your area. Churches and rec centers often offer the cheapest options. Sport-specific camps are often the most fun/useful, but are also more expensive. We use a mix of both types.

FTR my costs for 2 kids in a HCOL area are about $2500-$3000.

Spreadsheet is a FANTASTIC idea. I've been starting to mess around with a calendar but I like the visual aspect of a spreadsheet a lot more. Thanks!
It is an awesome idea.  We did it last year and we do it for Christmas break also.  I should do that for this summer.


justajane

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2015, 01:08:58 PM »
Second the idea of a spreadsheet. It's how my next door neighbor manages the camps for her two kids.

In our area, the camps are at the following locations: the zoo, the science center, other cultural centers (history museum, theatres, etc.), community centers, the YMCA, and private schools, and the public school districts.

Check all of these to see if they offer camps. The zoo and the cultural locales tend to be the most expensive. The local community center is the cheapest, but I have to admit this makes me nervous as well, since by and large they are run by teenagers with perhaps one or two adults in charge. There's lots of swimming at our camps, and I'm not thrilled with the supervision in that case especially.

Are you close with any families with whom you could swap childcare? In other words, you could watch their kids on the weeks you take off and they could do the same?

bogart

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2015, 01:32:24 PM »
When I was a young teenager back in the dark ages (aka the 1980s), I babysat for 3 kids the oldest of whom was a bit younger than yours -- maybe 8, 5, and 3.  I did this for weeks at a time every day (during the summer) for what seemed to me at the time like "all day" (it may have been less b/c the parents may have had things set up so one left for work later and one came home earlier, but it was certainly 6 hours or so/day, maybe more).  Funnily enough I don't remember what we "did."  I mean, the kids played, and I fixed them lunch and made sure no one got seriously injured (and may have put the youngest down for naps and such).  We were at their home, which was just a "nice" suburban home in a "nice" (pleasant, large lots, low crime) neighborhood.  I was happy with what I earned, but I'm sure it was a "pittance" as compared to other alternatives or the overall budget of the household I was sitting for.

I'm not sure how much this sort of thing happens nowadays, but it is feasible (and, I think, legal).  I liked the kids I sat fine, but I certainly wasn't providing them with "quality programming" or education, I was just keeping an eye on things.  This whole setup was about a mile from my own home, and I had access to my own mom (though she was at work, she was nearby and would have helped in an instant if needed -- she never was) as well as the parents of the kids I was sitting (ditto).  I may also have had the numbers of neighbors, and, indeed, had school friends in the neighborhood where I was sitting (which was about a mile from my own, and walkable between the two).

Now a (working) mom myself but just to one kid, we have realized we get what we consider great value from local camps and we use them extensively (this in spite of the fact that my DH is RE).  Most run around $200-$300/week (though we've found as low as $90 through the town parks & rec and pay as much as $400 for one that's in a sport my DS is really interested in).  But we're fortunate to live in an area where there are lots of great options, and to be able to afford them (and of course it's much easier with just the one kid).

MayDay

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2015, 06:06:01 PM »
Around here, lcol, you are looking at 10$ an hour for a HS girl, 12 for college.  For three kids, I'd do that, and buy a poolpass or something, sign them up for free bowling, and a few other free/cheap activities like library programs and parks and rec programs.

Getting 3 kids to and fro different camps with different start and stop times sounds awful.


MrsPete

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2015, 08:25:11 PM »
Talk to the teachers at your older kids' school.  MANY teachers, especially the younger ones, look for summer work.  Or they may know high school kids who are looking for summer work; I know that I "put together" a number of friends with high school girls for summer day care. 

Given the suggestions already made, I'd lean towards a "piecemeal" summer with a couple weeks with the grandparents, some vacation time on your part, a day cam here and there ... and the YMCA for the weeks that just won't work. 

charis

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2015, 08:28:14 AM »
Around here, lcol, you are looking at 10$ an hour for a HS girl, 12 for college.  For three kids, I'd do that, and buy a poolpass or something, sign them up for free bowling, and a few other free/cheap activities like library programs and parks and rec programs.

Getting 3 kids to and fro different camps with different start and stop times sounds awful.

This is why I suggested YMCA camp.  They are divided up into different age groups but have some drop off/pick up locations and times with before and after care.  $12/hr for 8 hrs a day is almost $500/wk.

