Are you ready for the new school year? As a nanny in Chicago, you may have to help your mom boss prepare the kids to return to school. Or in some cases, your kiddos may be starting school for the very first time. We have some tips on preparing kids to go back to school in Chicago, including first day of school advice and some of the best back-to-school shopping spots in the city.
Make a plan before you shop
Before you head out to shop with the school supply list your mom boss gave you, be sure to make a plan first. Take stock of what the kids already have at home so you don’t double up on items unnecessarily. This is also a good time to find weekly deals and coupons for the items you will need to buy. If you have a good supply of pens and notebook paper already, maybe you don’t need to purchase as much this year. If binders, backpacks, and lunchboxes from last year are still in great condition, there’s no need to buy brand new ones. These items can also be given to younger siblings for their use instead. Remember to get parent approval for your adjustments to their school supply lists first.
Shop in-store, not just online
Back-to-school shopping can be hectic, which is why many parents and caregivers often resort to online shopping for many school supplies. While online shopping can be more convenient, that doesn’t mean it saves more money. Many school supplies can be found cheaper in-store compared to online, especially when you head to dollar stores or big box stores like Costco. There are Costcos conveniently located in and around the city: Lincoln Park, South Loop, Riverside, Melrose Park, and Niles. Prices in dollar stores tend to be cheaper than stores like Staples or Office Depot, while buying bulk supplies at Costco can come in handy for families with multiple kids. And you don’t have to pay for shipping. Luckily, many Chicagoans still seem to prefer brick-and-mortar stores rather than online.
Head to the outlets for school clothes
Another reason to shop in-store? Kids grow fast, and sometimes they need to try on new clothes and shoes before buying them. Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont has lots of options for kids apparel and shoes, including Carter’s, Gap Factory, The Children’s Place, and more. There’s also the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, with stores like Abercrombie Kids Outlet, OshKosh B’Gosh, and Finish Line. If you prefer a one-stop-shop that’s more budget-friendly, Target is a short drive from both outlet locations via I-88 West or US-45.
Prepare everything before the first day of school
The morning of the first day of school will be a whirlwind of stress and emotion. Team up with your mom boss and make sure everything is prepared before that first day. Prepare things like:
- Their first day of school outfit
- School supplies and backpack
- School paperwork like medical forms or permission slips (make sure parents have signed them!)
- Breakfast for the morning of
- Lunch and snacks
- The alarm clock (don’t forget to set it!)
When you prepare what you can ahead of time, there’s a better chance the morning of will run a lot more smoothly for everyone.
Give them a pep talk
Your charge may be really nervous about starting school, especially if it’s his first day of school ever. The parents will be supportive and understanding of his feelings, but it doesn’t hurt to show a little support of your own, too. Let your kiddo talk about what worries him, what he’s excited for, and what he thinks about starting school for the first time. Remind him that you and his family will still be there when the school day ends.
The start of a new school year can be very exciting, but also an uncertain time for nannies. If your current employer is not sure they’ll need your help during the school year, or you’re considering finding a new family, join Chicago Collegiate Nannies. We match qualified nannies with the right families for them. And it’s free to join! Learn more about our process and requirements now.