How Can You Save Money on Summer Camps for Kids?


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    By: ActivityTree

    How Can You Save Money on Summer Camps for Kids?

    It’s hard to believe, but late winter is the best time to start researching and registering for summer camps. A little advanced planning can help you save some serious coin on the costs of enrollment. Many of these tips apply to both day and overnight camps. 

    1. Attend Summer Camp Open House Events
    As early as February and March, camp providers start to host open house events and may offer discounts on registration during that time.

    2. Attend Local Camp Fairs
    Local media outlets (e.g. newspapers and parent magazines) and recreation centers commonly host camp fairs that allow you to collect information and get real-person interaction with a lot of different camp representatives all in one place. Sometimes, camps will offer exclusive discounts to camp fair attendees and host contests and giveaways.

    3. Register for Summer Camps Early
    Early registration discounts are used as a way to encourage enrollment long before the camp season starts…and an easy way for you to save! Discounts usually apply about 45 days or more before the start date.

    4. Apply for Scholarships and / or Tuition Assistance
    The key is to apply early because most camps only offer a limited number of scholarships and also have limits on funds that can be allocated for assistance. The application terms for both types of financial aid are likely to be different with every camp. Some may be need-based and factor income, some may not. Nearly all YMCA summer camps have a tiered pricing format that offers tuition subsidization to help make camp attendance affordable for more families.

    5. Ask about Promotions on Camp Tuition
    There are several common promotions offered by kid’s activity providers of all types, including summer camps. Here are some examples:

    Sibling Discount: If you have multiple children, this one’s for you. The first child usually attends for full price and any subsequent siblings attend the same program for a reduced rate.

    Buddy Discount: Similar to the sibling discount, this promotion offers discounted registration fees if more than one child registers and the enrollees do not need to be related.

    Multi-Week Discount: Enroll your child in more than one week of camp and you may receive a reduced rate.

    Refer-a-Friend Credit: Camps rely on word-of-mouth referrals. Many will give you credit towards your child’s attendance at camp as a thank you for encouraging friends and family to register their children, too.

    6. Subscribe to the Summer Camp’s E-mail List and / or Newsletter
    If you have identified some camps that you think are a good fit for your child, subscribe to their e-mail list. This is a great way to get first notice of camp dates and it’s quite common for exclusive discounts to be emailed to their subscribers.

    7. Find Summer Camps on Facebook and Twitter
    Have you found a camp or two that you think are the right fit? “Like” their pages on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. A lot of times, exclusive discounts and contests (e.g. win a free week of camp) will be promoted through social channels.

    8. Deduct Summer Day Camp Expenses as Part of The Childcare Tax Credit
    There will be a little bit of delayed gratification with this one, but come tax time, you can deduct tuition expenses for day camps that qualify under the childcare tax credit. Check out this past post, which is still accurate, for more information:  Day Camp Tax Credit

    Find Camps and Classes Near You



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