For many school children, whether public-, private-, or even home-school educated, summer is a season to take a break from the rigorous schedule of school, homework, tutoring, and extra curricular activities.
During summer break many people welcome a breath of fresh air, but for a lot of families summer schedules can also bring extra seasonal pressure when it sinks in that kids are out of school for eight or nine weeks…but most parents still need to show up to work to get the bills paid!
In the US today, both parents work full time in 46% of families. Add to that another 23% of households who have one full time working parent and one part time working parent and more than two out of every three families will likely require some sort of childcare assistance over the summer. Simply finding affordable childcare during the summer can be a HUGE challenge for working parents. The Center for American Progress published that families can expect to pay 20% of income on summer child care. For low income families and housing insecure families who regularly pay close to 50% of their monthly income on housing alone, there is little wiggle room in monthly budgets and this summer increase is a huge obstacle to overcome.
Summer camps are a popular option for parents looking for something fun and safe for their children to do while they’re at work. According to the American Camp Association, there are 2,400 ACA-accredited camps, employing more than 320,000+ camp staff and serving over 7.2 million children! Depending on which camp you have your eye on, the cost can be overwhelming especially for families with multiple children. However, if you find that camp doesn’t seem affordable – don’t forget to ask about financial aid! There are also some wonderful and well-known organizations such as the YMCA that offer free/affordable summer day camps options for the entire community.
Just as we pray during the school year for our teachers, it’s important to pray during the summer for all our camp counselors and child caregivers who are helping serve families and children from all walks of life! Whether you are a parent, single person, counselor or volunteer – take time to brainstorm ways you can serve parents, caregivers, and children this summer!
Prayer for Child Caregivers:
O Lord, our God and Creator, Thou hast honored us men with Thine own image, and didst teach Thy chosen disciples that the fear of Thee is the beginning of true wisdom; Grant wisdom and guidance today to all the caregivers, youth leaders, daycare employees, volunteers, and parents who are working and caring for children this summer at home, summer camps, child care facilities and church ministries; That they may help offer a safe and compassionate community for our children to explore, learn, and play while growing their faith and trust in You. Grant each caregiver the wisdom, strength, authority and grace that they need to serve the children in their care. According to Your Will, allow them to courageously embrace opportunities to reach out and share Your heavenly love with each child through their actions, attitudes, and speech; And, through Your Grace, keep any evil influences away that would seek to disrupt their loving care. Grant, O Lord, wisdom to our caregivers, not to conform to the ways of the world, but rather be an example of Your Heavenly Kingdom. For Thou art God, the Author of truth and the Fountain of wisdom, and unto Thee we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.