What Happens When the School Year Is Over?

Research Report

What Happens When the School Year Is Over?

The Use and Costs of Child Care for School-Age Children during the Summer Months

Abstract

Thirty percent of 6- to 12-year-old children with a working primary caretaker participate in "organized programs" such as day camps or summer school during the summer. School-age children spend roughly 10 more hours per week in both relative care and other supervised arrangements during the summer than the school year. Summer child care patterns also vary by the child's age and family income. Relatives are more likely to care for young children and low-income children are more likely to be in summer school. Eleven percent of children ages 6 to 12 are in self-care while the primary caretaker is working. On average, these children spend 6 hours more per week in self-care during the summer (10.3 hours total) than during the school year. Low-income families spend less on child care during the summer compared to the school year while higher-income families spend significantly more. [View the companion Fact Sheet]

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