Why are all the summer programs so expensive?

United States
May 30, 2007 2:56pm CST
I really want to put my kids in some type of summer program. Really whatever it is they want to do. My oldest son wants to do Taekwondo and both of my girls want to do gymnastics. I have looked into some of these programs for them and they all cost so much. I just dont understand why they have to cost so much there are people who cant afford those prices. To me it seems as though they only want certain types of kids in there classes. Does anyone else have this problem? Or are the prices of these programs pricey for you also? What am I supposed to tell my kids as to why they can not do these things?
6 people like this
15 responses
• Philippines
30 May 07
this sounds different from what we are having around here in our locality. there are special programs devised for students at this time of year. and these special programs are much cheaper than the usual rates. this is meant to encourage children to enroll in sports and similar activities while, they are out of school. parents will also be encouraged to support their kids in this regard, as the fees are greatly lowered to fit easily into most parents' budget. perhaps you can find one around which you can easily afford.
• United States
30 May 07
I hope so we are going to continue to look.
@sweetdesign (5151)
• United States
31 May 07
Have you looked into your local youth center? Normally you buy a year long family membership and your kids can enjoy all kinds of summer programs. Plus the whole family has access to the facilities including the pool. I can't afford to join other summer programs either and I oonly have one child.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 May 07
No not yet I will have to look into it thank you.
• United States
31 May 07
Your very welcome. I know how you feel. My daughter did soccer for four years and the way her feet were growing at that time I spent a fortune on shoes alone. But it was worth it for her self esteem as this was during a difficult time for her (her father had just had two more kids and was virtually ignoring her for four years).
1 person likes this
• United States
31 May 07
I bet it was worth it.
@callarse1 (4793)
• United States
31 May 07
They probably have a high overhead cost and therefore must charge the money. I believe the public schools and YMCA have summer programs that are cheaper, you may also consider summer camp or something like that. Pablo
1 person likes this
• United States
31 May 07
Yeah Im gonna look into it.
• United States
31 May 07
I would just tell the children the truth, and try to come up with something else for them to do. I think that its fun to go do things as a family, for the price of some of those summer activities you could have a nice camping, road, or even hiking trip. Just try to keep your kids active playing games and try maybe a summer activity that may become an anual type event. Something that they can look foward to every summer, for instance: The so & so family sack race, or the so & so family hot dog eating competition. You can invent many things to keep children busy during the summer, lol the most effective thing i've found is money he he.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 May 07
I can see thats what Im going to have to do.
• United States
30 May 07
Some of these places may also offer scholarship programs where they will "eat" some or all of the cost. We have a phenomenal music school in our area that does this and I know the YMCA also offers them. Some places may be willing to reduce tuition in exchange for help from you or the children in other areas. Our town offers a soccer program that offers breaks in the price (up to 100% coverage), and in echange, the parents are expected to help by coaching or runing the snack stands at tournaments. I would also continue to look for activities. Check out your library and your town recreation department to see if/what programs they are offering for the summer. They are usualy free or low cost and can often be better than the expensive programs. The sports-type programs can definitely be pricey and I would tell your children exactly that if they ask. If they really want to do this things later, they can save up their own money for them.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 May 07
I will have to look into that.
@Michele21 (3094)
• United States
30 May 07
I totally agree with you that they are way too expensive!! I was just looking in to them for my daughter and they are at least $250 for a few hours, in one day!! Who can pay $250+ for one day...and it isn't even the whole day?? I certainly can't afford it!! Just tell your kids they are too expensive and not everyone would be able to do it, so your family will just stay together for the Summer and do alot of fun family things =)
• United States
30 May 07
Yeah I think they will understand.
@jolenegreen (1209)
• United States
30 May 07
I wish we had theese type of programs around my area. We dont have anything like that. Its really boring area!
• United States
30 May 07
Im sorry to hear that.
