Money Saving 301
March 12, 2024

8 Ways to Save Money on Spring Break Childcare

Spring break is upon us once again. While it would be nice to take time off at the same time as school and head on a vacation, most parents are stuck trying to work and find child care for the week.

While your first thought might be to hire a babysitter for the entire break, that expense can really add up. And, during the pandemic, many parents may not even want a stranger in their home or their children in someone else's house.

It’s important to plan ahead but remain flexible. What are the alternatives then? Consider these 8 ways to save money on child care during spring break.

Ask Family for Childcare Help

Sometimes when you need help watching your children, you need to call on grandparents or other relatives to help. Your parents or in-laws may be retired from their jobs and local – a perfect ask for when you need child care coverage. Many people will turn to their family first for help when they are looking for child care coverage. Family is often trusted, especially for something like spring break daycare.

Split Time With Your Partner

Smiling Young Couple with Happy Baby Girl

If you're parenting with a partner, consider using some of your time off to share the responsibility of caring for your children during spring break. You and your partner could alternate days off from work to watch your children. This way, neither of you have to take the entire week off, and you can conserve some leave time for a family vacation at another time.

Rearrange Your Work Schedule

If you are lucky enough to have a flexible job and supervisor, ask if you could switch your work hours for the week. You could take care of your child during the day and work in the early morning or late at night. This is also a scenario where you could do a combination of sharing with your partner and alternating work hours to cover the week.

You could also ask if you could go into work earlier and leave early, taking some work assignments home to complete later at night.

Work Remotely During Spring Break

More and more jobs are set up where you can work from anywhere, especially since the beginning of the pandemic basically sent most non-essential people home to work. If your job allows, and you have the capability to work from home, see if you can get permission to do this for as much of the week as you can.

Even if you can only telework a few days, and pay for a sitter the others, this plan still saves money. 

Shared Babysitters

Another money-saving tactic is to pull your resources with other families in similar situations. Several families can get together and share a sitter or two. Of course, you would need to find someone qualified enough to handle multiple children at once and agree upon whose house would be used to watch all the children, but overall it's a great option.

Form a Cooperative 

If your child has friends whose parents you trust, every parent/partnership group can take turns taking a day off work and watching all the children at once. If you can spread this around among a few families, you could minimize the amount of time that you need to take off from your job. 

Bonus: Your child can be among their friends, and the kids will largely entertain each other. As long as the children are not very young, this option shouldn't take a lot of work on your part. And, if all goes well, you may even be able to get some work from your job done when it's your turn to watch the kids.

Find a Spring Break Camp

A lot of organizations (churches, gyms, etc.) offer child care camps during fall/winter/spring breaks. For example, you may have a YMCA in your city that offers a weeklong YMCA spring break camp. Often these offerings are educational, sports-centric, or art-themed.

Since these programs care for multiple children, they are often cheaper than hiring a sitter, and your child will have fun too. They may make new friends and even learn something new that never came up at school.

Bring Your Child to Work

Check with your employer ahead of time, but one option (and probably your last) is to see if you can bring your child to work with you for a day or two – or maybe even the entire week. Once you get the all-clear, pack a tablet or other electronics, art supplies, and some snacks and find yourself with an office mate for spring break. You and your child might make some great memories and you’ll have a lunchmate each day.

Unfortunately, for working parents, spring break is often a time of cobbling together help from wherever they can find it. Many parents are left in a position of dread, having to come up with child care during school breaks, while children generally welcome the time off from school.

Spring break might be tough, but being creative and thinking beyond the usual child care options can help get you save money while you get through it.

Spring Break Childcare FAQs

What are some inexpensive child care options for spring break?

Some inexpensive child care options for spring break include organizing a babysitting co-op with other parents, seeking out community programs or camps, enrolling in free or low-cost activities at local libraries or community centers, hiring a responsible teenager as a babysitter, or arranging for flexible remote work options if possible.

Can I bring my child to work during spring break?

There are multiple variables that come into play when deciding if your child can come with you to work. It may depend on your workplace's policies and the nature of your job. Some employers offer flexible arrangements or allow children to visit for short periods, while others may not permit it due to safety concerns. It's best to plan ahead and check with your employer beforehand.

Editorial Policy: The information contained in Check `n Go’s Finance Academy Learning Center is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding any legal issues. Check `n Go does not act as a credit counseling, repair service, or debt consolidation service in providing this content. Please understand that Check `n Go policies change over time. Blog posts reflect Check `n Go policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived posts may not reflect current Check `n Go policy.

The information contained in our blog posts are the author’s own opinions, not those of Check `n Go or any other company. Any pros and cons are developed by our editorial team based on independent research. Some of the products, services, and offers on this page may not be available from Check `n Go. In Texas only: Check `n Go does not act as a credit services organization in providing this content.