Parent’s Picks – Northern CA & Surrounding Areas: Sleep Away Camps


Description: Overnight camp focused on stilts, trapeze, drama, juggling, unicycle, martial arts, swimming, singing, dancing, hot cocoa, the labyrinth, hanging out and much, much more!

Ages: 5-15

Dates: 1 & 2 week sessions from June 19 – Aug 19

Cost: 1 week – $925 / 2 week – $1845

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Description: Trackers Earth offers award-winning camps. Parents know them as one of the best and most engaging summer camps in the Bay Area.

Expedition Overnights These camps start at the Trackers Guild Hall, Berkeley and journey to epic locations in Northern California and beyond.

Residential Overnights These camps are at our West Coast site in beautiful Sandy, Oregon. Camp Trackers is a lush forested camp on the western slopes of Mt. Hood. Track elk, visit our permaculture garden, and more. Convenient Airport Transfer service is available for all students traveling to Camp Trackers.

Locations: Northern CA locations vary & 

Ages: Grades 5-12

Dates: Weekly sessions from July 11 – Aug 25

Cost: $875/week, $1550/2 weeks

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Description: Caz strikes a balance between in-depth music education and carefree summer camp fun. Though challenging, our practice schedule includes plenty of time for rest and play. Campers also enjoy a variety of music electives along with sports, arts and crafts, ecology, and other activities. Each day closes with an evening program such as a campfire, talent show, or staff concert. At night, campers sleep on tent decks under majestic redwoods and a star filled sky. The week culminates in a formal concert performance by our students, attended by proud family and friends.

Campers at Caz are challenged by a rigorous curriculum, but the Caz magic also comes from the inspirational setting and the love and care that the staff bring to teaching our young musicians. Through immersion in music and nature, Caz teaches important life skills such as teamwork, respect, compassion, goal setting, and leadership.

Cazadero Summer Music Camp offers one- and two-week sessions based on age and musical experience and ability.

Ages: Grades 5-12

Dates: 1 & 2 week sessions from June 19 – Aug 5

Cost: 1 week – $755-$890 / 2 week – $1600-$1770

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Description: This mission is our guiding philosophy at Tawonga and shapes everything we do—from the programs we facilitate to the way that we lead campers in daily activities.

While we do not overtly teach the mission to the campers, it is central to our staff training and is infused in every moment at camp. In fact, many of our past campers reflect upon Tawonga’s mission in their staff interviews without realizing their experience so vividly mirrored our guiding principles.

At Camp Tawonga, we foster positive self-image and self-esteem, create a cooperative community, build a partnership with nature, and explore spirituality and positive Jewish identity in children.

Location: Located on 160 acres just outside Yosemite National Park

Ages: Grades 2-10 / Teen Leadership Program: Grades 11&12

Dates: 1, 2 & 3 week sessions from June 18 – Aug 15


A Taste of Camp
2nd – 7th June 18 – June 23 6 days $1,295
Session II
3rd – 8th June 25 – July 7 2 weeks $3,325
Session III
5th – 10th July 9 – July 28 3 weeks $4,135
Session IV
4th – 10th July 30 – August 15 2.5 weeks $3,775
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No matter if you are a first time uCamper or a seasoned pro, there is a summer camp to meet every schedule, interest and budget.

Every uCamps program promotes the values of acceptance, respect, and appreciation. We emphasize process over product, and enjoy sharing the great outdoors of California with our campers. All of our summer programs are overnight residential camps, and provide opportunities for students to enrich their artistic, academic, and personal skills. All of our Staff are people of high character and talent, many of whom grew up attending as campers.

Campers design their own schedule each day, choosing the workshops that most interest them . Act, sing, dance, make films, be in a rock band, write, paint, hike, swim, shoot archery, play gaga ball and more. Evenings are packed with tons of fun and excitement including: campfires, pool parties, dances, stargazing and more.

Location: Boulder Creek, CA

Ages: Grades 5-12

Dates: 10 Day sessions from June 28 – Aug 5

Cost: 10 Days – $1495

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Description: Life on the Ranch is rustic and unplugged: we spend our days swimming, hiking, riding, caring for animals, gardening, and making music and art. We live, work, and play in a co-educational, non-competitive setting where kids are free to be themselves. Building community and respect for the environment are the heart and soul of our summer camp.

Location: 17197 Hyampom Road  Hayfork, CA 96041

Ages: Grades 5-12

Dates: 1, 2 & 3 week sessions from 18 – Aug 5


Two Weeks ………………….$3150
1st , 2nd, or 3rd Session

Four Weeks ………………….$5900
Any two 2-week sessions

One Week ……………………$1650
4th Session

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Description:  Unalayee has been taking kids on outdoor adventures since 1949. Located in Northern California’s Trinity Alps, we are a non-profit, co-ed wilderness summer camp that provides meaningful outdoor experiences for children ages 10-17. Whether boating, backpacking, making crafts or learning leadership skills, campers learn how to safely enjoy a remarkably beautiful wilderness setting.

As a non-profit, Unalayee takes great pride in welcoming children from all walks of life. Unalayee provides assistance to many of its campers, allowing kids from all income levels to have a wilderness summer camp experience. Our program actively teaches campers confidence, compassion, community and conservation.

As a wilderness summer camp, Unalayee is proud to have introduced thousands of kids to backcountry living while maintaining an impeccable safety record. Kids in our summer camp programs learn about themselves as they learn to live in the wilderness. The rugged terrain of the Trinity Alps provides a challenging and dramatic backdrop for wilderness adventure.

Location: Northern California’s Trinity Alps

Ages: 10-15

Dates: 2&4 week sessions

Cost: $2050/2 weeks, $4100/2 weeks

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Description: You will not be bored during your week at Frontier Ranch. You get to fly down our 300+ foot zip line, ride our 50cc off-road motorcycles, and speed down our 200 foot slip-n-slide, along with many more activities during your week at camp! Our skits and games will give you some great memories and make you laugh so hard your side will ache. Stop by the barn and visit our farm animals, make a craft to take home as a memory of camp, or dive off the diving board in our refreshing pool. Become friends with your counselor who will guide you through your memorable week. Frontier Ranch, a life-changing week of getting to know an amazing God, making new friends, and having a blast, is the place to be this summer.

Location: 1050 Lockhart Gulch Rd. Scotts Valley, CA 95066

Ages:Grades 4-12

Dates: Weekly sessions June 11-Aug 5

Cost: $399-$495/week

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Description: At our Resident Camps, girls will all experience being away from home and building their self reliance. They will challenge themselves on the ropes courses, play games in the meadow, take hikes with new friends, cook yummy treats over a fire, participate in all camp activities and campfires, set the tables in the dining hall for meals,  learn to shoot archery and more.

