'It could be €2,000 before you blink' - Cost of summer camps for kids

The average cost of summer camps is between €70 to €130 per week per child, with many signing up for multiple camps across the summer
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.52 29 Apr 2024

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'It could be €2,000 before you...

'It could be €2,000 before you blink' - Cost of summer camps for kids

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.52 29 Apr 2024

Share this article

The cost of entertaining kids between summer camps and childcare has been estimated at almost €1,500 for a family of two primary school children.

Parents are being to plan ahead to manage the financial demands associated with the upcoming summer break.

The figures, compiled by financial planner Provest, show the average cost of camps is between €70 to €130 per week per child - with many parents signing their children up for multiple camps across the summer.


Childcare costs for an average of 24 hours per week could be €204 but this could be higher if both parents are working full-time.

Lucy in Dublin has four children with the youngest being 10. She told Lunchtime Live she needs to keep her children active.

"The 10-year-old is sports mad and there'd be carnage is he was in the house for the whole summer," she said.

"So he's doing four camps over the summer ranging from the Cúl Camps - which is definitely the cheapest at €75 for the week - up to about €120, €130."

Lucy said the costs can hit €2,000 before you realise it.

"If you were forking out for four kids, and parents will have to - especially if they're younger - put them all into the same camp, you're looking at it could be €2,000 before you blink".

'This is your chance'

Eric said his children will be going to a number of camps "from around €70 to €120".

"We live close to the University of Limerick and there's an exceptionality wide variety of different activities available," he said.

"We have the Cúl Camp and the football camps, then you have adventure camps where they go out on the river... there's rock climbing and wall climbing.

"If you're more academically minded there's computer camps, there's learning how to code - there's even one in King John's Castle where they do archeology stuff."

Average costs of camps and childcare Average costs of camps and childcare. Source: Provest

Eric said the price really depends on what you're looking for.

"I think it's important at a young age to have my children experience a variety of different activities," he said.

"When they're in their mid to late teens they'll start working and sure then you'll be working for the rest of your life more or less - so this is your chance".

'Varies enormously'

Dominic in Co Laois said the costs have varied through the years.

"We have three kids and the oldest is definitely not doing summer camp because she's in college so she can get a job," he said.

"The youngest he's 14 so we were going to send him on a summer camp this year.

"Our kids are into activity-based summer camps, outdoor activities, which is great.

"But the options for those are kind of limited and then to be ferrying someone to and fro five days a week is not the handiest either."

Dominic said the cost "varies enormously" with GAA Cúl Camps costing around €100 a week.

"For the residential summer camps you could be talking around €700, €800".

What's behind the cost of summer camps?

Ashling Woods-Larkin runs the Dublin 4 Dance Academy and told the show insurance is just one element to the price.

"There's rents, there's materials, there's teachers," she said.

"A huge one for me at the moment would be Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) so I can include more children on different spectrums.

"We don't just offer dance... we add different things but that does increase your price."

Ms Larkin said the GAA camps have more backing behind them.

"The Cúl Camps are fantastic but they are sponsored by Kellogg's, they have a multinational company behind them," she said.

"I don't know the element of support, they run a fabulous camp, but myself I don't have that luck at this stage.

"Another thing to consider is if it is a private group; teachers tend to be highly-skilled...they have studied long and hard and they deserve not just to be getting the minimum wage as well.

"So we have to value those people that we do include in the count," she added.

Ms Larkin said they don't want to overcharge or undervalue either.

Listen back here:

Main image: Children fishing,  26-8-19. Image: Nik Taylor / Alamy 

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