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5 Reasons to Send Your Child to Day Camp in the Summer Instead Of the Babysitter (& 5 Reasons Not To)

Summer is here, your vacation is booked, and you have plans for a lot of fun for the final two weeks of the season. But what about the rest of the summer when the kids still arent' in school and you have to go towrk?

Even if you’re lucky enough to have family that can take care of the kids, like grandparents, or one parent stays home, there are other options to consider for at least one of those weeks. And for some families, they need to rely on paid care throughout the entire summer.

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If you’re going that route, should you stick with a babysitter or day camp? There are benefits to each option, and we go through each one.

10 Day Camp: Kids Can Make New Friends

Enrolling a child in day camp provides them with the opportunity to make new friends outside of their inner social circle. They can learn about kids from different areas that go to different schools, exchange phone numbers or e-mail addresses (with the parents’ permission) to set up future playdates, or app or video game user names so they can keep in touch once camp is over.

Going to camp would be good for kids who are social as well as those who tend to be on they shy side. Both kids will benefit from a change in scenery and learning to interact with others.

9 Babysitter: There’s a Level of Familiarity

Using a babysitter who is already part of your child’s life offers a level of familiarity. The child will be comfortable knowing he or she is with someone they know, especially if it’s going to be for full days Monday through Friday.

For kids who suffer from anxiety, or don’t do well in social situations without their parents present, this might be the right route to take to maintain a level of consistency and ensure that your child gets the most out of the summer months.

8 Day Camp: They Can Learn New Activities And Skills

Lots of day camps are available with different themes, from science to swimming, sports, cooking, outdoor excursions, and more. You can find one with a theme that your child already has an interest in or has expressed an interest in exploring.

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Some camps include lessons for things like skating, soccer, or swimming. Kids get to develop a new skill, or expand one they already have. And you might realize that they have a special talent for something, like dancing or playing the guitar, that might be worth pursuing further once camp is over.

7 Babysitter: You Feel More Comfortable Leaving Your Kids With Someone They Know

For some parents, it’s difficult to hand your child off to a bunch of camp counselors, especially if the child has special needs or specific medical concerns. You might feel more comfortable knowing that your child is being taken care of, one-on-one or in a small group, by a babysitter you know and trust, and who knows your child.

Camp counselors are, of course, trained. And in any good day camp, each counselor is assigned a manageable number of kids in their group to ensure proper care. But still, if comfort and peace-of-mind is a concern, a babysitter might make more sense.

6 Day Camp: It’s a Change of Scenery

Especially in the summer, kids will expect a change of scenery as they enjoy their few months “off.” Going back to the same babysitter who already handles before and/or after school care might make them feel like they aren’t getting much time off at all.

RELATED: 10 Unique Camps Kids Can Actually Attend

With day camp, they will enjoy something new and exciting, with different activities, kids, and surroundings that will make them feel less upset about not being able to stay home with mom and dad, or watch TV, play video games, and eat candy all day with grandma and grandpa!

5 Babysitter: It Will Make For an Easy Transition Back to School

Keeping things consistent with a babysitter might make for an easier transition for parents, the child, and the babysitter once it’s time to step back into the school routine. Kids will have already spent those few months off with the same babysitter, so they can easily get back into the swing of things. The babysitter might appreciate the consistent schedule (and pay!) and being able to keep on top of your child’ development so he or she knows what to expect once the new school year begins.

Ideally, whether you use day camp or not, having your child start back with the babysitter for at least the last week of summer could make a positive difference and a smoother transition.

4 Day Camp: They Will Have More To Talk About With You

When attending day camps, especially themed ones, kids will come home with a ton of stories to share, whether it’s about what they did that day, what new friend they met, new games they learned, and more.

They’ll probably come home with arts and crafts projects, too. It will all make dinnertime more fun and engaging as you learn about your child’s day, and they can tell you what they look forward to for the next. Siblings attending different camps can also share their unique stories with one another, and with the family.

3 Babysitter: They Can Continue to See Their Friends Through the Summer

If the child goes to a babysitter who watches several kids, chances are they’ll be able to keep seeing their friends from school who are in the same daycare that they might not otherwise have been able to connect with through the summer months.

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This helps them maintain and cultivate those all-important friendships so the kids stay close with one another and don’t feel like they’re strangers after being away from one another for so long.

2 Day Camp: They Gain Confidence and Social Skills

Kids can gain confidence in their abilities through day camps as they improve on different skills, whether it’s swimming, baseball, arts and crafts, playing an instrument, or something else.

And they can also develop their social skills as they interact with new people, both kids and camp counselors. The more people your child can interact with and learn how to converse with at an early age, the better. And day camps, which usually include lots of kids from all over your local area, and different schools, provide a great opportunity for that.

1 Babysitter: You Get Better Hours And At-Home Care

Day camps run during specific hours, and while they might offer before and aftercare as well, you could get a more flexible schedule with a babysitter. Many day camps allow you to book full weeks, but if you work shift work, you might only need childcare for a few nights per week, or in the afternoons and early evenings versus 9-4 or 9-5. A babysitter might be able to better accommodate your work schedule.

Additionally, some babysitters might be able to come to your home, so your child gets to stay in his own house with his own toys, food, and bedroom. You won’t have to worry about pick-ups and drop-offs either, which can be a huge timesaver.

NEXT: 10 Natural Ways To Boost Your Morning Energy With Kids

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