Location: Multiple locations: Humbolt Country, Calaveras County, Pescadero & Kirkwood, CA

Ages: Grades 4-12

Dates: Weekly sessions in July & August – vary by location/program

Cost: Rates vary by location/program



Description:  Take a short walk to the fairy steps, or a day hike to the top of the ridge for an amazing view of the San Francisco Bay! Spend some time at the archery range perfecting your shot, or in the Art Barn letting your inner creativity shine. Travese the creek and up the trees on the incredible Rachel “Scooter” Kwong High Ropes Adventure Course. Find out if you like to be front and center on the stage or calling the shots behind the scenes in the Bothin Theater Company. Cook over a campfire, swim in the pool, and play all day out in the fresh air because there’s always something fun going on at Bothin!

Bothin provides a positive environment where girls are nurtured, respected and challenged. Emphasis is placed on group interactions and activities that help girls define themselves. Under the guidance of a trained adult staff, girls we assist girls in developing skills, learn teamwork and enhance their self esteem. The staff and administration at Bothin are committed to providing the highest quality of program for every child at camp. The health and safety of our campers and the caliber of program are our primary concerns and we strive to offer every girl a well-rounded and complete camp experience.

Campers sleep in dormitories, open air cabin, and platform tents. Making s’mores, memories, and forever friendships is what’s at the heart of the Bothin experience!

Location: Marin, 1 hour North of Golden Gate Bridge

Ages: Grades 4-10

Dates: 4-12 day sessions in June & July.  Vary by program

Cost: Avg $450/week (Varies by length of time and session)



Description: The YATC  offers Overnight Summer and Winter Camp programs. The opportunity to come to the forest and be enveloped by the performing arts is a transformative and life altering experience.
Classes.  Students attend classes in all the areas of the performing arts while at camp and are allowed to then choose an area of concentrated study by signing up for private coaching. While the curriculum at each camp differs, classes are always offered in the following areas:

Scene Study
Musical Theatre Dance
Musical Theatre Voice
On Camera Technique
Costumes and Stage Make Up
Movement for Actors
Film Editing
Empowering the Actor
Casting Workshops
The Business of Show Business
Comedy & Improv
Stage Combat

Location: Santa Cruz mountains in the beautiful town of Felton.

Ages: 8-18

Dates: The Summer Camp sessions are 11 days/10 nights -July 3-Aug 14th.  Winter Camp runs 7 days/6 nights – Dec 27-Jan 2.

Cost: $2379 – $4395 (check website for details)

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Description:For more than 75 years, YMCA Camp Campbell has provided enriching outdoor experiences to thousands of children, families, and adults from all over the greater San Jose area. With a wide variety of safe and exciting activities that focus on skill and self-confidence development, YMCA Camp Campbell is the ultimate year-round camp.

Location: Boulder Creek, CA

Ages: Mini Camp: Ages 716 / Overnight Camp: Ages 7–16 / Adventure Camp: Ages 13–16/  Leadership Camps: Ages 15–17

Dates: Weekly, multi-week  sessions from June 25 – Aug 11

Cost: $684 – $1780 (prices vary by length of session, age of child and programs – refer to website)



Description: Camp Loma Mar is accredited through the American Camping Association. We provide children with new and exciting experiences, positive role models, an opportunity to challenge themselves, and a chance to spend a portion of their summer actively learning in a fun and safe outdoor environment. Camp Loma Mar held the earliest “ragger” programs, a leadership development activity that teaches values and builds character.

Our campers come from around the country and outside the U.S., although most of our campers are children of diverse backgrounds from Oakland, Pleasanton, Fremont, Newark, Loma Mar and Pescadero.

Location: Pescadero Valley, 15 miles south of Half Moon Bay

Ages: 7-15

Dates: Weekly sessions, July 9-30

Cost: $660/week (financial aide available)

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Description:  Camp Ravencliff offers a great experience for both new and returning campers. Using age-appropriate activities and challenges, our trained, caring staff encourages campers to make new friends, experience new things and learn new skills. Alongside traditional camp activities like hiking, canoeing, crafts and sing-alongs, we teach values and skills that will make a positive difference in campers’ lives for years to come.  Camp Ravencliff is the ideal place for your youth or teen to enjoy a summer adventure.

Location: Garberville, CA 95542

Ages: 7-15

Dates: Weekly sessions, July 9-30

Cost: $660/week (financial aide available)

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Description: Each day, campers at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp have two Core Sports sessions, totaling about 4 hours of training in their Core Sport. Our specialized sports program enables young athletes to develop their skills as individual players and as teammates within a fun and supportive summer camp environment.  We also believe that game play is an important part of learning a sport so each day campers get the opportunity to play games during one of the two Core Sports sessions.

Campers select a Core Sport at the time of registration and focus on that sport for the entire session. Campers who sign up for multiple sessions can choose to remain in the same Core Sport or choose a different one.

The following Core Sports are available: Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball (Sessions 1&2), Softball (Sessions 2&3), Girls Lacrosse (Sessions 2&3)

Location: Menlo College – Atherton, CA


Dates: 1, 2 & 4 week sessions from June 20-July 30

Cost: $1745 – $6090 (Depending on number of weeks)

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Description:  We pride ourselves on being hip to the times, while maintaining traditional values. Kennolyn has left a lasting impression on tens of thousands of children and adults alike throughout the years, and our campers and staff return year after year…in fact many on staff are former campers!

Camp is a great place to try new things, and we have a broad range of activities, both fun and instructional. Before summer starts, campers choose from over 40 activities (with instruction available for all levels), from Horseback Riding to Ropes & Climbing, from Water Sports to Arts & Crafts or Archery, and everything in between. We also offer Specialty Camps, our professional level activities that combine traditional camp experience with in-depth skill development in one area, including Culinary Arts, Trapeze, Surfing, Adventure Camp, Equestrian and Marine Exploration.

On Special Days, we switch things up from the regular schedule for even more adventures. Outpost camping (on our own redwood filled property), Beach Trips, Water Carnival, a day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, 4th of July and Founder’s Day are just some of our Special Day activities.

Each evening, we round out the day with an event for the entire camp. Campfire, Dance & Movie Night, Counselor Dress-Up and Scavenger Hunt are among the many evening activities.

