South Korean volunteer Choi Se-yun, 17, a student at the Shanghai United International School, teaches Korean to children at the summer camp located in Tianping subdistrict. [PHOTO BY GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY]

To ensure that their children are engaged and well cared for during the holidays, more and more Chinese moms and dads are sending them to summer camps across the city, Cao Chen reports in Shanghai.

The annual summer vacation may be a time of fun for children, but for parents, this period is usually one filled with headaches as they fret over child care matters.

While it was common for foreign parents to enroll their children in summer camps or hire nannies to provide child care, most Chinese parents usually relied on their parents for help – until now.

“It was part of Chinese culture that grandparents lend a helping hand to their offspring who are too busy to take care of their children,” says Lu Yongbin, a teacher from the School of International and Public Affairs at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

An online survey by China Youth Daily in 2018 showed that 94.9 percent of the parents polled usually get their parents to help care for their kids.

“It’s not safe to leave children alone at home because they might just spend all day watching television programs or playing computer games when there isn’t adult supervision,” says Gui Li, who has a son attending Grade 5 in Shanghai.

“It’s difficult to fully focus on my work during his vacation.”

But mindsets are changing. Today, an increasing number of Chinese parents are signing their children up for summer camps.