By Rosalind Prather
Is anyone else wondering how we went from taking down Christmas decorations to frantically seeking childcare for summer in the blink of an eye? The cliché phrase “time flies” is understood well by parents. Just when it feels like we might have a firm grasp on our schedules – whoosh! Another curve ball is thrown our way.
Summer camps can be a great option for families but they have some drawbacks. First, the days and times offered might not line up perfectly with mom/dads’ schedules and care needs. Second, going to a summer camp requires parents to get the kids out the door and transported to and from the camp location. This may feel like it takes away from the best thing about summer vacation, which is avoiding the morning getting-out-of-the-door-for-school madness. Finally, these camps can be pricey since you are paying per kid, often hundreds of dollars per week.
So, what is a parent to do?
More and more parents are opting for short-term, in-home care by using a nanny to fill in the childcare gaps. Roasalind Prather, co-founder of Trusting Connections and Timeless Play, has 5 reasons you might consider a nanny for your summer childcare needs.
1. The Nannies come to you!
Your time is valuable and every minute you spend in the car is a minute you are not tackling your to-do list, knocking out emails, or taking some time for self-care. It’s easy to sign up for summer camps but the logistics of getting your kids to and from isn’t as simple. A summer nanny comes to your home so you don’t have to worry about transportation (or wrangling the kids out the door).
2. A nanny can provide fully customizable, personalized care.
You get to determine the type of care that is provided when you hire a nanny. You get to imagine the perfect day for your kids (outdoor play, quiet reading inside, baking, fun outings, etc.) and a good nanny can help make it happen. Your nanny might even be willing/able to help come up with some fun or educational crafts or activities for you, tailored to the ages and interests of your children. You can also require the nanny to follow a specific meal or nap schedule to help keep everything running smoothly.
3. It can be less expensive.
Depending on how many kids you have, even a well-paid nanny or sitter service can be more affordable than summer camp, because adding on additional children does not add much more to the base rate. You can expect to spend about $20-$35 per hour for a qualified and safe nanny.
4. Nannies can help around the house, too!
Remember when considering the cost, that you aren’t comparing “apples to apples” when it comes to choosing between camp or a summer nanny. With a nanny, you can often expect to also get some additional help around the house with laundry, dishes, light housekeeping etc. which can really help keep you organized (and sane) during the summer. A nanny might also be able to walk a dog, handle some meal prep or help you finally get that playroom organized.
5. Nannies can accommodate all different ages.
Camps can be very limited and allow only for certain ages. However, a nanny is typically experienced with all different ages and can care for an infant and school-aged children at the same time. It’s difficult finding camps for toddlers but a nanny can do it all.
If you decide to hire a summer nanny, Trusting Connections can help. They offer a wide range of services- from part-time, or occasional sitters to short-term summer nanny placements and offer screening services (background checks, drug tests, etc.) for a small fee if you want a way to screen a candidate you found on your own. Whichever way you decide to find a nanny, it’s recommended that you start your search as soon as possible as summer is rapidly approaching and demand is high.