Summer School/Camps for 3-year-old

Hi, my 3-year old daughter is in her first year of preschool and for once we are tasked with finding out what to do during the summer months when her school closes. Her school ends on June 15th and the next school year doesn't start until September 4th. The school offers a camp until July 20th but we need to figure something out for the end of July and August. We hope to take a 2 week vacation then to take care of some of those gaps but what do other parents do for summercare?

[Moderator note] See previous suggestions for preschooler summer camps here:

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Check out Creative Play Center in Albany. My son attends during the year and also for summer camps. We absolutely love everything they do there!

Habitot is expanding their summer program (for ages 2.9-5) to be full-time this summer, which we are super excited about! EBI also offers full-time camp for preschoolers. Our kids have done both programs and enjoyed both. There unfortunately aren't too many options for three-year-olds, particularly if you need full-time care, but we were happy with these two. Monkey Business Camp is also great and full-time, but their preschool program only runs for three weeks (although it includes some of the weeks you need!)

We were in your position last year and learned very quickly that options for 3 years old are few and far between, especially during August.  My best guess is it is on account of state licensing and adult-to-child ratio requirements, making hosting 3 year olds a price endeavor. I strongly suggest you take vacation at the end of August, if possible, since camp options for all ages dry up around August 15th.  

I'm not sure where you live, but some ideas for 3 year olds include: Ecole Bilingue French immersion camp, EBI Spanish immersion camp. I also researched local parks and rec programs.  I don't think I found anything really compelling through Oakland last summer (their online registration system/catalogue is impossible to navigate) but we did try a nature camp at Sulphur Creek in Hayward through HARD and another week or two of sports and art through Alameda.  Since the parks & rec programs are generally 1/2 days, we tried to fill out the afternoon with a swim lesson (also through parks & rec), but it definitely required some help shuttling. 

Everyone says it gets better easier when they turn 5.      

I already submitted a response but one more to add...Monkey Business Camp.  Includes late August options and full day options.  

Planning summer childcare for 3 year olds is really hard due to lack of options and 3 year olds are so young.

It was a lot of work but we reached out to the preschool community and teachers and put together our own "camps" at our and other parents' houses. We got babysitters (some were preschool teachers others were former teachers), who were willing to engage with multiple kids, lined up for a few week and a group of 2 - 4 kids, depending on the kids. The cost is slightly more than a day camp but the quality of care is great and you can design your own enrichment activities and field trips. Parents brought in snacks and arts/crafts materials or other supplies. We offered our enclosed backyard and kids played with water, paint, chalk, went on nature walk, walked to the park, etc. They made pizza together, made a giant collaborative wall poster. It was fantastic!

And then we filled in the gap with vacations and flew in grandparent for 1 week. It was a jigsaw puzzle but kids had a great time together, we knew the kids were safe and had fun and weren't overrun by big kids or inexperienced camp counselors.