Location: 8400 Glen Haven Road Soquel, CA 95073

Ages: 1st  – 10th grade

Dates: June 18 – Aug 19

Cost: $795 – $3595 (Depending on number of weeks & program)

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Description: A summer camp that brings racially and economically diverse middle schoolers together. We equip them with the leadership, social-emotional, and cultural competencies that they’ll use to develop meaningful relationships with each other. And we have so much fun!

For two weeks (12 nights), 32 rising 6th-9th graders from a diverse set of schools will sleep in cabins, swim in the pool, hike through the redwoods, navigate the low-ropes course, learn archery, play ‘gaga’ and field games, perform skits, and gather around the fire pit. At Camp Common Ground, we will also do simulations and games to experientially learn about what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. We welcome diversity of all sorts, including religious, ethnic, political, sexual orientation, and gender identity. We intend to create a safe atmosphere, where campers can be vulnerable, listen, and share—and we’re going to have a ton of fun doing it!

Location: 545 37th St, Oakland, CA 94609

Ages: Middle School

Dates: June 19— July 1 (12 nights)

Cost: Full tuition for camp is $2,000. 1/3 of campers receive full scholarship, 1/3 of campers receive partial scholarship, and 1/3 pay full tuition.

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Description: Point Reyes Nature Science Camp is designed to inspire young people to explore, discover, and connect with themselves, each other, and the natural world in the unparalleled beauty of Point Reyes National Seashore.

Camp programs combine outdoor adventuring with the best environmental education techniques, marine and coastal field excursions, and traditional summer camp activities to create an unforgettable camp experience.

Our hand-picked staff of professional naturalists and experienced counselor intern naturalists have a well-earned reputation for creating exceptional adventure learning within a community of loving support.

Location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Ages: 7-12

Dates: Weekly sessions in July

Cost: $770/week

View more information Parent Scout




Description: Designed especially for teens, Point Reyes Adventure Camp features professionally-led backpacking trips into the heart of Point Reyes’ Phillip Burton Wilderness.

Participants develop confidence and build leadership skills while practicing “leave no trace” wilderness ethics. Each backpacking group of 13 youth is guided by one professional Naturalist Educator and two trained Counselor Intern Naturalists, all of whom have significant wilderness and youth leadership experience.

Adventure Camp I participants (ages 12 to 14) share a 3-day backpacking trip with their cabin group of the same gender and end the session with a reunion feast and campfire finale. Adventure Camp II participants (ages 15 to 17) share 4 days in the backcountry in a mixed gender group and end the session with a reunion feast and dance party.

Participants must be prepared to hike up to eight miles per day over varied terrain while carrying a 30 to 40 pound backpack. PRSC provides all group gear including tarp shelters, cooking equipment, first aid supplies, meals and snacks.

Location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Ages: 12-17

Dates: Weekly sessions in July

Cost: $770/week

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Description:  At URJ Camp Newman, we’re building a foundation for a vibrant and joyful Jewish life. Rooted in Jewish values and guided by our experienced staff, we offer fun, immersive summer sessions that give your child the opportunity to develop community, teamwork, self-esteem, and individual skill.

Activities include athletics, outdoor adventure sports, music, art, dance, leadership training, and social action. Campers celebrate their best selves, form lifelong friendships, and find a community where they belong.

There are so many amazing things to do: Conquering the Alpine Tower as a team. Seeing the final point scored in Ultimate Frisbee. Dancing together on Shabbat. Singing arm-in-arm every night before bed. Hiking to the Star that overlooks camp. Making more friends in a week than they could all year.

We believe that these transformative experiences inspire kids to bring camp home to their daily lives, applying what they learn here to better themselves, their communities and the world.

Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Ages: Grades 3-12

Dates: 11, 13 ,15, 27 & 57 day sessions

Cost: $2,900 – $7,945 (depending on session)

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Description: The San Francisco adventure camps offered by Wanderers are among the best summer camps in California. Going away to camp is a milestone moment in any child’s life. If you are ready for your son or daughter to attend his or her first Northern California sleepaway camp, one of our options is sure to be perfect. We have several five to six day camp options available for kids aged 7-14. The children who attend Wanderers camps spend their days doing a wide range of activities, which sets us apart from other San Francisco summer camps. Your child will get to touch starfish, find huckleberries, look for tule elk, play in redwood forests, rock climb on granite, and do a number of other things. Throughout the week, your child will get to engage in team-building exercises that will improve his or her interpersonal skills. Wanderers’ camps culminate with a fun challenge day in which all of the campers participate.

Ages: 7-14

Dates: Weekly sessions in June, July & August


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Parent Scout Picks: East Bay Summer Day Camps

This is a list of camps in the East Bay (San Francisco Bay Area).  The list is always growing so check back!  Prices, dates and details are subject to change.  If you see a camp you are interested in, please confirm information by going to the camp website.



Description: Trackers Earth offers award-winning camps. Parents know them as one of the best and most engaging summer camps in the Bay Area. Day camps are fueled by compelling story and old school outdoor adventure. Overnight camps are rooted in fantastic legend and authentic traditional skills.

Locations: South Berkeley: 3049 Adeline Street Berkeley, CA / West Berkeley: Berkeley Marina University Ave Berkeley, CA / Walnut Creek: Rudgear Park 2222 Stewart Ave Walnut Creek, CA

Ages: Age 4-grade 10

Dates: June 19-Aug 25

Cost: $425/week



Description: (Ages 8 – 11)
Experience the old-time country farm lifestyle during a week of farm camp fun! We’ll learn about caring for farm animals, harvesting, cooking, getting dirty, and having fun! Register early for this popular camp.  Registration begins Tuesday, February 2.

Location: Little Farm, Tilden Park

Ages: 8-15

Dates: Weekly sessions in July & Aug (Visit site for details)

Cost: $260 – $280 / week



Description: Camp Kee Tov continues its tradition of over 45 years of excellence in day-camping with a special ruach (Kee Tov spirit) all its own. With groups for children entering Kindergarten-9th grade, our programming and traditions have inspired thousands of campers from a diverse cross-section of our community, welcoming a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, families and faiths.

Location: Pick Up & Drop Off – Temple Beth-El & Live Oak Park

Ages: 5-15

Dates: Monthly sessions – Session 1: June 26 – July 21 / Session 2: July 31 – August 25

Cost: $1,295-$1,900 (non-member) / $875-$1,350 (Beth-El Member)



Description: Infuse the love of dance in your child while they dance the day away.  Offering a variety of different types of dance to all different ages.  Check the website for details on each camp offered.

