With summer vacation looming, the time to line up babysitting help is NOW. Whether you need full time care or just the occasional break from your kids, get on the ball now and you’ll be grateful come day 81 of summer when your list of ideas is wearing thin. Here are a few ways to get creative with summer childcare.
Sign them up for camp. Summer camp doesn’t have to mean an entire summer away from home. A week or more of ½-day soccer, art, or swim/tennis camp could be just what both you and the kids need to make it a fabulous summer. If you haven’t already registered your kids for summer camps, or maybe you thought camp didn’t fit the budget this year, just call your local rec. center, talk to friends and/or ask your kids what they’re interested in. The camp industry has gotten HUGE and there are bound to be spots left in many different camps.
Hire a new and exciting babysitter. If you don’t have your kids in a camp or daycare, you’ll definitely need a break, and so will your kids. Shake things up by hiring a regularly scheduled sitter to babysit a couple mornings every week while you run errands, hit the gym, do a bit of housework or simply relax child-free.
How do you find these sanity-saving sitters? Reach out now to find local college or high-school students or neighborhood mother’s helpers.
- College students typically have some babysitting experience and are hungry to earn extra money. Students at nearby schools or locals who are home for summer break are especially good options. Expect to pay what you would pay a seasoned babysitter, and be sure to get a commitment well before summer break starts as their time is likely in high demand.
- High school sitters, though less experienced, are often in the eyes of your child the most fun and energetic sitters. For those who have little experience with kids, plan to have them play with your children for a short time while you’re at home, or cover for you while you make a quick run to the grocery store until you are both comfortable with you leaving them alone. Negotiate hourly rates based on experience.
- Mother’s Helpers are typically teens looking to get babysitting experience and earn a bit of money. Many start offering their help after completing a local babysitting or CPR course aimed at preparing them for potential childcare emergencies. Regardless, it’s best to leverage them as fun-loving, responsible kids to help out while you’re at home. Hourly rates are far less. Talk with the helpers or their parents to determine a rate that’s fair.
Get a leg up on your summer sitter search by joining UrbanSitter, an online marketplace where parents find and book babysitters recommended by friends.
Lynn Perkins is the founder and CEO of UrbanSitter
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.