Daycare costs change substantially over time, particularly in the early childhood years. Depending on how young your child is, daycare will be for the full day and for the full year; once the child starts kindergarten, which is now full day in our jurisdiction, the cost will decrease to before and/or after school only. Some daycares allow part-time arrangements, but most require full-time enrollment even if the child does not attend every day. If you are sharing custody a week at a time, and only one parent requires daycare, special arrangements would have to be made if possible.
For the summer, daycare attendance will likely increase to full day again, depending on the parents’ work schedules. Even if you have vacation time and plan to be home with the children, the daycare may require you to pay either a portion or the full amount of the daycare cost for the summer to keep the spot. If you choose to put the child in camps, instead of daycare, this expense would likely be considered a childcare expense to be shared.
If, however, you choose to put your child in a camp during your week or two of extended access, rather than staying home with him or her, the cost of camp would likely be only your responsibility. If you either share the summer or each have a dedicated week or two of ‘vacation’ access, the presumption is that you will spend it with your child and have no need for daycare. It may be your choice to have the child attend camp during the day in any event — don’t assume that the other parent will share the expense in that case. Talk about it and try to agree ahead of time on how you plan to handle holiday childcare costs so that you both have a full understanding of the child support obligations.