If you’re anything like me, as a working parent of school aged children, you have a love/hate relationship with summer break. You love that there are no more lunches to make and you get a break from the day to day homework and activities, but summer break brings a whole new level of stress. What do you do with your kids for two months while they are out of school? Without family support, community support, or the financial means to arrange child care or camps, you worry non-stop about what you are going to do for your children.
I usually have my child in before and after school care during the school year, but to keep him in the same place full time for summer break, my daycare fee doubles. Plus, if the daycare organizes activities for the children, there is an additional fee for all of that as well. The average Alberta child care cost for a full time school aged child is more than $500 per month. So, for the two months of July and August, I have this added cost to my monthly expenses.
The City of Edmonton has several options available for summer for kids and families. If you live outside Edmonton, you can check your community website for information on summer camps and daily activities. Although these camps are great for children to learn new things, make new friends and have great summer experiences, they last for 3 to 5 days, on average, and start at around $100. There are, also, free summer activities, but as a working parent, you still have to figure out how you are going to get them to and from the summer camp, or arrange a grown up to take care of them, whether it’s free or not. Oh, the stress!
United Way, proudly partners with non-profit agencies, such as, The Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton & Area (BGCBigs) and Boys & Girls Club of Leduc to support child/youth programs throughout the year, as well as, summer programming for out of school time. If you are new to the community, lack family support, or just simply want to keep your costs low, while giving your child a great summer experience, get in touch with an agency and learn about the programs available to you.
Have a safe and fun summer!