I have come to hate Columbus Day.
And President’s Day.
And teacher “work” days.
I don’t work in a bank or a post office, so all these days mean to me is what the heck am I going to do for child care for my school aged child?
While my youngest child is in a daycare that thankfully only closes on major holidays (we’re talking Christmas and Thanksgiving), I have a son at that difficult age where he’s normally in school full time, but not quite old enough to be left home alone all day if school is closed.
With the mother of inconvenient short term school breaks coming up - spring break - I’m wondering what other working parents do for child care in these situations?
My son’s after school taekwondo program offers a “day camp” option when school is closed. It’s an extra $25 a day (or $125 a week), plus I have to provide his meals and snacks. That’s on top of the $240 I already pay monthly. Like many families, we’re watching our budget more closely than ever right now and an extra $125 for child care is tough to swallow.
Fortunately, I work from home three days a week so I can keep him home with me on those days. The other two days I am able to bring him to work with me - although I can’t imagine that’s how he would choose to spend his spring break vacation.
But what about people who work in an office five days a week? I don’t think most corporations would welcome an onslaught of employee’s children every time the local school district declares a no school day.
I know a lot of the parks, museums and zoos offer day camps. Of course they don’t usually run from 9 to 6 and there’s the issue of added expense again.
Some parents I know are fortunate enough to have family members close by who can take their children on these rare occassions. Spending the day - or week - at a grandparent’s house has to be spring break nirvana for most kids. But, again, what about those parents who don’t have retired family members living near them?
What do you do?
Do you take time off from work? Do you dish out the extra cash for day camps?
How do you handle teacher in-service and spring break vacations if both parents (or the single parent) work full time?