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.


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