ESCANABA - With summer coming many parents are trying to find childcare and activities for their children to take part in. While traditional daycare and baby-sitting is always an option, there are lower cost options and ways to save money.
The city of Escanaba Recreation Department has a variety of programs to keep youth engaged during the summer months.
Swim classes for children age 2-5 will be held at the Webster Park wading pool. "Those are a half hour class for the little ones," says Tom Penegor, Recreation department director.
Ilsa Matthes | Daily Press
Making necklaces is just one of the activities that children at the YMCA enjoy in the childcare room. The YMCA is one of the options area parents have for childcare and activities for their children.
For older children, the recreation department has swim instruction at the Escanaba Municipal Beach. Certified water safety instructors will teach 7 levels of swimming.
Tennis lessons and soccer are also available during the summer. Tennis lessons are for children 10-15 and there is a tournament the first weekend in August. Soccer is available for children ages 4-5 and 6-7. Children and youths age 8-15 who would like to continue in soccer are recommended to Bayside Soccer.
All programs through the recreation department are $30 for the entire length of the program. "They're a very good value and we've been offering them for a very long time," adds Penegor.
Summer hours for the Civic Center are 7:30 - 4 Monday through Friday. Youths at the Civic Center are supervised.
For parents who need a longer term source of childcare Great Start offers childcare referrals through their website at www.4c-up.com. The site offers a searchable database of licensed childcare providers. Those parents who do not have Internet access can call Great Start toll free at 1-877-614-7328 to talk to a live representative.
This summer the YMCA is offering three day camp programs, PeeWee Camp for children age 2 1/2 to 5, Day Camp for ages 6-12, and YMCA/Rotary Camp Harstad for children with special needs.
The PeeWee Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and there is no additional cost for before and after care for children who have parents who have work schedules outside of that time period.
The maximum number of children who can enroll in the PeeWee program is 34 and registrations are open now. Cost is $150 per week and children can attend for the full eight weeks or sign up for individual week-long sessions.
"It is a little bit more than the regular Day Camp but we provide all the meals whereas Day Camp doesn't," says Angie LaBay, Childcare Director at Northern Lights YMCA.
For older children, the Day Camp starts June 4 and runs through the week of Aug. 13. Cost per week long session is $90 for YMCA members, $120 for non-members. Pre-camp from 7:50 to 9 a.m. or Post Camp from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. is an extra $2 per child per day. If a parent wishes to enroll more than one child there is a 20 percent discount for the second child.
The Day Camp starts at 9 a.m. and "It's not your typical daycare," says Steve Carpenter, youth and family coordinator. "We do lots of activities, keep the kids active," he adds.
Camp Harstad for children with special needs is located just south of Escanaba. The program is a joint effort of the YMCA and the Rotary Club of Escanaba. The camp runs from June 4 through Aug. 3 and the cost is $40 per session.
For more information or to sign up for PeeWee Camp contact Angie LaBay at 789-0202. For more information about Day Camp contact Steve Carpenter at 789-0005.