Location: 1537 & 1539 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley, CA 94709 (across from Andronico’s)

Ages: 3-16

Dates: Weekly sessions June 12- August 25

Cost: Half Day Camps: 1 week $215, 2 weeks $360, 3 weeks $538, 4 weeks $ 648, 5 weeks $ 896, 6 weeks $1075 

Full Day camps: 1 week $360, 2 weeks $648, 3 weeks$972, 4 weeks $1296, 5 weeks $1620 

( All camps are 5 days except the week of July 4rd )



Description: Education Unlimited offers CAPC Intensive, Prep Camp Excel, Computer Camps, Public Speaking Institute, Summer FocusScience and Engineering Camps, and Advanced Video Production.

Location: UC Berkeley – Please note, Education Unlimited programs held at UC Berkeley are not sponsored by the University of California

Ages: 5th – 12th grade

Dates: Weekly sessions in June & July

Cost: Day Camper:$1,590.00 / Extended Day Camper:$1,870.00 / Overnight Camper:$2,200.00 (per week) – (prices may vary based on program.  Check site for accurate pricing.)



Description: At Girls on the Go Camp, girls explore, imagine, and connect with one another and the beautiful BayArea. Traveling to locations near and far, Girls on the Go campers receive coaching on how to safely navigate the public transit system. Special guests share their talents in interactive play-shops, with a special focus each week. Girls have summer days filled with spontaneous and planned adventure and chances to try out new and familiar activities.


Oakland (Rockridge): Frog Park, 5500 Claremont Avenue

Berkeley (North): Cedar-Rose Park, 1300 Rose Street

Ages: 9-13

Dates: Berkeley Site: June 12-August 25 /  Oakland Site: July 10-21

Cost: $488/week



Location: 25 Sport Ln, Berkeley, CA 94720

Description:Whether your child is a first-timer or an experienced Explorer camper, our exciting and active program is sure to create lasting memories for your child for years to come! Explorer Camp employs a superb and highly-trained group of instructors and group leaders to be there every step of your child’s camp experience.

Ages: 5-15

Dates: Weekly sessions from June 12 – August 18

Cost: One Week – $380 / Two Weeks – $595



Description: Get into potions, pollywogs, chemistry, dinosaurs, bugs, and more through our  camps. They are all hands-on and age-specific, so that every child learns by doing, every day.

At the Lawrence Hall of Science, campers age 4 through grade 12 do hands-on exploration every day. See times, descriptions, costs, and registration information for over 40 camps, including half-day, full-day, research, and high school–age overnight camp.

Ages: 4 yrs-grade 12

Dates: Refer to website

Cost: Half Day – One week: $255 ($220 for Members) / Two weeks: $510 ($440 for Members) / Camps over July 4th holiday – Four days: $200 ($175 for Members) / Nine days: $455 ($395 for Members)

Full Day – One-week: $570 ($500 Members) / Two-weeks: $1,140 ($1,000 Members) / Camps over July 4th holiday are prorated: One-week: $448 ($398 Members) / Two-weeks: $1,018 ($898 Members)

Middle School and High School Full-Day Camps: Designing Structures – $600 ($510 Members)

Marine Biology Overnight Research Camp: $1,400 ($1,250 Members)



Description: Weekly themed camps in a fantastic children’s play museum that include: Under the Sea, Young Maker Lab, Back to the Farm, Cars, Boats, Planes & Trains, Castles & Dragons, The Land Before Time, Treasure Island, Space Station,  Construction Zone, Circus Parade

Ages: 3-5

Dates: Weekly sessions from  June 20 – Aug 26Ages: 5-15

Cost: $250/week (non-members) $225/week (members/ pass holder)



Description: Dive into the world of theatre arts with Berkeley Playhouse’s award-winning program. Start your dramatic exploration with our enrichment program or hone your skills in our intensive training program. Whether you are a seasoned performer or simply searching for a creative outlet, the Berkeley Playhouse has something for all students grades Pre-K -12.  Camps are generally offered Monday-Friday from 9am-3pm unless otherwise indicated.

Ages: 5-15

Dates: Weekly sessions from June 12 – July 14

Cost: 1 week: $375 / 2 weeks: $675-$750



Description: Each camp day has plenty of structure and practice, and we have lots of fun in the process. I love to work with each student, one-on-one, to see what their unique interests are!

They demonstrate a variety of methods and ways of making art to nurture artistic development. The studio also provides lessons on color theory and famous artists in art history, go on field trips, and host special guests to spark the creative process. They encourage individual exploration of personal themes and interests. And they value working together and sharing ideas.

Their goal is to provide the materials, structure, and guidance to spark creativity in each child, allow them to explore and investigate their own ideas, and have lots of fun in the process.All art materials are safe and non-toxic.

Ages:7-13, regular campers, and 14-17, counselors in training

Dates: Weekly sessions June 12 – Sept 1

Cost: $115/Day / Age 7-13: $485 / CIT Age 14-17: $465 (Register before May 15th and get a discount! Check site for details.)



Description: Day camp, full of games, crafts, capture the flag, new friends and new adventures, fosters skill building and a sense of community, while allowing campers to return home each afternoon. Specialty day camps offer children valuable opportunities to explore age-appropriate activities such as drama, art and science and develop skills specific in those areas.

Locations: Oakland, Hayward, Castro Valley, Fremont, Newark, Dublin, Pleasanton, Richmond, El Cerrito, North Richmond, Pinole (check website for exact locations)

Ages: Grades K-12

Dates: Weekly session: April 3rd-April 7th (locations may vary, check website)

Cost: Approx. $199/week (locations may vary, check website)



Description: We’re here to help you raise Curious, Courageous and Kind kids. It’s just as important to learn how to code as it to unplug and go on a hike. It’s just as important to learn to design buildings as it is to create community. Get the best of all learning worlds in one amazinating EDMO summer. Each unique weekly theme features a different combination of Science, Maker, Technology, and Nature lessons. Enroll in several different themes for maximum 21st Century skill-building. Oh, and don’t forget, every camp day also includes good ol’ fashion camp rallies, songs and outdoor games mixed with research-informed Social Emotional Learning games and our signature EDMO Vibe game.

Locations: Alameda, Berkeley, Fremont, Oakland (check site for location near you)

Ages: Pre-K-8th grade

Dates: June 26 – August 11

Cost: Check site for pricing



Description: Galileo Summer Quest is where kids ages 5th through 8th grades get to dive deep into something that inspires them.

