School Break Solutions: Affordable Childcare and Programs for Kids Throughout the Year

Published: May 16, 2017

Fall and spring break, winter vacation, holidays, early dismissals and school closings. Do these phrases generate a feeling of excitement for our kids? Absolutely. Do these same phrases cause a sense of mild panic or anxiety for parents. Yes, they sure can!

Before and after school, and during longer school breaks throughout the year thanks to balanced calendars, many Indianapolis area parents struggle to balance work and childcare. Many hard working parents and care givers must work long hours to make ends' meet for their families. There are options, however, for positive and educational experiences for your school age children during school breaks, or even before and after school. Here are some of the programs available in the Indianapolis are:

YMCA of Greater Indianapolis

Check out your local YMCA for some of the best, most economical childcare options to cover the entire school year. As the largest provider of school-age programs in the Indianapolis area, the Y helps thousands of children every day reach their fullest potential in a welcoming, supportive environment. By incorporating the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility into all of our youth programs, the Y gives children the solid foundation they need to thrive. They offer a range of Before & After School programs, summer camp, Camp Crosley, youth sports programs and much more.

  • Enrichment Programs
  • School Break Programs
  • Before & After School Programs
  • Summer Camp at Camp Crosley
  • Youth Sports Programs

Cost & registration

AYS (At Your School)

AYS, Inc. (formerly At-Your-School Child Services, Inc.) began with the vision of three concerned mothers who realized that working parents often could not be with their children during the critical out-of-school hours. A growing number of latchkey kids were going home after school to empty houses until their parents returned from work, hours later. Ellen Clippinger, AYS’ founder, felt these children were at serious risk and began looking for a solution. She soon found the perfect location for after-school care- inside the school buildings. The children were in a familiar place, there was no need for transportation, and the buildings were laid out to best fit the needs of children. In 1980, AYS was incorporated, gained not-for-profit status, and partnered with IPS School #70 as Indianapolis’ first after-school program within a school building. A start up grant from The Indianapolis Foundation supported the opening of this first program. Shortly after, AYS added a before-school program. New sites were added quickly and AYS currently operates in eight IPS schools.

  • Enrichment Programs
  • School Break Programs
  • Summer Camp
  • Before & After School Programs

Cost & registration

ABC's&123's Learning Centers

Have school-age children who need a safe, fun place to spend their days during school breaks? Check out the camps at ABC's&123's Learning Centers. They offer care at both their locations in Avon, Noblesville and Indianapolis, for children up to 12 years old during summer, fall, spring, and winter breaks. In addition to fun and educational activities in the learning centers, students 5-12 also enjoy field trips almost every day of camp. Our trips include karate lessons, skating, bowling, and visits to museums or nature parks.

  • Enrichment Programs
  • Before & After School Programs
  • School Break Programs
  • Summer Camp
  • Transportation

Cost & registration

KinderCare

KinderCare offers flexible programs full of opportunities for joy and learning that your kids will love, including a variety of themes and adventures. Summer camp is open all day, for part of the day, for specific weeks, or all summer long—even for families who don’t attend KinderCare during the rest of the year. They also offer 

http://www.kindercare.com/programs-curriculum/additional-programs/school-break-solutions

  • Before- & After-School Programs
  • Learning Adventure Enrichment Programs
  • The Bilingual Mandarin Immersion Program
  • School Break Programs

Find a center near you

Boys & Girls Club of Indianapolis

Boys & Girls Club may be one of the most affordable options for parents (year memberships are only $15) and they have multiple locations in the Indianapolis area. The Club offers programs and services that help youth understand they matter. The Clubs are a safe place to learn and grow—all while having fun. 

  • Enrichment Programs
  • Before & After School Programs
  • School Break Programs
  • Late Night Programs

More information & registration

Indy Parks & Recreation Camps

Check with your city's Parks & Recreation Department to see what kinds of summer camps or day camps they might offer. Each year, Indy Parks & Recreation summer day camp program offers a wide variety of opportunities including swimming, arts, nature, science, and sports and recreation. All camps follow a set of high program standards and are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). Limited scholarships are offered based on financial need.

More information & registration


Indianapolis Summer Camps

If you're just looking for summer camp and care options, check out IndywithKids.com Indianapolis Area Summer Camp Guide. They compile an exhaustive list each year to help you plan your summer.



If you're feeling overwhelmed with it all, you're not alone. Have a question? Want more information about additional programs to strengthen your family? Please contact us today.