Articles & Guides
What can we help you find?

Booking summer child care can feel stressful — but it’s not too late! 

Feeling stressed about booking summer child care? Don't worry! Discover tips and options to secure child care solutions.

Booking summer child care can feel stressful — but it’s not too late! 

Summer vibes are supposed to be warm and relaxing, but for any parent with school-aged kids, the months up to and including those lovely summer days come with more of a frantic energy. After all, schools close for summer, but most parents still have to work. 

There’s still time to find summer child care

Summer camp can be a great option, but it’s not always realistic for every family — whether it’s too expensive, already booked up or simply doesn’t fit your schedule. Not to worry, there are many other summer care options to choose from, and — here’s the good news — there’s still time to find the perfect summer child care solution. 

Like what you’re reading?

Join Care for free

By clicking “Join now,” you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Top options for last-minute summer child care options

In most cases, April and May is probably too late to secure a spot in summer camp, but you still have several safe, high-quality options for summer child care. 

1. Summer babysitter

Find a summer babysitter

A summer babysitter:

  • Cares for kids at home during the summer months when school is out. 
  • Provides supervision, engages kids in activities, prepares snacks or meals and ensures their safety and well-being while parents are away or occupied with work or other responsibilities. 
  • May work part time or full time, depending on the needs of the family and the arrangement made between the babysitter and the family.

2. Summer nanny 

Find a part-time summer nanny or a full-time summer nanny 

A summer nanny:

  • Is similar to a traditional nanny but is specifically hired to care for kids at home during the summer months when school is out. 
  • Is invested in the child’s growth and provides both individualized and comprehensive child care services, which may include planning and organizing activities, preparing meals, assisting with summer learning activities and ensuring the overall well-being of the kids in their care. 
  • Often works full time during the summer, providing consistent care and support for families who need assistance while parents work or have other commitments. 
  • May travel and provide vacation child care for families, too. 
  • May be hired to stay on to handle after-school care and transportation, as well as other household tasks and responsibilities, once school begins again.

3. Nanny share

Find a nanny share

A summer nanny share:

  • Two or more families collaborate to hire and share one nanny who cares for the kids from both families simultaneously during the summer months when school is out. 
  • Allows the families to split the cost of the nanny’s salary, making child care more affordable while still providing personalized, in-home care for the kids involved. 
  • The nanny typically rotates between the homes of the participating families, providing care for the kids at each household, according to a predetermined schedule. 
  • Not only beneficial for families who have similar child care needs and schedules during the summer months, but it can also mean built-in playdates for the kids’ socialization.

Read more: 11 summer child care options for any schedule and every budget

Cost comparisons: Babysitter, nanny, nanny share and summer camp*

BabysitterNannyNanny Share**Summer Camp***
Hourly$17.76/hr$19.84/hr$13.27/hr per familyn/a
Daily$142.08/day$158.72/day$106.16/day per family$178.49/day
Weekly$710/week$794/week$531/week per family$892.45/week
* Daily based on 8 hours per day; weekly based on 40 hours per week. Based on the national average for reported starting rates from caregivers listed on, as of May 2024.
** Nanny shares are generally two-thirds the cost of a nanny; these nanny share rates are calculated as such, based on the nanny rate shown here. 
*** Summer camp costs based on day camp rate from the American Camp Association.

So even if you missed out on a summer camp spot or couldn’t find a camp that fit your schedule, an in-home option could be more cost effective, especially if you form a nanny share. Of course, every sitter and nanny’s rates will vary, based on the number and ages of kids, the caregiver’s experience, and the city where you live.

Here are some examples of the going cost of babysitters and nannies, based on location, according to recent Care data.

Current average hourly rates for babysitters and nannies in top cities*

City, StateHourly Babysitter RateHourly Nanny Rate
San Francisco, CA$24.48$26.76
Seattle, WA$22.74$25.15
Los Angeles, CA$22.37$26.46
New York, NY$21.13$22.94
Boston, MA$20.66$22.53
Washington, DC$19.87$22.00
Chicago, IL$18.98$20.82
Atlanta, GA$18.33$20.82
Dallas, TX$18.32$20.07
Phoenix, AZ$18.36$19.59
Minneapolis, MN$17.99$19.35
Philadelphia, PA$18.04$20.70
Tampa, FL$17.19$19.40
Houston, TX$17.10$19.25
Detroit, MI$16.53$19.21
* Based on reported starting rates from caregivers listed on, as of May 2024.

The bottom line

Booking summer child care can indeed induce stress, so it’s essential to remember that it’s not too late — not even in the months of April or May — to find suitable arrangements for your kids. Whether you’re considering a summer babysitter or nanny or exploring alternative options like nanny shares, there is a solution available to meet your family’s needs. 

Having a clear understanding of your care requirements and preferences, as well as some flexibility and creativity, can help alleviate the stress associated with securing summer child care. Start your search today, and ensure a fulfilling and enjoyable summer for both you and your kids.