Designed for burgeoning visionaries, Galileo Summer Quest empowers 5th – 8th graders to take the next step. Campers choose from 13+ immersive majors, picking something they already love or a new area they’re excited to explore, then spend the week diving in.

Mentored by expert instructors and equipped with professional tools and materials, campers become YouTube producers, build catapults, whip up inventive dishes, design custom video games and much, much more. Each confidence-building, collaboration-packed week gives them an opportunity to realize their personal vision in a new inspiring subject.


Ages: Pre-K-8th grade

Dates: Weekly sessions: June 26 – August 4

Cost: $379-$429 (depending on how many weeks you purchase) *early bird registration discounts are offered – check website for details



Description: We offer day camps and youth leadership for kids, ages 3-16 in Berkeley and Oakland, California, offering a variety of fun, with a lot of time outdoors. Our programs range from summers in Tilden Park, to tween and teen field trip camps, to Pre-K camp, to holiday vacation camps.

Our mission is to provide spaces for children to experience the joy of the outdoors, to learn about and celebrate being in a diverse community, to discover their unique talents and passions, and to relax and have fun in a supportive, kind environment. We are part of the movement to honor the earth and all beings and to cultivate qualities of restoration, justice and care.

Location: Tilden Park & Cedar-Rose Park – BerkeleyFrog Park – Oakland (check website to see which programs are held in Berkeley vs. Oakland)

Ages: 3-16

Dates: Weekly sessions: June 12-August 25

Cost: $488/week base rate (Add ons may apply.  Prices may vary depending on program.  Please refer to website)



Description:  Kids come into this world brimming with curiosity, wonder and creative potential. Unfortunately, we often squash that potential by telling kids what to do, and what to learn.

At Steve & Kate’s, they believe that when you trust kids, they develop the confidence to trust themselves, and learn to use their own judgment. So they built a summer camp that puts kids in charge. Because unlike traditional schools, summer gives us the freedom to reinvent learning in a way that allows kids to make their own choices – and, of course, a few mistakes along the way.

Driven by this belief, they’ve built their summer camp to put kids in the driver’s seat of a world of possibilities. So whether your child is a natural-born storyteller with a love for animation, or a budding chef, or a hacker-in-training, or a dance machine, they can dive into their passions in a world free from adult judgments and expectations.

Do a day drop in, or buy passes for as many days as you’d like.  This is the most flexible camp we’ve found yet on Parent Scout!


Fremont – Searching for a great nearby site in 2017

Ages: 5-15

Dates: Early June to late August (Specific dates vary by location and are subject to change depending on school calendars, refer to site for details)

Cost: Buy 1 or more – $100 per day / Buy 5 or more $90 per day / Buy 20 or more$80 per day / MEMBERSHIP: $2,800 per child



Description: SUNSHINE DAY CAMP (Ages 2 – 4) A camp for your youngest! Campers participate in age appropriate indoor and outdoor activities led by our experienced early childhood staff.

ADVENTURE DAY CAMP (Ages 5 – 9) This camp is a summer adventure in experiential education. Activities here include the exploration of our local environment, including a 100 year old hotel, a gorgeous park overlooking the Bay, a sustainable garden in progress, plus swimming activities in our top of the line pools.*

JUNIOR COUNSELOR IN TRAINING (CIT) (Ages 10 – 15) Our Junior CIT program is an introduction to basic job skills. These include babysitting, leadership and fundamentals of early childhood development. Our curriculum focuses on fun, hands-on learning and shadowing activities with both of our younger camps, guided by our experienced staff.

Location: 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA 94705

Ages: 2-9 / CIT: 10-15

Dates: June 12 – August 18, 2017

Cost: Full Day Week long- $265 (Members ), $340 (Non-Members) / Half Day AM/PM $160 (Members), $200 (Non-Members) / Full Day Drop In – $70 (Members), $85 (Non-Members) / Half Day Drop In – $50 (Members), $70 (Non-Members)

CIT Program: $350/week (Members) $400/week (Non-Members), $2000 for 10 weeks (Members), $2400 (Non-Members)



Description: The goal at BDC is to give campers an opportunity to have fun, make new friends and develop an appreciation of the unique natural environments that surround us in the Bay Area. Berkeley Day Camp is a traveling camp, which allows them to take full advantage of a variety of beautiful and unique environments throughout the summer. Each week, they spend one or two days in Tilden Regional Park and three days at the Berkeley Marina. One day a week we visit local swimming areas such as Lake Anza or Crown Beach in Alameda. Participants get to appreciate these fun outdoor experiences in a safe, community atmosphere, guided by trained counselors and program staff.

Location: Pick Up & Drop Off at Willard Park Clubhouse 2720 Hillegass Avenue, Berkeley

Ages: 5-13 / CIT Program 14-15

Dates: June 20 – Aug 19

Cost: $169/week (resident) / $202/week (non-resident)



Description: Come discover your gifts to the world, whether you’re an artist, a music-maker, a farmer, a crafter, or cook. From building with natural materials to growing food and making art, you will experience fun earth-friendly crafting projects that are sure to delight all of your senses. For inspiration, we will also explore the diverse origin stories of our favorite foods, crafts, and family trees. Taste the power of community as our projects and friendship help us build a Global Village.

Ages: Pre-K – 5th grade

Dates: Weekly sessions: June 12- August 26

Cost: $435 /week, $850/2 weeks



Description: Emphasizing the process of creative play, “Ha Ha This A-Way” offers children an exciting variety of dance, drama, arts & crafts, clowning, circus arts, puppetry, storytelling, music, singing, aikido, sign language, yoga, nature & free play experiences in an encouraging, non-competitive setting.

Ideally suited for children, who are entering kindergarten through fourth grade, our program goals are to have fun while promoting movement confidence, balance, cooperation, performance skills, communication, self-esteem and individual creative expression.

Each session concludes with a display of the children’s Summer Camp Art and a Movement/Theatre, Dance, Circus and Clowning performance highlighting the children’s camp experience.

Location:Located in Bay #1 of the historic Kawneer Sawtooth Building at 2525 Eighth Street #16 (between Dwight Way and Parker Street) in West Berkeley, the Eighth Street Studio is half way between University and Ashby Avenues, near the Eastshore Freeway (Interstate 80/580).

Ages: 5-9

Dates: 4 week session: July 13 to August 7

Cost: $1,250 per 4 week session



Description: If you have a child that is always hanging in the monkey bars, trees, fences… or creating dance choreographies or impersonating characters together with friends in the living room for their grandparents… a child who loves to write stories, make costumes, and thinks all of this is a blast, she or he belongs at Siksha Summer Camp!

