What Do You Do with School Age Kids in the Summer for Those Who Work?

Updated on June 27, 2011
B.D. asks from Houston, TX
19 answers

Hello everyone, I am currently a teacher with 3 children and am considering taking a position at my former company back in the business world. Obviously being a teacher I've not had to worry about summer childcare. What do you do with your kids during the summer (i.e. the YMCA) that watches school-age children on a daily basis? If I accept the position, my two youngest can still go to their Montessori school in the summer, but my 10 year old would need care at some point this summer. Then next summer two would need non-Montessori care.

This is really one of those things that I need to consider before making that change.


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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for the suggestions. Currently my two youngest go to Montessori and before that went to Primrose and neither offer summer programs for school age kids. I have checked into the YMCA and yikes, it's expensive. However, there are a few other places that I've seen, so I will check with them and hope that they are less expensive. I guess it's just something that you have to save up for during the school year so that it doesn't hit your paycheck so hard in the summer.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Two of my grandchildren (almost 10 and 13) have gone to the Boy's & Girl's Club for several summers. They have lots of activities to keep them occupied, and 10 is a great age to go there. It's very reasonably priced (or they wouldn't have gone) and the club accepts children once they've completed kindergarten.

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answers from Houston on

This year my son was in the extended day program at the school. They also had a summer program. During the summer it's more like camp where they go on field trips, have lots of fun activities etc. He's having a great time. Previous years we had him enrolled in daycare and just about every daycare has a "camp" type summer program where they do lots of field trips, have splash day, pajama day etc. Most likely whatever after school daycare you will have will also have a summer program. Good luck!

One additional note, my son is 10 and attended Kids R Kids last year, they have a great program for school age kids up to age 12 I believe and my son had a great time there in the summer.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My son goes to taekwondo day camp and has a lot of fun.



answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter attended a summer program at the YMCA called Summer Power. It included outside activities and weekly field trips to a swimming pool and other events. It was held at a local elementary school.

If I had three kids, I would check into the cost of a summer nanny.



answers from Atlanta on

SUMMER CAMP! Most start at around age 5 and up


answers from Santa Fe on

Where we live there are so many summer day camps. The local gymnastics center has one. They have the kids do all kinds of sports. They take them to all the fun kid activities during the day. They take them to the pool. They also do crafts and hikes and even gymnastics! The YMCA does one that looks great too. There is another local day camp that is very outdoorsy. Anyway, I'm sure where you live you have options like this.


answers from Phoenix on

When I worked full time, we paid to have our 2 kids in a "karate camp" but it was $260 per week for both of them! OUCH! But it was the only thing that I could find that was full time. Most of the other camps were either not M-F or were only part of the day so they didn't work. Now I am blessed that I work out of the house in the summer so I am home with them. Ask around in your area to see what other parents do and factor in the cost before you decide. It may be financially best to stay where you are. Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

summer camp! I start researching in January. It can be pricey (and I thought now that they were in grade school I wouldn't have to pay day care anymore), but if your employer has a dependent spending account you can use it for summer camp expenses.


answers from Dallas on

I'm a teacher, too, and a lot of the time I have non-teacher's kids hanging out with us during the summer. Maybe you could do day camps some, and maybe some of your teacher friends wouldn't mind your kids hanging out with them some of the time. Good luck with your decision!



answers from Houston on

Check out Kids 'R' Kids Summer camps
you can find locations at the home office
web site. ;



answers from Oklahoma City on

some colleges and vo-tech's have summer programs for school aged kids - I agree with the other person make sure you consider all of the cost of the other job, it just wont be summer break - you will have Thanksgiving, Christmas and spring break oh and all those others days here and there , plus your gas to and from....

anyway just my two cents, good luck in your decision.



answers from Seattle on

I know what you mean. I was rather rudely surprised to find out I couldn't afford to work after my son was born. Working I would paid more for daycare that I would have been paid. Even now, I'd be working for approximately $3 an hour take home (after daycare, taxes, insurance... NOT including transportation, clothes, etc., which would make it a wash or back in the red again). I can theoretically make 'good' /okay money (even though I'm still in school), but without free childcare, there's no way I can afford to work. Rather ironically, by the time I'm done with my own education, and am making better than decent money/ could afford childcare... he won't need it.

