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Holiday Break Camps Parenting Resources

5 Child Care Options & Holiday Activities

Having a hard time finding child care during school holidays? Here are five activities to consider.

By Anita Sharma

It is that time of year again, when lots of school breaks suddenly happen back to back. 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 and there is no one to help them watch the kids? Discover ways to keep their brains active with these fun holiday activities paired with solutions you can turn to when school is out:

TV/Tablet/Mobile Devices

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 devices 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 the ActivityHero marketplace. These camps are guaranteed to excite and engage children, whatever their interests might be and give them useful skills for the future. At camp, kids will make new friends who have the same interests and are a similar age while crafting new holiday activities. 

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. 

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

Online & On-Demand 

Explore new extracurricular and enrichment activities this holiday from anywhere through a mixture of live online camps or classes on set days/times paired with on-demand activities that can be done at anytime. Different than passive screen-time, kids can stay active with a dance class or chat and make new friends in an art class. Independent and asynchronous learning fun is also available with 700+ choices on ActivityHero On-Demand.

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: Options as low as $0 per hour with a preview camp or class experience.

For more holiday fun, read “8 Great Holiday Activities You Can Do With Your Kids