Now that the school year is almost over (um, how?), it’s a good time to ask the readers this question: Do you typically change your work schedule for summer — or your childcare schedule for summer? If your kid goes to a typical childcare center, you may not have to deal with any summer schedule changes, but for moms with school-aged kids (or, for example, if you have a college-age nanny who goes home for summer), it’s a different story. For many working moms, unless you have a kid who’s willing to do the same thing every week, you usually end up cobbling together various day camps to cover July and August (if you’re the default parent, that is … which, as a mom, you probably are).
Summer camp registration is so stressful: It often feels like putting together a puzzle with a bunch of missing pieces — and for the most popular programs, you have to make sure you sign up your kid early enough before they fill up (which means March in many cases, or even earlier — and that’s assuming you KNOW which are the popular ones). If you’re lucky, you’ll manage to find a camp for the week(s) in June after school ends and the final week or two of August when many camps have closed up shop. (Good times for a family vacation, perhaps?) To complicate things further, day camp schedules aren’t always working-mom friendly, especially for younger kids. Here are a few schedules from camps in my area:
- Zoo camp: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with before care and after care, $50/week extra)
- Science camp: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with before care and after care, $45/week extra)
- Music camp: 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (8:00 to 5:30 with before care and after care, $75/week extra)
Fortunately, about 18% of employers offer some kind of summer hours (half-day Fridays, etc.). Does yours? If you change your work schedule for summer, do you use any of the following options?
- Use flextime options. Examples: taking a shorter lunch hour in exchange for leaving earlier than usual, working from home at night and spending less time in the office, working longer days from Monday through Thursday and having a shorter Friday schedule (or every other Friday off, etc.).
- Enjoy Summer Fridays: Some companies in cities like NYC (especially publishing/media companies, which supposedly started the practice in the ’60s) and D.C. (about a quarter of employers) let employees end their week early. Some surveys (and anecdotal info) say the policy is getting less popular, while others say it’s becoming more common, so go figure.
- Save up a lot of vacation time for the summer.
- Ask family members to fill in the childcare gaps.
- Hire a summer nanny or babysitter to fill in the gaps (or to work the whole summer).
How do you change your work schedule for summer, if at all? Does your employer offer Summer Fridays or a similar perk during the summer months (or maybe flex-time year round)? Do you find it hard to find summer camps that fit with your work schedule?
Picture credit: Pixabay.