School's Out: How Working Parents Deal With Summer Downtime

Published Wednesday, July 27, 2011 2:22 PM

School's out: two simple words that elicit such joy in kids and corresponding dread in parents, especially working parents. How to fill those summer days when school's out but work continues?

Now What?

In The Cost of a Working Mom's Summer Non-Vacation, , Huffington Post blogger Stephanie Losee estimates that it costs her approximately $1,400 in babysitting and camp fees per summer week to keep her three kids, aged 2 to 12, occupied so she can work. That's a pretty hefty price tag.

Camps and babysitting may work for some families but not all can afford such arrangements. Other ideas for childcare include staggering vacations with your spouse to maximize parental (i.e. free) childcare blocs of time.  This may not cover the entire summer but can buy you a few weeks. Likewise, tap willing family members for "Camp Grandma" or trade weeks with a working sibling; kids get quality family time and the adults get needed coverage.

Or consider creating a babysitting co-op with working families in the same boat. If two or three families team together, it can be possible to reduce childcare costs by splitting them several ways or to have participating parents cover the days. Creative neighbors can also band together to create a mini-camp within a neighborhood. Read Turning a Neighborhood into a Playground to learn how two Palo Alto moms run a neighborhood camp a week at a time.

Parents can also broach flexible work schedules with their jobs. By working longer four day weeks, it's often possible to take Fridays off. Some jobs may even be open to summer sabbaticals.

Finally, we leave you with an article with ideas on summer activities to keep kids engaged and learning while on break from school. While these ideas won't help solve the summer childcare conundrum, they will help make whiling away the long days a tad easier.

How do you balance your children's summer schedules with work? Share your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook page.


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# Chynna said on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 4:50 AM

That's a sharp way of thniikng about it.

# Motivation to lose weight said on Sunday, April 08, 2012 5:23 AM

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# oem software said on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 8:57 PM

LySSgc Thank you ever so for you article post.Really thank you! Really Great.

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