Their goal is to create a student’s show case at the end of the summer camp where kids will invite their family members, friends, and neighbors to enjoy what they learned and created.

Activities include: Dance, Movement & Design, Circus techniques (modern aerial dance, poi juggling), Rope & Harnes, Arts & Crafts, Performance Skills, Story telling.

Location: Studio Azul 2525 8th St.  STE 16 Berkeley, CA 94710

Ages: 6-12

Dates: June 19 to July 7

Cost: Early Fee by 03/31/2017: 1 week – $365, 2 weeks – $730, 3 weeks $950 l After 03/31/2017: 1 week – $400, 2 weeks – $780, 3 weeks $990



Description: JCC Camp Tzofim is an inclusive summer day camp,  from Kindergartner’s experiencing camp for the first time to teens going on overnight adventures. With activities designed for each age group – ranging from singing to swimming – JCC Camp Tzofim offers traditional camp experiences with an emphasis on Fun and Discovery! Campers celebrate community based Jewish values, while developing meaningful relationships with new friends and camp counselors. JCC Camp Tzofim is an ACA accredited camp.

5th-6th and 7th-9th groups participate in the Trip and Travel program, where they enjoy a week of onsite fun and field trips, followed by 2-4 nights of overnight adventures around California.

Camp begins at 9:00am and ends at 4:00pm, Monday-Friday. Extended-care is available at the camp location and at the JCC Berkeley Branch from 8:00-9:00am and from 4:00-6:00pm for an additional fee.

Location: Pick Up & Drop Off at 1414 Walnut St. Berkeley, CA 94709 (A bus is provided to and from camp from the JCC Berkeley Branch (1414 Walnut St.)

Ages: 5-15

Dates: Seven weekly sessions from June 19 – August 4

Cost: TBD



Description: The Bay Area’s premier summer day camp for curious and creative children ages. Beautiful locations in Oakland and Berkeley. Join us for exciting science and nature curriculum with insanely fun hands-on projects each day.  Weekly themes include: Great Green Science; Machine Mania; All Aboard Space Travel; Furry Forest Friends; Me & My Robot; May The Force Be With You; Wire-It-Up Electronics; Ninja Science; Have A Blast With Things That Go Fast; Knights & Princesses; Sarah’s Favorite Projects.

Location: Roberts Park, Oakland / Tilden Park, Berkeley

Ages: 5-10 / CIT program 11-15

Dates: Eleven weekly sessions from June 12 – August 25

Cost: $425/week


Would you like to add your camp to our directory?  Send us an email at

Bay Area Day Trip Idea 1: Jelly Belly Factory

If you’ve ever watched and enjoyed the show How It’s Made, you will enjoy a trip to the Jelly Belly Factory. It’s just a 40 minute drive from San Fran. When you walk in the lobby you are transformed into world of candy. There are jelly beans hanging from the ceiling, walls covered in candy photos and even a gallery of art made entirely of Jelly Bellies. It’s a fun place to go and designed for families to have fun while learning about the process and history of Jelly Belly.

There are a few things to consider when planning your day.

1. No need to pack lunch, there is a Jelly Belly cafe with lots of options.

2. Bring quarters. On a busy day, you do need to wait in line for the tour. There are games along the way that require quarters to play. Some are also candy dispensers, so just accept that your child(ren) will be on a sugar high.

3. Smells in the factory can be intense! They don’t just make sweet flavors, they make sour, and practical joke flavors too, like vomit and boogers, so if you have a sensitive child, bring a clip to put on their nose!

4. Call ahead and make sure it’s a day when the factory is in production.

5. Consider going when there is an event. We went for the annual Hanukkah party and enjoyed a magician, Menorah lighting, klezmer band, crafts and food.  Jelly Belly Events Calendar

6. If you aren’t a Jelly Belly fan, not to worry, there is a chocolate and fudge shop too.

Here are some photos from our family journey:

This guy is sporting the Jelly Belly factory paper hats that all tour goers must wear.
This is the lobby/candy market.
A look inside the factory.
High fives for a pretty sweeeeeet day!
The founders of Parent Scout indulge their sweet tooth.

Lots of things to spend your money on like this jelly belly photo booth.
A look inside the factory. There are low windows for the littles.
Flying jelly bellies in the lobby.
Fabulous Hanukkah celebration. Did you know Jelly Bellies are Kosher?
Packed house for the Hanukkah celebration.
Workers packing up the jelly bellies.

Celebrate New Years with the Kids – Bay Area

New Year’s Eve Seashore Sleepover
Monterey Bay Aquarium
When: 12/31
Time: 6PM Sat – 8:30AM Sun
Cost: Adults: $125 (non-members) All participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Celebrate the countdown to 2017 at 9 p.m. (East Coast midnight) with a sparkling cider toast—plus, small bites and beverages including beer, wine (for purchase) and kid-friendly drinks. Throughout the night, you can take photos with your family in a photo booth, enjoy the sundae bar, and enjoy more fun activities and programs! In the morning, wake up with the fish. Enjoy a full breakfast in the Cafe, and then join naturalists in watching wildlife from the Great Tide Pool deck to welcome 2017.

Lawrence Hall of Science
New Year’s Eve Daytime Party
When: 12/31
Time: Noon-2PM
Cost: Adults: $12 / Ages 3-10: $10 / Ages 2 and under: FREE

Celebrate the New Year with the whole world at the Hall, where they’ll count down from all the time zones. Kids can make a noisemaker (and make some noise) and romp about for the 2 p.m. balloon drop. Enjoy a sparkling cider toast and then get them home in time for a nap.Sat., Dec. 31, noon-2 p.m. Berkeley. $12/adults; $10/ages 3-17; children 2 and under are free.

Family New Year’s Eve Party
When: 12/31
Time: 8PM-12:30AM
Where: El Cerrito
Cost: $30/person; ages 2 and under are free

Playland-Not-at-the-Beach throws a New Year’s celebration the entire family can enjoy! Play pinball, carnival games, and arcade games all night long along with their New Year’s-themed treasure hunt. There will be a “quiet room” for sleepy young partiers and countdowns for each American time zone (Eastern through Pacific) with sparkling-cider provided as well as a few live magic shows.

Children’s Discovery Museum

Noon Year’s Eve
When: 12/31
Time: 10AM-4PM
Where: San Jose
Cost:$13/person / babies under 12 months are free

This countdown across the U.S. time zones includes three ball drops, at noon, 1, & 2 p.m. Lots of games and prizes make this an awesome way to ring in the New Year and still have you home before sunset.

