Summer camp is a great way for me to keep my children busy and out of trouble while I work full-time. This allows me to focus on my job without being interrupted.
The pandemic caused summer camp to be closed last year. While I was able to save a lot of money, it was also very difficult for me. In July and August 2020, I had two jobs. This meant that I had to take a lot of time off during the work day and then have to work late into the night to catch up. This also meant that I lost income when I couldn't catch-up. (Since my hours are shorter, I get less because I am self-employed.
Camp is now open this summer. However, it means that my tuition costs will go up significantly.
Many people will soon see their childcare costs rise as the pandemic ends. Or at least, it improves significantly. This is something to remember if you are a working parent with young children.
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How childcare costs can rise
Many people have worked from home for the past 15 months due to the pandemic. Employers are calling back workers to the office due to widespread availability of coronavirus vaccinations. You may have to pay for childcare if you are returning to work, even if it hasn't been paid in a while.
Imagine that your second-grader is at school until 3:00 p.m. but you work until 6 p.m. You may not have to worry if you work remotely. Your child can be collected from school and let them entertain themselves while you get done with your day. You can't leave your second-grader at home, however, if you have to work next month and you aren't available after school, you will need childcare.
Similar to above, if your return to work this summer, it may be necessary to pay for camp to ensure that your child has somewhere to go while you are away. This is another expense that you should consider when planning your budget. Make sure it fits.
One thing that could change is that September may see more schools open to full-time, in person learning. You may see a decrease in the cost of childcare if your child is studying remotely, but you are already back at work or have a job you can't do remotely.
Be prepared for changes in your costs
Childcare can be expensive. You don't want to end up in debt, or have to use your savings to pay for it. Plan now if you anticipate that your child care costs will rise as the pandemic passes. Reduce other expenses and cut back on your monthly bills to make more money for the care that you need.
My bills are skyrocketing because I have to pay camp tuition in order to ensure my children are covered this summer. It's an important and worthwhile expense. My productivity and earnings will suffer without it. My mental and physical health will suffer if I work all night every night for another summer. However, I am rearranging my personal and financial finances to accommodate this expense.