With summer officially upon us, working families will be shelling out more money on summer camps and childcare. In fact, a new study out this week shows that a significant number of families will incur credit card debt as a result of childcare costs.
The Bankrate.com study shows that one third of parents who will pay for childcare this summer will accumulate credit card debt. It also found that parents will spend an average of almost $1,000 per child, and almost a fifth of them will spend more than $2,000
So, many parents are doing their best to find free activities. Christ Church Denver offers a weeklong vacation bible school for free, and it’s open to any family, regardless of whether they attend church.
“We pull a lot of people form the community that’s not just our church, because we offer our program for free,” says Christ Church’s Tammie Sawicki.
And FREE is a big selling point to working parents.
“Childcare in Denver is relatively expensive,” a mom says as she dropped her kids off. “And summer activities and camps can add up, especially if you have two children.”
Lauren Hipp specializes in early learning for the non-profit advocacy group Mom’s Rising. Hipp says it’s a tough time to be a working parent.
“Childcare costs have continued to rise over the last couple decades,” Hipp says.
She adds that having a stimulating place for kids to go during the summer is key.
“Most American children live in families where all available parents are in the workforce,” Hipp says. “So childcare is a real necessity for families and it’s a great opportunity for children to get healthy growth development so they’re ready and successful in life.”
Other places to consider that often provide more affordable week-long camps for kids: a local YMCA, parks and recreation department, or a local Council for the Arts chapter.