Preparing for the Summer Childcare Shakeup - DuPage Children's Museum

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Preparing for the Summer Childcare Shakeup

March 22, 2024

Preparing for the Summer Childcare Shakeup

By Sweta Sobrin, DCM’s Sr. Manager for Early Learning & Family Engagement

The groundhog said spring was coming early. We know what that means… coordinating childcare for the summer! Each year, families must fill the gap between the last day of school and the first day of school. Navigating the absence of full-time childcare and preparing for the summer can feel like a scramble. Coordinating camp schedules with work schedules, appointments, and vacations feels like a complicated mess — because it is! Making memories over the summer does not have to be, or feel, hard. 

Here are some ways to prepare yourself for summer and feel in control of your days!

Tap Into Trusted Networks

With so many different options available for summer care, it may seem completely overwhelming trying to research all the different avenues. Tap into local Facebook groups, ask your school staff, and other families you know if they have any recommendations to get you started on your search. Trusted organizations that your family is familiar with, like the local park district or library, are a great place to start asking questions about what is out there.  

Set Calendar Reminders for Deadlines 

Popular programs fill up quickly. Once you figure out when registration opens for different programs (because you asked your local parents group), set calendar reminders to help keep track of registration windows. Also, keep in mind that spots go fast! Having a few different options ready might help temper the disappointment and frustration that comes from a program selling out before you even loaded the website. Manage expectations by sharing summer plans only after your registration is booked and confirmed!

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel 

If you have found a program where your child was safe and happy, put that activity at the top of your lists. As parents, we often want to provide our children with new opportunities. However, children also thrive on familiarity. If you had a good experience with a program or a provider, save yourself the time and struggle of navigating a new system and just go with what already works. Check out the Museum’s offering of Family Fun events for more opportunities to play and explore together in a trusted space. 

Prioritize Intention 

One size does not fit all when it comes to caring for our children. While some children might find an all day sports camp to be the most exciting thing ever, other children might just want to tinker with tools and create art. Some children want to do both and everything in between! Alongside your child, think about what you both want from your summer experiences, and look for programs that offer those types of activities. 

After the rush of program registration, try to slow down and enjoy the joyful play and learning your family will experience over the coming weeks. Share stories over a meal, reconnect as a family, and enjoy the memories you’ve worked to create.

About Sweta

Sweta has extensive experience in Early Learning Centers including leadership positions. She also has provided educator training and coaching for Early Childhood Educators in a variety of contexts including helping scientists engage children in STEM topics.

“I am beyond thrilled to part of a team of creative, passionate, and responsive professionals who fully believe in the power of play,” shared Sweta. “I am eager to implement DCM’s philosophy of joyful discovery and learning to directly strengthen family connections and build lasting relationships in the community.”