Top Holiday Child Care Options

Having a hard time finding child care during school holidays? Here are four great options to consider.

By Anita Sharma

It is holiday season, which means that there are lots school breaks coming up. For kids it’s exciting they do not have go to school or do homework for a short period of time while they spend time relaxing. But what happens when parents have to work during the school holidays and there is no one to help them watch the kids?

Here are some choices that parents face when school is out:

TV/iPad

Parents can try to entertain kids by using screen time to distract them and keep them entertained while they work. This way parents will not have to pay extra money for child care and they will get to spend more time with their kids. We’ve all seen kids with iPads at store and restaurants in an effort to keep them out of trouble while their parents shop or enjoy their dinner.

Cons: Kids may only be entertained for a limited amount of time. Phone meetings may be challenging if the child needs your attention in the middle of the call. According the American Association of Pediatrics, there are concerns around too much screen time use because it is addicting, increases BMI, and makes children lose valuable sleep.

Price: Free

Day Camp

Many local activity providers host day camps on the school holidays such as Veterans Day or Thanksgiving Week. They usually offer full day sessions that allow parents to work from 9-5. You can find a wide variety of day camps for school holidays on ActivityHero. These camps are guaranteed to excited and engage children whatever their interests might be and give them useful skills for the future. At camp kids will make friends with other kids who have the same interests and are a similar age. ActivityHero makes it easy for parents to find and book camps for their kids, making it simple for parents. Parents can even pay for the camp through the ActivityHero website.

Cons: Parents will have to drop off and then pick up their kids.

Price: $8-18 per hour

Sitters 

Sitters will take care of your kids at your house, which will make it easier for you to run out of the house while your kids are eating breakfast in their pajamas. Neighbors and friends can be a good source for sitter recommendations. And the babysitter website Urbansitter taps into your network to find recommended sitters that fit your needs.

Cons: The sitter you like may not be available for the dates and times you need.

Price: $10-20 per hour for one child. Prices vary by region.

Day Care

Day care is the middle ground between camps and sitters. The caregiver may be hosting several kids at a home or center, and there are usually fewer kids per caregiver than you’d have at camp, which may be a plus if your child is less than 5 years old. You can often find daycares through your local county resource center, such as Children’s Council in San Francisco. The Children’s Council even helps families pay for childcare if they cannot afford it themselves.

Cons: Parents will have to drop off and pick up their children from day care. Not all day cares will accept new families who need care for only a few days or weeks.

Price: $10-15 per hour for full time care