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Old 01-30-2010, 12:53 PM
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Persephone Persephone is offline
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Default Anyone here just do School aged for the Summer?

I'm thinking about doing just school age for the summer. I'm wondering if anyone here does it?

Here are some questions I have:

How much did you charge?

Did you figure outings into that cost?

How did you get your kids? Word of mouth?

Did you have the kids for Spring break?

I checked with the local YMCA who has daycamp in the summer. They charge $75 a week but not lunch or snacks. Plus $5 activities fee weekly, so really $80 a week and no meals. They go on one field trip a week. So I figure if I offer that plus food I should get some kids.

I have a van so I figure I can take 5 kids other then my son.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:38 PM
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I do exclusively school-age for the summer. All of my school-year clients are teachers, so I fill my roster in the summers with families that are only looking for summertime care. And many of my families come back to me summer-after-summer.

During the summers:
~I charge my regular full-time rate of $130/week.

~I advertise in the local paper, and on craigslist, beginning about April, and continue until my spots are full. I never have had trouble filling all my roster spots by the middle of May. I ask for a one week deposit, which serves as payment for their last week of the summer. Each family has one "free week" for their vacation, and I take one week vacation with no charge.

~I serve breakfast and snacks, but the kids come with a sack lunch with a drink and a refillable water bottle every day.

~ Each family is asked to provide $20 "spending money" for each child that I keep in an envelope for their child. This covers incidental expenses while we are out on field trips - things like ice cream, a drink if they forget to pack one, etc. When the child's envelope is down to their last couple of dollars, I ask the family to send another $20. At the end of the summer, any remaining $ in their envelope goes back to the parents.

~I get "family" memberships to the pool, zoo, science center, art museum and such, and so that all of the kids get in free with me to those places. (I can deduct that expense off of my taxes) Any other trips that have admission fees are covered from the "spending money envelopes".

~Every Monday is library day, and the kids check out books that they want to read for the week. I have a 45-minute/day "reading time (which is my down time), and the kids earn the prizes through the library summer reading program by keeping up their reading over the summer.

~Every Wednesday is "Do-Little" day. We never go on field-trips on Wednesdays, and it's a day for the kids to take it a little slow, play in the backyard, play board games, do crafts..whatever...but a low key day.

~Every Friday is "Mystery Field Trip" Day. I let the parents know where we're going, but the kids don't know till we get there. I try to make it a special trip like the chocolate factory tour, caving, bowling, etc.

~Tuesdays and Thursdays are field trip days. We spend a lot of time in the parks, and places that have no expenses.

~Only twice during the summer, and announced ahead of time, are the kids allowed to purchase souveniers at a field trip gift shop. I make a limit of $5 or $10 and I make it clear that the kids are expected to do chores at home to earn their money. (Parents really like this rule:-)

~I schedule field trips by the week to best take advantage of local special events.

I have a TON of fun with my summer kids - it's a nice break from having littles during the school year, but by the end of the summer, I'm ready for my littles to come back:-)

Hope something here helps!
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Pammie
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:47 PM
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Thanks so much Pammie. It was a lot of help. It sounds just like what I would like to do this summer.
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:48 PM
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Wow Pammie, sounds like you run a great summer program!
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:05 AM
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Can I come to your summer "camp"?
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflyingflamingo View Post
Can I come to your summer "camp"?
ABSOLUTELY! Having another adult around would be great for my sanity! I truly do LOVE my summers - during the school-year I don't do many field trips, so I love being able to be out-and-about in the summertime!

A couple of tips that I thought of:

I do have a NO ELECTRONICS rule. The kids are not allowed to bring ipods, gameboys, DSs, etc. They actually have to talk to each other...and me<lol>

When we go bowling, iceskating, putt-putt and places like that, quite often you get a better deal if you book it as a "birthday party" rather than just regular admission. At our local bowling for $8/child booked as a party, they get shoes, 2 games of bowling and a ticket to come back and bowl another 2 games for free. So that's really like $8 for 2 field trips! The parents are really good as scrounging up coupons for places for us too!

Last summer, I got the kids involved in a community service project. On our Do-Little Wednesdays, we would bake cookies or brownies and donate them to the local Ronald McDonald House. It was neat as the kids were able to go with me to drop off the donations (we'd stop by on our way to a field trip) and they could see first hand the appreciation for their work. It really gave them incentive to want to bake more the next Wednesday.

We've had a lot of fun at pick-your-own farms too. The farmers are great about giving me discounts on what the kids pick when I call ahead and tell them I want to bring a group! We've done strawberries and blueberries, peaches, early-apples, snap peas, green beans and tomatoes! Yum!