MillenialMustache

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2015, 09:52:04 AM »
Look into the local community college as well. We used to have several camps at the one I worked with, and they were somewhat educational.

catccc

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2015, 10:01:40 AM »
When I retire I might offer low cost summer care. 

DH and I are dealing with this for the first time ever, also.  He was previously at SAHD and will be working full time this summer.  Starting next week we'll have one girl in Kindergarten 5 days a week, and the other girl goes to the same school 2 days a week, but the other 2 days she'll be at a daycare.  It's going to be a big change.  Especially for me- I'm used to rolling out of bed and being in the car on my way to work 10 minutes later.  I'm going to be on morning taxi duty come Monday!

Anyway, enough about me.  I would try some other moms that your kids might know?  We tried this but struck out.

For us, Y camps were too expensive.  It was $200/wk per kid, so times 3, that would be well over the $12/hr you might pay a college student.  Plus there is a lot to be said about having someone show up at your house ready to care for your kids, instead of getting them all ready to leave the house.  I suspect it won't be easy, and we only have 2...


Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2015, 10:07:18 AM »
Even if you go the nanny route, you might still want to do an occasional camp in there for the 9 year old.  I can't imagine one nanny can simultaneously entertain a 3 and 9 year old unless the 9 year old is into independent activities like reading, video games, painting.  The 9 year old will likely want to be shuttled to friend's houses or have friends over too. 

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2015, 03:27:15 PM »
Our town's recreation center offers summer camps for school-age kids.  I pay $145/week per kid (that includes extended hours), and they get 3 field trips a week.

Otherwise, a lot of day cares will take kids in the summer that don't go there during the school year.  Some are better than others (offering field trips, more enrichment, etc).

MayDay

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2015, 06:56:38 PM »
Around here, lcol, you are looking at 10$ an hour for a HS girl, 12 for college.  For three kids, I'd do that, and buy a poolpass or something, sign them up for free bowling, and a few other free/cheap activities like library programs and parks and rec programs.

Getting 3 kids to and fro different camps with different start and stop times sounds awful.

This is why I suggested YMCA camp.  They are divided up into different age groups but have some drop off/pick up locations and times with before and after care.  $12/hr for 8 hrs a day is almost $500/wk.

Yah, but with 3 kids, you ate looking at over 500 a week in camp fees at my y, and we are very LCOL.

justajane

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2015, 07:43:43 AM »
In our LCOL area, modest camps with after and before camp care would be around $125. $150 tops. It's only the fancy pants camps that would be over $200 each.

I personally wouldn't want my three kids to be with one teenager or college student for that many hours a week. We're talking about 40+ hours! All parties would probably suffer from boredom, and I find it's when my kids are bored and relatively unsupervised that bad things like fights and accidents tend to happen. Heck, my blood pressure starts to rise at the thought of being with my three kids for that many hours by myself a week ;).

At least at a camp their are multiple teenage/college students and lots of other kids. Plus planned activities and field trips. I guess a teenager could do this with the kids, but then you've got a teenager driving three kids around.

hunniebun

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2015, 08:01:35 AM »
Planning childcare seems like it takes up half my waking hours!  My little one is in a daycare already, so she is fine. But I have been piecing together a summer calendar for the older one that includes, 5 weeks of my holiday time, 1 week with each set of Grand parents and 3 weeks of Summer Camp at the YMCA.  It's too bad that the camp gets bad reviews where you live, because it is the opposite here.  I have heard nothing but good things...so we are giving it a try.   When my youngest is in school with no care over the summer I had assumed that I would hire a nanny...but because they are different ages and genders and have such wildly different interests, I think they would both be bored with that.  But we'll cross that bridge when we get there!  Good luck!!!

sugarsnap

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2015, 08:20:38 AM »
Vacation bible schools, Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts, local junior colleges, city programs, art centers, sports leagues- these places all run camps in my area. We use the Girl Scout camps because they are inexpensive and all day, many of the others are 9-3 or some other useless hours for working parents.

crispy

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2015, 08:21:13 AM »
I just went back to work FT, and we are dealing with this for the first time.  We are fortunate that we have a short summer so we only need 8 weeks of care.  We are taking vacation for one week (unpaid for me but already planned), and DH is also taking another week off.  For the other 6 weeks, we have decided to send them to the day camp that is sponsored by their elementary school.  It will be a familiar environment for them and they will know most of the kids already. They do field trips at least two or three times a week, and it costs $160 a week for both of them. 

