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A Summer Program That Works for Kids and Working Parents

I find that many schools and summer camp providers assume that each child must have at least one parent that is unemployed and able to show up at any time of the day to pick up kids or volunteer or attend an event. I have seen several such camps that have "full day" program hours that are something line 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM, or they meet only on Tuesdays at 1 PM, or twice a week at 10:30 in the morning. I don't know about you, but I have to be at work longer than that. One might imagine that delusionally short, summer camps might be cheaper, but that would be naive. The the cost of the program - be it science, art, theater, or space, seems to be inversely proportional to the length of each day's camp. I suppose a 5 minute long camp might cost $2000 per week, but I could be wrong. Anyway, there must be people that sign up for such things because those camps don't seem to go out of business - but they should.

For the last several years, my oldest son has gone to the YMCA summer program. They are open from 6AM to 6PM so real, working parents can get their kids there and have time to pick them up after work. The staff is great and my son has enjoyed going there. This year, however, he finished 6th grade and is ready to start middle-school next Fall. It would have been his last summer at the Y because he was simply getting too old for that program. He decided, instead, to go to the City of Burien's Summer Teen Program for kids that are 6th to 9th grade. The cost is comparable to the YMCA program and their hours are 6:30 AM to 6PM so working parents can get their kids there.

I can't say enough good things about the Y program for younger kids, but this Burien Teen program is also excellent. They are going on a different field trip every day this week. They have buses that take the kids, and my son has been having a great time. They also have a summer program for younger kids, but I don't know anything about that. If you work and need a good summer program for your kid(s), there are great alternatives to the expensive, short, summer camps.

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