What's Your Summer Childcare Plan?
Is there a Plan B? Do you need a Plan C?
Not long after the holiday decorations are put away and organized, moms set out to coordinate summer for their children. There are various approaches and expected outcomes. Part fun, part learning, part childcare—different families have different needs. So in 2021 as we turn the calendar to planning, how do we organize for a summer with so many unknowns?
Camps: Day camps, park and rec camps, sports camps and overnight camps are a foundation of many summer schedules. How do you learn about the offerings? This year most camp fairs aren’t happening or have gone virtual making the work to find options solely on you. Based on your county’s virus numbers, the normal offering of camps may not available in your area or the enrollment numbers might be greatly reduced. What if you can’t enroll? Check out this link to the American Camp Association who is working to provide up to the minute communication for families about camps.
Family: If you are lucky to have family near, enlisting them as part of your care plan is a solid choice. Complicating this summer’s plans may be the safety of older family members such as grandparents who in the past may have pitched in with care days or played chauffeur. Depending on your social distancing plans, grandparents may not be an option.
Work Flex: Most employers have been open to some shifting work schedules to help parents cover the childcare gap. The distance learning school schedule, accounting for a large part of the day, made this doable. Summer, without a schedule, could wreak havoc on your schedule.
Even if this is an option you can make work, do you want to? Don’t you want to enjoy some of the summer with your family, not just temporarily until you resume your awaiting Zoom call schedule?
Combining family and work flex is creative. Mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, auntie and cousin— each shifting a work schedule on alternating days of the week— can help cover childcare. Perhaps each reduces their work week to 4 days during the summer and gets one day a week alone time with the children. If possible, this has benefits for all!
Community: A high school neighbor is an ever-popular option, but it does mean you’ll have a teenager in your home all day. If you are working from home this summer, the skill set of a teenage babysitter will be right under your nose and might not check all of the boxes on your expectation list. Maybe not all bad as the energy will abound, but it might require a bit more oversight than you planned. And then there of course is the concern of a younger driver if taxi duty is on your list. (More on how to manage younger sitters in a future blog!)
Finally, a professionally trained summer nanny can help all of the puzzle pieces fit together. The benefits of having the children engaged, educated, entertained and outdoors are many. If safety is a concern, having just one additional person added to your family network provides the least amount of risk of exposure. If your children have engaged in a pod with neighbors or classmates during the school year, a summer nanny is the right way to extend that network into a backyard summer camp experience and share the costs.
Working with your nanny or nanny agency before the summer begins to map out the children’s summer gives the planner a sense of accomplishment in knowing things are covered, professionally. Likewise, an agency partner will bring the procrastinator peace of mind since their depth of candidates, ability to fill in, or react to a fluid summer schedule will save the day.
College Nannies + Sitters has been helping families by providing amazing summer nannies and sitters for nearly 20 years. This year, more than ever, a re-imagined summer is possible with help from College Nannies.