We have also have friends who have volunteered to take them for the day to do playdates throughout the summer which should break up the monotony a bit. 

I am not sure how this will work out since it's our first summer, but we will see how it goes.  Good luck getting everything together!

mm1970

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2015, 09:00:52 AM »
In our LCOL area, modest camps with after and before camp care would be around $125. $150 tops. It's only the fancy pants camps that would be over $200 each.

I personally wouldn't want my three kids to be with one teenager or college student for that many hours a week. We're talking about 40+ hours! All parties would probably suffer from boredom, and I find it's when my kids are bored and relatively unsupervised that bad things like fights and accidents tend to happen. Heck, my blood pressure starts to rise at the thought of being with my three kids for that many hours by myself a week ;).

At least at a camp their are multiple teenage/college students and lots of other kids. Plus planned activities and field trips. I guess a teenager could do this with the kids, but then you've got a teenager driving three kids around.
I think most of my friends who had nannies had college age nannies. So that was 40 hrs a week. No more boring than being with mom. They went to parks, the beach, museums, the library, etc.

Sibley

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2015, 11:03:50 AM »
My mom was a SAHM. There was one summer I remember where she had a neighbor's kid (Annie) during the day as well as my sister and I. We didn't do a lot of activities - there was a local park we could walk to, and sometimes we'd go to the other park that had a pool.

I suspect that the neighbor paid my mom to watch Annie. It worked out well - we had someone else to play with, were already friends, it didn't add much work for my mom. I think we only did it the one year because of the other mom's schedule. She was normally a SAHM and something was different that year.

Carini

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2015, 07:05:23 AM »
We are struggling to get this figured out. We have a high school and a college girl that are interested in watching them for a few weeks. The college girl said she would want between 12-15/hr.  I'm sure this is reasonable to watch 3 kids, but I don't think we can afford to pay someone $500 a week. Let me know rephrase that; I know we can't afford that. I'm sure our friend's daughter down the street that is in high school will do it for less, and I'd like to pay them by the week, not the hour. 

I feel like it would be pretty great to get $350 in high school to babysit for a week. Two of the kids will be playing outside or down the street the majority of the time. The almost 4 year old would take the most attention. 

Any more thoughts on what you think is reasonable to pay someone for this type of care?

Gin1984

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2015, 07:14:37 AM »
We are struggling to get this figured out. We have a high school and a college girl that are interested in watching them for a few weeks. The college girl said she would want between 12-15/hr.  I'm sure this is reasonable to watch 3 kids, but I don't think we can afford to pay someone $500 a week. Let me know rephrase that; I know we can't afford that. I'm sure our friend's daughter down the street that is in high school will do it for less, and I'd like to pay them by the week, not the hour. 

I feel like it would be pretty great to get $350 in high school to babysit for a week. Two of the kids will be playing outside or down the street the majority of the time. The almost 4 year old would take the most attention. 

Any more thoughts on what you think is reasonable to pay someone for this type of care?
I think you should pay at minumum $10/hour.  The kids outside still require care and even in high school there would have been no way I took care of three kids for less than that.  I normally was paid $15 for two kids and for at least half the kids were sleeping.  Granted, that was a HCOLA but that was over 13 years ago.  I'm sure inflation has moved things up by now.  Yes, care for your kids is expensive but don't screw someone because you want to cheap out.

justajane

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2015, 07:23:29 AM »
What about paying a SAHP to take some or all of your kids? I would do that for less than $10-15 an hr, since I am already caring for my own. You might have to split the kids up to lower the cost. Camps are cheaper for older kids.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2015, 08:30:10 AM »

I am trying to figure this out as well.

So far my two kids ages 11 and 13 will be in sleep away camp for two weeks starting after 4th of July, then back home for a long weekend and off to Florida to visit grandparent for two weeks.  This takes us to August 12th.

School doesn't start until September 9th.  This leaves 4 weeks to figure out what to do with them.  So far I am hoping I will be able to take few days before Labor day and beginning of school off and be with them.  May be their dad will be able to cover another week or at least part of the week, but right now it is impossible to predict what his schedule will be like in second half of August.