Hugs
Pammie
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:19 AM
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AfterSchoolMom AfterSchoolMom is offline
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My summer program is very similar to Pammie's. I'm only open Monday through Thursday in the summer, and I charge $30 per day. I have two children of my own, and I take on two more in the summer. I usually get mine by word of mouth, or I have before and after schoolers that stay on in the summer - if I don't have anyone lined up, I put out a Craigslist ad in March or April. I provide 2 snacks and beverages, but the kids bring their own lunches and a water bottle.

We do a lot of free activities such as the library (where we have a summer reading program, and the kids get rewarded for meeting reading goals that they set at the beginning of the summer), science, arts and crafts, and cooking projects at home, and playing at our local parks - there are four nice big ones, plus dozens of neighborhood "tot lots" (we play musical parks!). Our local movie theater does free kids' movies in the summer, so we do that at least once per week. I also only accept school agers because we spend at least twice per week swimming in the neighborhood pool.

Our weeks are usually like this:

Monday - Library Day
Tuesday - Movie Day
Wednesday - Swimming
Thursday - Arts and Crafts, Science, Cooking
Friday - Swimming

Several times througout the summer we'll do a special field trip - bowling, or the Childrens' Museum, or we'll even go to the Amusement Park if the parents agree (they have to pay admission).

I do weekly themes and try to tie all of our activities in to them.

I LOVE the idea of doing the envelope of spending money!!! I feel like I'm always asking for extra money for this and that throughout the summer. I'm definitely going to start doing that, so thank you!
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:49 PM
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AfterSchoolMom, So your not open on Fridays? You said only M-th but then you list Swimming on Fridays. Do you have trouble finding parents who will just come M-Th?



Can I ask why neither of you cook lunch for the school age? Just wondering? Seems like your going to be cooking or making Lunch for yourself and you own kids.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone View Post
Can I ask why neither of you cook lunch for the school age? Just wondering? Seems like your going to be cooking or making Lunch for yourself and you own kids.
I have the kids bring a sack lunch daily primarily so that it's easier when we're out on a field trip that everyone's lunch is already taken care of - and so that I don't have to pack 6 sack lunches plus my own. Also, school age kids are a whole lot pickier about what they want to eat - and since I don't cater to that idea, I let their parents deal with it:-)
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:37 PM
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You're right, I'm not open on Fridays - my own kids and I go to the pool on Fridays - so when I copied it over, Friday was included. Sorry! As of yet, I haven't had any problem finding families for Monday through Thursday. Last year I only had one child, and they went to their Grandmother's on Friday. I've had other families hire a teenager for that day as well.

I don't cook lunch for the kids mostly because, as Pammie said, school agers are picky! I already hear grumbling from someone every single day over the scheduled snack. I figure that if we're going to be outside alot and playing in the hot sun, it's better if each child has a lunch with foods that they'll happily eat. Also, I don't tend to "cook" lunches in the summer anyway - we eat alot of cold foods such as sandwiches, fruit, pretzels, yogurt, etc. Finally, since I don't have the food program here, I'm buying all of the food, and it gets expensive!
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:20 PM
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Do you two have any problems with the older children? Fighting more, back talking more...anything.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Do you two have any problems with the older children? Fighting more, back talking more...anything.
The problems I have with older kids are more "creative" name calling, telling one another to shut up (which is strictly forbidden at my house and results in consequences), and not so much talking back, but wanting to "reason" with me over why they did whatever they did. I also had one two summers ago that flat out refused to listen to anything I said - they didn't last long! Overall, though, I really enjoy the older kids - they relate to me and to one another in a different way than toddlers do. I love listening to their conversations and hearing about their days after school.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone View Post
Do you two have any problems with the older children? Fighting more, back talking more...anything.
I don't, but I set the rules of the summer on day #1. First rule is that I'm the boss! (That saves me a lot of the kids trying to talk their way around other rules:-))

Other rules that the kids help set on day #1 are some version of no arguing, no name calling, etc. And because they help set the rules, if a problem arises, I can point back to those rules and the behavior generally stops.

I think it's important to interview the parents AND the kids when you have spots open and only accept kids that will fit well with your own, and into the group that you already have established. I know a very athletic, active, sports-addicted busy boy wouldn't fit in well with a group of book-loving, craft-loving girly girls...or visa versa.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfterSchoolMom View Post
Overall, though, I really enjoy the older kids - they relate to me and to one another in a different way than toddlers do. I love listening to their conversations and hearing about their days after school.
I AGREE! One of my greatest joys in life is becoming the confidante of my older kids. They talk to me and tell me things I know they would never tell another adult. The parents too know this, and trust that my advice is very much the same as theirs would be - but for many kids, they'll listen if it's not mom and dad talking:-)) It's the whole "it takes a village to raise a child" concept - and I'm just honored to be part of their "village".
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:19 AM
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Persephone Persephone is offline
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Pammie,

Do you have any paper work for school age summer care you can share with me? I have my normal child care paper work but I wondered what I needed to change for School age summer care.

Please email me. missmeme@insightbb.com
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