Because a working parent’s professional holiday schedule rarely coincides with their children’s school holidays, spring break can present a childcare logistics nightmare for parents who are unable to take extra time off work. One week is just long enough to make stringing together a handful of separate caregivers a challenge, but doesn’t seem to be long enough to justify the hiring of a private nanny. Rather than taking paid personal or vacation days to stay home with your children, consider one of these 10 spring break childcare options.
- Consider a High School Student – If you have a high school-aged babysitter that frequently cares for your children on evenings and weekends, she might be the ideal solution to your spring break childcare conundrum. In most cases, entire school systems share scheduled breaks, meaning there’s a very good chance that she’ll be out of school for her own spring break while you’re children are released from their classes.
- Contact a Nanny Agency – Many parents never consider contacting a nanny agency for spring break or summer vacation care because they assume that these agencies only handle permanent postings. However, there are actually many nanny agencies on both the local and national level across the United States that offer temporary nanny placement services for just these sorts of situations.
- Begin Interviewing For a Temp Nanny Well in Advance – If you’re considering a temporary nanny you hire yourself, rather than one suggested by an agency, you should conduct the interview and screening process well in advance. Obtaining the results of background checks and reference inquiries can take longer than you may first think which could leave you scrambling to complete the process when spring break arrives.
- Look Into a Nanny Share – Asking friends, neighbors, or family members that engage full-time nannies if they would be willing to consider a nanny share can be a great way of finding temporary childcare. Provided that the nanny in question is willing to extend her services for the week and her employers aren’t opposed to the idea, a nanny share might be a viable solution.
- Discuss the Possibility of Family Care – There are several reasons why parents with extended family nearby opt not to use family-based childcare, not least of which is the possibility of dispute over payment or hours. If you have family nearby and a member is willing to provide limited childcare for the week of spring break, the short duration of the appointment might prevent any problems.
- Check Out Community Programs – Community centers, like the YMCA and locally-run organizations that are similar often have spring and summer programs in place for children. These programs keep kids entertained and out of trouble, and may be more popular with older children than the idea of a nanny or babysitter.
- Contact Your Place of Worship – Some religious organizations and places of worship have school break programs in place that provide spiritual instruction and childcare during the time that school would normally be in session. Contacting a member of your clergy should help you find any pertinent information.
- Participate in a Childcare Co-Op – Babysitting cooperatives are becoming more and more popular with urban and suburban parents, and might be just the solution you’re looking for. Structuring a childcare “trade,” or co-op, is a great way to ensure that your children are in the hands of a trusted, capable parent while you’re at work, and you can then return the favor for them on evenings or weekends. These arrangements are especially effective when your children are friends with the other co-op parents’ children, as it feels less like being babysat and more like a play date.
- Explore Center-Based Care Options – While some daycare centers do not accept temporary enrollment over spring and summer break for older children, there are many that do. Exploring the center-based care options at your disposal for the week of spring break may be the best option for your family, depending upon your individual needs.
- Place and Answer Classified Ads – In the months leading up to spring break, placing and answering classified ads, either online or in print, can help you secure a temporary childcare provider. Should you choose this route, it’s important that you carefully check her references and run a thorough background check before she begins working.
If you’ll be hiring a babysitter or temporary nanny to care for your children in your home over the week of spring break, it’s important that you research and adhere to the tax laws of your state, as well as any and all Federal tax laws. Depending on how much she earns for the week, you may be required to pay employment taxes in order to be compliant with “nanny tax” laws.Taken From Summer Nanny