With school out for the summer, parents can find balancing work and watching their kids to be an expensive challenge.
During the school year many parents only needed to worry about a few hours of child care before or after school, but now they’re trying to balance work and affordable all-day childcare.
“We take different vacation days and also my parents take care of the kids so they take vacation time as well. We all take different days off so it sort of works,” Vicky Funk said.
Funk and her husband both work full-time and during the school year they only needed a few hours of after school child care. Now that summer is here, everyday needs to be carefully planned.
“We planned it like months ago for the summer time so that we’re not scrambling to find childcare and stuff like that,” Funk said.
Funk is not alone in the challenge.
Summer camps can cost anywhere from $100 to several hundred a week, and other options like hiring a babysitter or nanny can result in a big bill.
“Mondays I have one set of grandparents come in the afternoon and Fridays I have another set of grandparents that come in the afternoon so I can go grocery shopping or do something for myself without a backpack, a stroller and a doll and some snacks,” Stacy Boone said. “If I’m working part time and we’re paying what I might make per hour, it all kind of comes out in the wash. But what do you do.”
In the summer some daycares expand their hours to help parents but they can still be faced with long waiting lists.
“The waiting list is pages and pages long so it can be deceiving, I know it’s hard for parents. I know our wait list can be two or three years long.” Elizabeth Blazeiko, supervisor at Sugar and Spice Daycare said.
“There’s a lot of parents that if they don’t have child care presently, they really struggle in the summer because they do work and they don’t have child care or their centre closes.”