The hunt for child care in the summer has begun in Utah

Mar 8, 2024, 9:00 AM | Updated: 4:35 pm

a toddler and her mom at discovery gateway, which is one of many organizations with summer camps in...

Cessilee Dunford watches daughter Millie put light pegs into holes on a giant pegboard during a Sensory Inclusive Afternoon at Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Summer camps in Utah, along with other childcare options, might be in high demand this year amid a childcare shortage. One Utah mom says to start looking as soon as you can.

Between an already fiercely competitive childcare market and fewer stay-at-home parents than before, the hunt for summer childcare is on for Utah’s working household families. 

Hayden Rigby is the operations manager for Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum. The museum offers several different summer camps for children between 5 and 12 years old.

According to Rigby, those programs filled up in 2023.

Mom of two and full-time attorney Dannon Branigan told KSL NewsRadio that signing kids up for summer camp can be a mad dash.

“Getting your kid a spot in summer camp is a little bit like getting really good concert tickets when you’re in your 20s.  It [registration] opens up at 9 a.m. and you’re refreshing and you’re adding to cart as quick as you can,” said Branigan.

Despite the stress and high demand, Branigan said parents have a lot of options for summer camps in Utah.

“Almost everywhere has some type of summer camp if you start looking, anything that’s kid-related, right? Museums and gymnastics and dance studios and all of that,” she said.

There’s a catch though. 

Branigan pointed out that many summer programs only offer half-days.

Her advice?

“The sooner you can start looking, probably, the better,” said Branigan.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Kevin Franke, is speaking up for child welfare reform....


Kevin Franke calls for child welfare reform after YouTube mom sent to prison for child abuse

For more than a year, Ruby Franke abused her children while evading welfare workers. Kevin Franke is speaking up to stop it from happening again.

5 days ago

A small American flag is illuminated by fireworks on Monday, July 4, 2022....

Kennedy Camarena

‘A Woman’s View’: Ways to celebrate the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is right around the corner! How are you going to celebrate the day? 'A Woman's View' has some ideas for you.

15 days ago

Heidi Thomas, left, and Meggane Vasquez, right, look at each other during the Rainbow March and Ral...

Mariah Maynes

Deer Valley to host its first Pride event, Mountain Pride Day on June 30

Deer Valley announced that it will host its first Pride festival on June 30.

27 days ago

Utah backyard homes may become more abundant. (Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)...

Don Brinkerhoff

Utah cities are clearing the way for backyard homes

Several cities along the Wasatch Front are reportedly loosening their restrictions on so-called backyard homes.

1 month ago

Getting along with the in-laws can be a tricky - but essential - part of the marriage journey. Utah...

Emma Everett Johnson,

Struggling with in-laws? USU experts have some advice

Struggling with in-laws? You're not alone. The University of Utah has conducted a research study to help people out who have in-law troubles.

1 month ago

Foxtails are seeds dropped by wild grass. They can become easily attached to dog fur, as well as th...

Tammy Kikuchi

Dog moms and dads, be on the lookout for foxtail seeds

Wild grass seeds called foxtails can become embedded in a dogs fur, and may require surgery to remove.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

The hunt for child care in the summer has begun in Utah