Start a sitter-share
Sitter shares or nanny shares are a popular option for friends who have children within a similar age group. One nanny or sitter is employed on a full or part-time basis, and the costs are divided up between families. The sitter enjoys a premium childcare gig, and the parents enjoy a discount on his or her services, not to mention a little extra budget help.
Send those kids back to school
Summer care programs offered by local public schools can be an extremely affordable childcare option for parents. Find out if such programs are offered in your community. If they're not offered by your child's school, check with other public schools in the area. Some private schools may also offer summer childcare programs, but the costs of these programs will vary.
Get the student advantage
The sitter market is flooded with experienced (or less experienced) college-age or high school-age students enjoying their summer break. See if a trusted teen or college student in your inner circle would like to turn their summer vacation into a more lucrative business opportunity. They may sincerely appreciate the extra student budget help. If no one springs to mind, ask your friends and family members for sitter recommendations. Don't forget about teachers - some are perfectly happy to make a little extra cash during their summer breaks.
Check in with your local rec center
Many rec centers, parks departments, museums, colleges, and other publicly funded institutions offer inexpensive and even FREE summer camps and enrichment programs for children during the summer months. Private summer camp options can be exorbitantly priced, so don't miss out on these more affordable enrichment opportunities.
Cash in on your vacation days when it counts
Many sitters head back to school in August, and many daycare or summer camp programs conclude in early August in order to accommodate their schedules. If you've accrued a lot of vacation time at work, consider taking off a few weeks during mid to late August or early September, right before your kids head back to school.