Bay Area Discovery Museum
Noon Year’s Eve Festival
When: 12/31
Time: 9AM-2PM
Where: Sausalito
Cost:$13.95/person / babies 6-12 months:$12.95

Bring your noisemakers to the Bay Area Discovery Museum for their annual Noon Years Eve celebration. Ring in the New Year with a hand-crafted crown, bubbles, dancing to the tunes of DJ Mancub, and count down to noon for the ball drop! It’s like Times Square for the tiny-set.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown
When: 12/31
Time: 10AM-4PM
Where: Santa Rosa
Cost:Adults: $10 / Ages 4-17: $5 / Ages 3 and under: FREE

Good grief, another year is over! Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the middle of the day with the whole Peanuts gang at the Charles M. Schultz museum. Hang out with Snoopy, enjoy lots of hands-on crafts, and countdown the New Year with noon & 3 p.m. balloon drops and root beer toasts!

Chabot Space & Science Center
When: 12/31
Time: 11AM-4PM
Where: Oakland
Cost:Price is $5 additional to entrance fees

Ring in 2015 with your kids, and the rest of the planet, at this daytime Balloon Drop . Children 5 and under are separated from the bigger kids. Some times/ages still available. Space is limited and registration is required.

Albany Community Center Hall
When: 12/31
Time: 11AM-1PM
Where: Albany
Cost:Price is $5 additional to entrance fees

Celebrate Noon Year’s Eve in Albany – perfect for kids (and parents) who can’t stay awake past 9pm. FREE party kits, craft stations, trivia and music. The ball drops at noon – don’t miss it.

When: 12/31
Time: 9:30AM-4:30PM
Where: Berkeley
Cost:Price is $5 additional to entrance fees

Confetti-themed activities will dominate Habitot, from the art table to the wind tunnel. As a bonus, every child will take home a free noisemaker.

Annual Japanese Bell Ringing Ceremony
Asian Art Museum
When: 12/31
Time: 9:30AM-12PM
Where: San Francisco

Ring in the New Year by taking a swing at a giant 2,100-pound, 16th-century, Japanese temple bell at the Asian Art Museum. Participants may take turns ringing the museum’s bronze bell to leave behind any unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds, and ill luck of the previous year. This time slot is exclusive to members. Bell-ringing opens to general admission at 11:30 am. First come, first served. Pick up tickets to ring the bell at the admission desk.

Bay Area Family Friendly Holiday Fun Favorites

Santa Wine Train
The Napa Valley Wine Train celebrates the return of the Santa Train.

Guests will embark on an all new musical and interactive journey to Santa’s Workshop accompanied by some of Santa’s best friends. Magical wristbands will transform the experience, while guests enjoy hot chocolate, and a cookie.

Reservations are currently being accepted by calling 800-427-4124
Santa Train Fare starting at $55.00

Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas
Berkeley, 11/26 – 12/29
What could be fancier than Christmas? Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles – and who could forget the tree? This year, Nancy bought a brand-new sparkly tree topper with her own money and can’t wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous?

Children younger than 2 do not require a ticket.
Recommended for age 4 and up.
The performance will run about 55 minutes.

Holiday Circle of Lights
Oakland, 12/1-1/1
A giant Nutcracker soldier awaits your arrival, then our magical storyland of lights will continue to delight you. Our whimsical display, which begins at the front fountain, features a reindeer sled, and train of toys; snowmen; skaters; candy canes; bells; poinsettias; playful penguins; a carriage scene; a horse and sleigh; and a holiday arch of lights. Hundreds of tiny bright lights outlining our buildings and trees provide the perfect backdrop for this enchanting exhibition. Join us for another Mountain View Cemetery tradition. There is no charge!
You may think of a cemetery as a place to go on Halloween, but this one is focused on bringing light to a dark place during the holidays.

Christmas in the Park
San Jose, 11/25-1/1
Outdoor Christmas Festival featuring over 500 decorated Christmas trees, over 30 displays, candy cane lane, Santa Claus and more.

Christmas at Winchester Mystery House
San Jose, 12/9-12/25
Your journey back in time includes joyous carolers, visits by St. Nick himself, history brought to life by holiday revelers from the past, over a hundred thousand twinkling lights, thousands of feet of festive garland, nearly 1,000 ornaments¸ over 20 designer Christmas trees, freshly made holiday treats and festive beverages, plus “snowfall” on select nights recreating actual miracle snowfalls that occurred in San Jose in the 1880s and 1890s.

Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train
Santa Cruz, 11/25-12/23
Vintage excursion cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights, roll through the streets of Santa Cruz as passengers lend their voices to holiday carols, sip hot spiced cider and listen to musical entertainment while Santa visits the little ones, or the young at heart! Continue the merriment with a $6 MyBoardwalk card good for attractions, arcades and games in Neptune’s Kingdom. Bring the whole family for festive fun. Happy Holidays!

Write your letter and bring it with you to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, there will be a North Pole mailbox just outside of the entrance to Neptune’s Kingdom by the first car of the train. Roaring Camp will be making a special trip each evening after the Holiday Lights Train to drop off your letters to Santa’s Home in the North Pole.

ZooLights at Oakland Zoo
Oakland, 12/2-1/1
Hundreds of thousands of LED lights brighten Oakland’s night sky. Highlights include a candy cane lane themed rides area, a night time adventure on the Outback Express train, rocking around the Christmas trees and a light show that’s sure to blow out any bah-hum-bugs.

Zoo Lights at San Francisco Zoo
San Francisco, 12/16-12/28
Experience the wonder of the holiday season and enjoy your 100 acre park, conservation center and Zoo under beautiful and bright lights. ZooLights 2016 takes you on a magical trip to a destination like no other – with Santa Claus, reindeer and a holiday marketplace with food and seasonal delights. Lovely music from carolers will fill the air and bright lights will shine the way as you leave the city behind and retreat to a holiday hideaway.
During opening weekend of ZooLights, December 16-18, SF Zoo is excited to partner with PLAE Shoes to offer a complimentary pair of kids’ shoes to the first 1,000 children with paid admission while sizes and supplies last. For every pair of shoes distributed, SF Zoo and PLAE will donate a pair of shoes to charities for children.

