Why Paying for Summer Camp for My 2-Year-Old Was Worth It

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  • Recently, I paid for my two-year-old to go to camp for a week.
  • It cost me $165 for camp for five mornings.
  • Spending the money was well worth it for me.

Is it worth sending your kids to camp?

My two-year-old just finished up a week of summer camp. He went to camp from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a total of five days and I paid $165 to send him.

This may seem like a lot of money, but I budgeted for it and was happy to pay it out of the money I earmarked for it in a special savings account. Here's why spending this money was well worth it for me and my family.

1. To give me more time to work

The most obvious benefit of spending the money on summer camp for my son was that I had an extra three hours each day to work. During the time that my son was at camp, I was able to make more than the amount I had spent on his tuition. This meant the expense was more than justified and sending him actually brought more money into my household than it took out. That alone was reason enough to sign him up -- even without the other benefits.

The extra time to work was especially valuable because my family and I go away on several vacations during the summer so it's hard to find regular childcare as most daycares require you to make monthly commitments. I would have been paying for time I don't use if I did that, whereas I could simply choose to sign my son up for camp in the weeks that we're home and not waste money paying for care we won't be here to use.

2. To do a test-run for pre-school

There was also another big reason why I felt paying for camp was well worth the money. I wanted to see how my son did at this activity to see if he was ready to go to preschool.

See, my son has been almost exclusively cared for by family during his entire life because of COVID-19. Since he's had limited exposure to outside caregivers, I wasn't sure if I should sign him up for preschool this year at three or wait another year until he was older and more mature.

I had to put down a deposit and commit to at least a full semester of preschool before the summer was over if I wanted him to go, and I didn't want to end up spending money for tuition only to find he wasn't quite prepared yet. Sending him to camp was a test run that enabled me to see if and how he could separate. Fortunately, he did well, and spending the money to find that out was worth it.

3. To help develop his skills

Finally, I wanted my son to begin developing more skills with regard to playing with other kids and listening to teachers. Being able to go to camp gave him the chance to practice these things, along with an opportunity to do fun stuff like play on the playground and attend a music class.

All in all, the experience ended up being well worth the money because of these three benefits and also because my son had a great time. While every family needs to decide for themselves if camp costs are worth paying, my experience shows that sometimes spending money on this type of activity just makes good sense.

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