Remember the good old days when you'd spend most of the summer in the mountains at a camp with hundreds of other kids, swimming in the lake, taking archery lessons, canoeing, maybe even getting special music instruction or athletic coaching? Fewer and fewer kids have that luxury these days, as parents desperately seek low-cost summer care alternatives, according to a new report released by ComPsych Work-Life Services, which provides employer assistance programs.
Working parents start looking for summer options for their children in March, and they're increasingly budget conscious. Low-cost summer camp requests have almost doubled since 2008, and overall summer care requests have increased by 7 percent as more parents go to work and seek help caring for their children while they're out of school on summer break.
"Working parents are increasingly looking for help in locating free or reduced-cost options for summer care and activities," said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, Chairman and CEO of ComPsych. "This is a major change from pre-recession trends, which included more-expensive options such as sports or performing arts-themed camps."
The report showed that ComPsych is getting more requests for information about low-cost summer camp these days than about infant and toddler care. Also, nanny service requests have dropped as in-home care has become increasingly cost prohibitive for many families. Meanwhile, requests for relatively expensive summer camps, such as sports and performing arts-themed camps, are less than half of early 2008 levels, before the recession.
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