Child Care Alternatives when School is Out


For many working parents, days off from school can create a scramble. Even if you plan in advance, any disruption to complex family schedules can pose both a logistical and financial challenge.

For example, most public schools in the U.S. are closed an average of 29 days every year and that figure does not include summer, snow days or sick days. The number of scheduled days off from school is nearly twice as much of the number of vacation days the typical, private sector, employee has on hand. Not to mention, low-wage workers are less likely to have paid holidays and flexible work schedules which leaves so many parents wondering, how do I pay the bills and take care of the kids?

Tennessee is already home to several childcare desserts, including Davidson County. Finding childcare during school breaks can be a big challenge for many Tennesseans. Consider some of these options before your kids head out for their next school break.

Local YMCA: Your local YMCA likely provides childcare services when school is out. They may also provide day camps during longer school breaks like summer, spring or winter break. You can learn more on the YMCA website.       

Parents Day Out: For parents and guardians looking for short term care, Parents Day Out programs may be a helpful solution. This program is hosted at local churches with a goal to give parents a few hours of needed time to get errands and work done. Reach out to your church about Parents’ Day Out or Mothers’ Day Out programs.

Additional childcare solutions: Consider a few of these creative solutions when the kids have off, but you don’t.

·         Nanny-sharing; if you don’t use a babysitter or nanny regularly, but you know someone who does, suggest nanny sharing for the week, which will give the sitter a higher rate while reducing the cost for parents.  

·         Community activities; libraries, zoos, community centers and museums often have spring break day camps for kids.  

·         Family child care home; these are operated from the owner’s house and can be much more flexible than traditional childcare centers and day care facilities. Check out the Find Child Care database for licensed homes in your area.