Shop Local: Your Favorite Baby Sitter(s) Chances are your kids have a favorite baby sitter who is either a teenager out of school or young adult who is home from college. The same chances say they don’t want to give up their entire summers to watch your kids, but for the right price and amount of fun, they may be willing to give up a couple of days for a Field Trip and/or a Sports/Activity Day. (check out Liz on the Reviews page!) Depending on the plan and schedule you choose, call one (or two) of them up to see how many days they’d be willing to give you -- two, three or possibly even all five between two, if that’s the way you want to roll.
Compensation/Cost: To tackle my compensation plan, I took a look at what I was paying for my neighborhood day camp. Then I split that into five days and compared that to what I would normally pay my baby sitter for an hourly rate. Next, I’d reduce that to an amount that would come close to flat daily rate plus expenses for the activity of the day, which inevitably varies. For me, it was a $50/day flat rate plus the day’s expenses for our babysitter and my kids, such as admission and lunch out.
Helpful hint: You can save money and teach your kids a useful skill by having them plan and make their own snacks and lunches for their days out and about.
It Takes a Village: Your Neighborhood Parent Network and/or Your Kids Friends Parents In other words, reach out to the stay-at-home parents you know. Summer is just as challenging for them. No more leisurely hang outs at the coffee shop after a workout or shopping. They suddenly need entertainment for their kids and luckily, you can provide that with a regularly scheduled "play date." (check out SueAnne on the Reviews page!) So, talk to your kids’ friends' parents, who could be a good fit for this option and explore if this is a plan that can work for them, and you.
Compensation/Cost: Here, flexibility is the rule. In my case, my friends didn’t want to take money/payment from me thought it was weird/awkward. However, due to the fact that they were taking my kids for the day, I proposed the idea that they accept me paying for the expenses of the day for them, their kids and mine. However, if compensation does come into play, you can always follow the plan for your Favorite Babysitter.
Helpful examples: One of my friends turned her day into “Movie and/or Library Day followed by lunch and play at the park.” Another one had no particular plan and she and the kids decided what they would do each day in a more “spur of the moment” approach. Some days they would stay home and do crafts, on others, they would hit the pool and some times they’d do a Field Trip or a Sports/Activity option.
Or Go Pro Some parents prefer more structure and accountability. Luckily, there are lots of these kinds of options that most anyone can find by Googling professional child care or nannies. These options take a bit more legwork up front, but will likely provide the desired peace of mind, if that's how you roll. Check out what they have to offer and see if it is the best fit for you and your family.
I welcome your feedback on D.I.Y. Day Camp. Ask me about anything. Do you have Activities you think should be added? Is there an issue I should address? Or just let me know what you think.
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