So I we have about 3 weeks un accounted for.  I can leave them home alone for some of this time, but I feel really bad leaving them by themselves for 3 weeks, 5 days, till I get home around 6pm.  Maybe I'll be able to take Fridays off, but not sure.

Anyway, the camp is costing us $2,300 (2 kids, 2 weeks each), and 2 round trip tickets to Florida are $770 (this includes $400 of "minor traveling alone" fees ($100 rip off per kid per flight, though I understand that most if this fee is their insurance cost).  My parents will probably cover a portion of the $770, but I do not count on that until they do. 


MountainFlower

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2015, 09:32:35 AM »
Vacation bible schools, Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts, local junior colleges, city programs, art centers, sports leagues- these places all run camps in my area. We use the Girl Scout camps because they are inexpensive and all day, many of the others are 9-3 or some other useless hours for working parents.

Wanted to add that for girls, you don't have to be in a girl scout troop to go to Girl Scout Camp.  They just need to be registered with the Girl Scouts in your state.  It's $15/year in Colorado.  Having said that, the camp that my daughter goes to was sold out a couple of months ago, so this might be something to do in the fall:  register with girl scouts and look at the camp offerings immediately after the holidays. 

DecD

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2015, 10:24:05 AM »
We have two kids- they'll turn 4 and 8 this summer.

The small one will be continuing in his regular daycare.

For the older one, we have set up a variety of day camps for him.  There are a LOT in our area, and they range in cost quite a bit.  He and I work together to set up a fun summer. The camps will work out to be $200-300 per week.  We could manage it for a bit less, but my goal in this particular case is not only about minimizing cost, but rather about minimizing cost while maximizing fun/learning/athletics/health/happiness.  He has a pretty fun summer set up.

mm1970

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2015, 11:36:35 AM »
So my son will be mostly in the free drop-in program run by the city.  I learned about it last year when his friend was in it.  The friend's mom worked at the program last summer and will also this summer (but probably not after this year, she just finished her RN degree).

We have a couple of weeks vacation.

Otherwise, probably 2 weeks of summer camp before school starts, then maybe a week in the middle of Cub Scout Camp, just for something different.

Around here full time care for kids would be $10-$20 an hour, depending on the # of kids.  For two, we tend to pay $12 to $15.

frugal rph

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2015, 11:51:40 AM »
I think $350 per week would be a good deal for you and a high school or college student, especially if the older ones will largely be amusing themselves.  It is really nice to have someone come to your house and not have to drop off or pick up the kids before and after work.  You should only have to do this for a few more years and then the older one can watch the 2 younger ones. 

It seems like it would be hard to share childcare with another family when you have 3 kids with a wide age range.  When I just had 1 child, that was all I did, but with 2 kids 7 years apart, I am hiring a college student to come to the house and the older one will still go to camp sometimes.  Good luck.  Balancing child care and work is 1 of the most stressful parts of parenting.  I have had to tell myself that boredom is good for kids.

Carini

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2015, 07:05:56 AM »
Still trying to figure this out. Lots of good ideas, so thanks. Stressful and expensive. Trying to figure out a good template spreadsheet to plan the weeks for 3 kids, considering they would be going different places a lot of the weeks. Any of you that mentioned spreadsheets happen to have a template you could share?

TrMama

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2015, 12:06:30 PM »
I was just updating my spreadsheet this morning. Looks like Grandma won't be able to watch them as much as we were hoping this summer, so there goes another $450 . . .

Anyway my spreadsheet is really simple. The columns look like this:

Week > Name of Camp > Cost/Kid > Total cost > Notes >

One line per week. The Total Cost column gets summed up at the bottom. Notes cells are used to remind me of the exact hours, whether there's a stat holiday that week, if we're carpooling with another family, etc.

Then I print it off and post it on the fridge so everybody knows where the little people are supposed to go each week. I also give a copy to any family caregivers so they know which week is "their" week.

Le Poisson

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Re: Summer Childcare Expenses
« Reply #39 on: May 21, 2015, 12:09:39 PM »
Its getting to be a bit late now, but the cheapest care you will get is an au pair. I've talked about our experience on here before with them. They are very cheap, but your experience will be hit & miss depending on the kid you hire.

After that, its camps and summer p[rograms - we find those run by the town to be the best care for the best money.