Slightly sideways answer:

We homeschool. Summer break, Tday, Parent Teacher Conferences, Winter Break, Midwinter Break, President's day, Parent Teacher Conferences, Spring Break, Memorial Day, and various teacher work days... we do camps. Because there are daycamps/ "we've got you covered" camps offered for EVERY "planned" no school day.

We do a huge variety of them. Sports camps, theatre camps, YMCA, boy sprouts, art, music. They're everywhere.

It is EXPENSIVE. ((It's our biggest HS'ing expense, even more than traveling internationally)). The least expensive of all of them is $230 a week (for half days). Thank goodness I only have 1 child!!! Because of the expense, we don't do 'all' that we would like to, and some that would be *amazing* we don't do at all. (1600-2500 a week is just not gonna happen for us). CTY, for example, is a camp we would sooooo love to do, but the pricetag attached in currently unattainable. But we've done some really stellar $50 a day daycamps.

Same token, during the school year *I'M* in school. There isn't daycare for 8yos during school hours, but the Y has afterschool programs for 2 hours in the afternoon for $1700 per 3 months... which is only $140 a week... but it's only for 2 hours a day. Plus there's the added $100 a month ymca membership fee...so more like $165 a week, broken down. In our area YMCA afterschool programs, and summer camps are hands down the LEAST expensive option available for older children.

((Y prices change per area... for your local YMCA rates, obviously you'd need to go off of your local prices, obviously)).



answers from Los Angeles on

Local parks recreation centers have great day camps near my home and work that are even more reasonable than YMCA. Each week there is a minimum of one field trip also depending on the camp to theme parks etc. My child just turned 9 and I'm considering sending to sleepaway camp for a week next summer also.

Also, local churches have inexpensive day camp near me. Maybe in your area too? Last year did the home daycare summer camp. Discounts for addnl siblings were given.



answers from Minneapolis on

Previously I've just put my son in the daycare he went to before he started school. He still goes on days my husband doesn't have off during the school year. This year his school is doing a summer camp so that's where he is going. I was actually thinking of doing a summer camp for him before I found out his school was doing it. If we went to daycare he would be the oldest and he would probably get sick of it.



answers from Houston on

Have you looked around for a reliable high school/college student with a good driving record that could take your children to the library, the pool, a movie, etc.? You might check with friends, church, or a local community college or university, students can sometimes count this as part of work experience for a class. I have several friends that do this for their children.



answers from Atlanta on

In Atlanta we have hundreds of different day camps at different price ranges and offering many different themes and concentrations. I feel lucky that my youngest's year round preschool offers a great summer day camp for older kids at $150 per week. Many of the good ones are $200 or more. They are concentrating on lots of fun science experiments, math and they take an awesome field trip every week as well as having tons of pool time and outdoor play time. I'm sure in Houston you have lots of day camps. Look in a local parent's magazine to get an idea.


answers from Washington DC on

My kids go to a daycare and they are 8, 6, and 4. When the youngest starts school and I lose this babysitter, they'll go to the local Christian Academy that does summer camp. When they are old enough to stay home, they'll do that :).

I currently work from home, so if they need to they can stay home, but I actually work so it's not an every day option.



answers from New York on

My girls go to Girl Scout Camp (both day and resident), you don't need to be currently participating in a Girl Scout program.

For those few extra weeks when camp in not in session, we take a week long family vacation. I've also made arrangements for family, friends, or a college student to watch them, but only for a few days here and there to fill in the gaps.



answers from Waco on

Camp! I am sure there are plenty of summer day camps to choose from in the Houston area.

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