I know for many of you it seems so strange to start talking about summer when we are barely through the holidays and into 2017, but with some summer camps already opening their camp registration, it pays to start planning now. For many families summer brings about a change in your child care needs.
If you decide you need a summer camp for your children, whether it is just a week or two to fill in some gaps or the camps for the entire summer, now is the time to start looking at what options are available for your children. Here is a month by month breakdown of how to plan for your summer :
January: While some camps open registration extra early in December & January, that is not the norm. In January you should be starting to think about what your summer needs will be and doing some general planning. Make some time to sit down as a family and talk about:
- What days/hours do I need care during the summer?
- Will we be taking any vacations? For how long?
- Do I want my children at home doing activities, playing with friends?
- Do I want them to be in a camp setting with a variety of planned activities?
- What is our budget for child care over the summer?
February: Several camps open registration February 1st, so February is a great time to start narrowing your camp choices down and really looking at what might interest your kids. Attending a summer camp fair is a great way to see what your child may be interested in and meet the camp's director and staff and find out more about their programs.
Do you want a variety of camps and activities or just have your child attend one location all summer?
What types of camps are your children interested in? Dance, STEM, Horses, Art, Music: the options are limitless these days.
If you have multiple children that need camps, do they need to go to the same camp or are you OK with having them in different ones? When my kids were younger it worked great to have them at the same place, and certainly made my life easier! Now that they are older, their interests are different and they want to do different things.
March: Many families see the end of Spring Break as their signal to register for camps, so camps see a higher volume of families signing up during March. Camps can be expensive ($150-$300 per week), so make sure you have thought through your budget and have planned accordingly. Most camps require you to pay the entire fee upfront when you register.
April & May: If you haven't registered your children for a camp yet, don't panic! There will still be openings in many programs, but make sure to register as soon as you can to ensure you get the program and weeks you want. If you will be needing a summer nanny, it is a good idea to start your search in mid-April so you have enough time to do all of the interviews and reference checks.
Whether you need full-time summer camp, part-time camp, a full-time summer nanny, or anything in between, now is the time to start making those decisions. Let us know if you have any questions or need help with your search!