Most of us get into skiing long before children are on the scene, often when we are still children ourselves! Shift forward a few years (or even decades) and the dynamic of a skiing holiday changes dramatically. Parents still want their ski “fix” but taking small people up into the mountains can be quite a daunting prospect.
There is often the temptation to simply put off skiing until children are old enough to strap on skis themselves. However … two or three children with a couple of years gap between them can mean a lot of winters without mountain air, a shot of adrenaline or the chance to sip a vin chaud on a sunny terrace before devouring your own body weight in cheese.
The answer is to consider an element of childcare on your ski holiday. This will enable you to hit the slopes whilst ensuring that the children are well looked after and enjoying their holiday. Ski holiday childcare can take many forms; it may mean travelling with a group of friends and taking turns looking after the children; it could mean bringing Grandma or another non-skiing relative with you (although we know a lot of Grandmas who ski significantly more than most of us!).
There are, however, a number of professional childcare options available in the Alps. If you decide to go down the route of booking some childcare you will, broadly speaking, have four options:
- A resort crèche – These will usually be operated by the resort, the ski school or a private company. Staff will largely speak the language of the host nation, but some should have reasonable English. This option can be quite low cost, but it is hard to predict how your child will take to it.
- Private nannies – This is the most costly option, but the service ought to be able to fit to your exact requirements. There are specialist firms that can provide nannies, or you may be able to book direct through your Tour Operator. Facilities may be limited by the accommodation you are staying in and it may not be that sociable unless you have a gang of children together.
- Tour Operator centralised crèche – Book a package through a family-friendly tour operator and then drop children off at the start of the day and pick them up when you have finished skiing. This can be good value, but groups of children can be large, spaces can be limited and the crèche may be some distance away from your accommodation.
- Specialist in-chalet child care – Nannies come to your chalet and look after children in and around your accommodation, using a dedicated playroom as their base. This creates a welcoming home from home environment that quickly puts children at ease. It means great facilities and services for the children and maximises your potential for time on the slopes.
The best option for you will depend on your children, your budget and your aims for your time in the mountains. At Ski Famille, we feel that in-chalet childcare provides the best option for the majority of families travelling with young children. From our start back in the early 90s this has been our focus and feedback from thousands of families suggests it hits the spot!
Call our friendly team on 01252 365 495 to discuss the best childcare packages to suit your family’s needs.