@toe_ster (771)
• United States
31 May 07
Iam in the same boat as you. We live ina well off area (I guess) only we are not well off. There are summer programs that are ridiculously expensive and not even worth it. It is hard for my kids, because even during the rest of the year there is not much they are able to do. They have to be in first grade or up to play baseball, basketball or football. They have to be in kindergarten to play soccer. The other programs (there is two) cost hundreds of dollars for like less than one month of playing. It sucks. I wanna move!! But sadly can't yet. So here is what I have done before. Through eceap/head start they might have information of free or low cost activities in your area for over the summer. YOu can try your local YMCA they might have somewht more affordable programs. Alos in ou case if we go to another city, there are more programs available to my age kids and prices are not as steep. Also if you have a praks and rec or try the school district. Sometimes the local high schools(we only have 2) do summer programs to earn extra money for their sport or cause. They do weekly camps here. Like sports camps, or cheerleading. They are cheaper because it is the high schoolers running the whole thing and teaching it too. Good luck. If you find anything good let us know. Oh you can tryand see if some of your program offer scholarships(or partial ones) or have waivers or some kind of assistance. We have one soccer club that has you sell fundraising type booklets to offset the cost.
@netbuster (100)
• India
31 May 07
Summer programs are usually fast track programs with a lot of things being given to kids in a very short period of time. Experts have to probably travel a distance and that doesn't come cheap. The best way I guess would be to plan for our kids summer. We probably would have to find out what they would like to do in advance. That way we would know what the expenses would be. I know it it probably very difficult to say no to our kids.
1 person likes this
@4cuteboys (4102)
• United States
31 May 07
It is expensive! I was originally going to let my 7 year old go to summer camp on base, they go to the pool twice a week, field trips once a week and do fun stuff the other days but it was like well over $600 a month which is more than my car payment! That seems ridiculously high. We ended up deciding to stay the summer with my parents at their house anyways but I couldn't believe the price. They do get good care and food and all but still wow. If we were staying here I was going to do it anyways reguardless of the cost because I didn't want him to be stuck at home all the time and bored. I agree all the lessons are expensive. Out here it's like $80 or more a month for Karate, and I think dance is even more. They have piano lessons that were over $60 a month. It seems so expensive.
1 person likes this
@Woodpigeon (3710)
• Ireland
31 May 07
I think it is one of those instances where, for general purpose camps, it pays to shop around. You can get smaller places that offer much better programme than some of the larger places. For istance, we have Samba Soccer Camp here and it is a total rip off, and run nationwide, but it's well known. Our Community Centre offeres similar camps but wihout the name for a tiny fraction of the price. On the other hand, if my kids want to sail, there is no alternative but to go through the sailing club an dpay what they demand. As their are certifications involved, it is them or no one or they can't progress through the grades. In that respect, I think the price is quite prohibitive for some families that would be otherwise interested, and it is because they don't want certain people joining the club.
1 person likes this
@KrisNY (7592)
• United States
31 May 07
Yes I agree- dance, gymnastics and all of those related classes are outrageous- My daughter was in dance for a year- It was $35 a month plus the cost of shoes, costume, pictures- etc. and this was for only 1 class! I think people need to lower their priced for kid things-
@Sherry12 (2475)
• United States
30 May 07
My kids went to church camps and they aren't that expensive. The church pays half the cost for all members that attend. They also will pay the total amount if someone can't afford it. And, the counselors are all volunteers. The specialty camps are expensive, I think because they have so many expenses. They pay the counselors and have to have qualified teachers teaching the classes. You might talk to the people who are running the camps, maybe they have a way of helping pay some of the expenses. Sometimes people donate money to help pay the costs of people who can't afford it. And with 3 wanting to go - that's a lot of money.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8709)
• United States
30 May 07
I would check into the programs and see if they offer a scholarship program. I know in our area, they will discount some of the summer programs depending on income or they let a certain number of kids go free. It is worth a quick call to see. I also feel that they are way overpriced.
• Canada
30 May 07
I agree as I have never understood why this stuff has to be so expensive to have our children in . My son wanted to get into soccer but it was a fee of seventy five dollars and then there was going to be a lot of traveling and we had two days to come up with the money if we wanted our children to participate in this for the summer . My heart broke because there was no way I was going to be able to get the money for this and he would miss a lot of time because we only have one vechile and I would not be able to get him back and fouth all the time . Children who have something to do are less likely to get into trouble yet they make anything fun that a child might like to do , so expensive that the parents have to find a way to come up with all the money and then a way to get them back and fourth . It does seem like they are only interested in getting parents who make a lot of money rather then a variety of children . The only thing I can tell you to tell your children is the truth like I do , that although you would love to be able for them to join but that you simply don't have the money for it at this time and hopefully at a later date you can get them in . It is really hard having to tell your child this but I have always felt it is better to be open and honest with our children because this is what we expect from them .
1 person likes this