Union Street Fantasy of Lights
San Francisco, 12/3-12/29
For more than twenty years, Bay Area families have headed down to Union Street to get into the Christmas spirit and check out the incredible lighting displays provided by Union Street merchants. The fun includes:
– The Snow Queen leading a sidewalk parade of kids, who distribute donated toys to San Francisco children’s charities
– The official welcome of Santa Claus and his elves in front of the historic Cudworth Mansion
– Balloon artists, clowns, musicians, jugglers and many other costumed characters entertaining crowds from early afternoon and well into the evening hours
– Roaming bands of carolers to enhance the festive mood
– Horse-drawn carriage rides
– Open houses, complete with complimentary refreshments at many Union Street merchants
– Face painting
– Cupcake decorating
– Pony and horse rides

Fantasy of Lights
Los Gatos, December 12/3-12/30
Enjoy a magical evening in the warmth of your vehicle as you drive through large animated displays while listening to Holiday music on your car radio. See the sights and sounds of an erupting volcano in the dangerously fun Dinosaur Den, cheer on Santa shooting hoops, wave at a pen of playful penguins, watch blazing Pirate Cannons and sail through tunnels of moving lights. Over 50 themed displays and a 90-foot twinkling tree will have you “oohing and aahing” throughout your adventure.

First presented in 1998, Fantasy of Lights is now in its 18th year and has become a cherished Holiday tradition. It is bigger, better and brighter than ever before thanks to the transition to environmentally friendly LED lighting.

Experience Fantasy of Lights via the traditional Drive-thru or join us for two nights of Walk-thru magic: you and yours can stroll through the park while enjoying the sights and sounds of the Holidays, with carolers, hot cocoa and so much more!

Classic Cable Car
View lights throughout the city while being driven around on a cable car.

Fairy Winterland
Oakland, 12/16-12/23
In December, Fairy Winterland celebrates the winter holidays of many cultures: Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Diwali, and Chinese New Year. Join us for stories, crafts, a festival of lights, and a visit from Santa.

San Francisco Nutcracker
San Francisco, 12/10-12/29
On Christmas Eve 1944, the audience at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House experienced the American premiere of Nutcracker. An instant sensation, the ballet launched a national holiday tradition.

This holiday season, join us as the lights dim, the music soars, snowflakes swirl, flowers dance, and a little girl dreams about a whole new world in a Nutcracker that is as unique as it is magical. And it’s only at SF Ballet.

Berkeley Nut Cracker
Berkeley 12/16-12/18
BBT’s The Nutcracker is the perfect holiday outing full of extraordinary characters, exceptional artistry and a welcoming community. Come experience the holiday magic with the whole family!

Look for winter break camps and local family friendly businesses near you:

Tax Saving Tips for Summer Camp 2017

Flexible Spending Accounts, also known as FSAs are a great way to help you make summer camp more affordable. A Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) lets you use tax-free money to cover child care or adult dependent care. You or your spouse must be working, searching for work, or attending school full-time in order to qualify for the DCFSA.

Note: A Dependent Care FSA should not to be confused with a Health Care FSA, which allows you to pay for qualified health care expenses.

FSA Q&A: Dependent Care Flex Spending Accounts

Nanny Cams… What parents should know.

I am a parent of 3 and have been toying with the idea of installing a nanny cam (or a few) throughout my house.  My children are my everything and now we have technology that can help protect them.  But a few questions come to mind when I consider this.

1. Is it legal to use a nanny cam?

Yes, in all 50 states it is legal to use a nanny cam.  It is not legal however to put the nanny cam in areas that should remain private like a bathroom or a maids quarters.  Some states require that you inform the nanny that you are watching her.  There are also laws in regards to filming someone talking.  Make sure you look into these laws before capturing any voice on video as you could be prosecuted depending where you live.

If you have a nanny cam, you should always be up front with the nanny about the fact you will be monitoring them.  If the nanny were to find out you were “spying” without their consent, it could cause some uncomfortable feelings.  And come on, you don’t really want to bust your nanny picking their nose or doing something else embarrassing.  Honesty is the best policy.  It will also encourage the nanny to give the best service since they will know they are being observed.

2. Will a nanny cam make my nanny feel uncomfortable?

If a nanny doesn’t respect that it’s just an added safety measure, than they aren’t the right fit for you.  Explain to them that it’s not personal and that you always keep a watchful eye on your children no matter who they are with.

3. Am I being over protective?

No.  Absolutely not.  You are being smart.  You are being safe.  You are being a good parent.

There are fabulous care givers out there and we need to continue life after we have kids.  We need to go to work, go on dates and occasionally take a day for ourselves.  We need to rely on others and the best way to do that and protect our kids is with a nanny cam.  We recommend it and support all parents who decide to implement them.

Parent Scout Picks: Best Book For A Dad To Be

So, you are having a baby and you have no experience with them?  Never fear, Parent Scout Picks is here!  Today’s picks for Dad to Be is “Dude, You’re Gonna Be A Dad!”  Because let’s face it, men go from Dudes to Dads and they only have 9 months to get ready.  This book will help you do just that and keep you entertained in the process.

In addition to the book, we recommend getting a profile set up on Parent Scout because you are going to need all the help you can get and we have Nanny’s and Sitters to make the transition easy breezy!




Parent Scout Picks: King Jack and The Dragon

This is a favorite bedtime story about a boy with a big imagination.  The illustrations are wonderful and the story is written as a poem that flows through each page.  Not only do kids love it, but it’s a story that parents can read over and over.  As far as Parent Scout picks go, this top on the list. – Connecting families with local service providers including baby sitters , tutors and more.

Taxes and Caregivers

We get questions all the time from parents about paying caregivers and taxes.   Here are a few rules to follow:

1. One of the biggest mistakes people make when hiring a caregiver is assuming they don’t have to pay taxes if they pay the hire in cash. However, if a caregiver earns more than $750 a quarter or more than $1,900 a year, the IRS considers that person a household employee, and taxes must be paid accordingly.

2. Once the caregiver hits that threshold, the employer has to register and report employee wages and withhold part of his/her income.

3. Paying legally can increase the cost, but if you pay legally you are entitled to tax breaks.  The tax breaks usually offset the majority if not all of that extra expense.

4. A common tax-filing mistake is improperly classifying the caregiver as an independent contractor, which would push the tax burden on to the employee. According to Breedlove, in order for someone to qualify as an independent contractor the person has to control the entire work environment, including when and how to work.

5. Caregivers are also entitled to over time, and if families decide to forgo paying it, they could face a lawsuit and owe a big sum of money in back pay.  Experts say all household employees that work more than 40 hours a week must be paid time and a half in overtime under federal law for the extra hours.