SKIING WITH CHILDREN – Getting the Childcare Right

STORY BY Megan Hughes

For parents, navigating your first ski trip with your little ones can be tough. For most of us, the skiing bug hits before we have children, often when we are only children ourselves! Yet fast forward a few years (or decades), suddenly your annual ski holiday takes on a whole different dynamic when you are skiing with children. You still want to get your ski ‘fix’, but how do you do this with young children in tow? 

When skiing as a family, you have to make sure every aspect of your trip is meticulously planned, particularly when your children are not old enough to strap on skis themselves and head off to ski school. Many parents simply opt to put off skiing until their children are a bit older and able to enjoy the slopes themselves. However if you have two or three children with a couple of years between them, this can mean a number of winters without that fresh mountain air, high speed adrenaline or the chance to sip a vin chaud on a sunny terrace before devouring your own body weight in cheese.

Family tour operator Ski Famille are experts in the family skiing sector and are highly experienced when it comes to stress-free family holidays. They believe that the answer lies in getting your childcare right.

The right childcare setup will allow you to hit the slopes whilst remaining safe in the knowledge that your children are being well looked after and enjoying their holiday. Some families choose to travel as larger groups, taking turns to look after the children. Others prefer to bring a non-skiing relative, perhaps grandparents, on holiday with them (although we know a lot of grandparents who ski significantly better than most of us!)

The Secrets to a Stress-Free Family Ski Holiday

However, there are also a number professional childcare options available in the Alps, with four key choices.

  • A resort crèche Usually operated by the resort, the ski school or a private company, the resort crèche is generally well equipped and allows your child to interact with a number of other youngsters from different places. 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 in most resorts, but it’s a service that will fit to your exact requirements and preferences. In most resorts, there are specialist firms that can provide nannies, or you may be able to book direct through your Tour Operator. However, facilities may be limited by the accommodation you are staying in and it may not be that sociable for your child, unless you have a gang of children together.
  • Tour Operator centralised crèche With many family friendly tour operators you can drop your children off at the start of the day and pick them up when you have finished skiing. This can be very convenient and offer good value for money, 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 Highly qualified nannies come to your chalet and look after children in and around your accommodation, using a dedicated playroom as their base. This creates a personal, 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 preferences for your time in the mountains.

Ski Famille feel that in-chalet childcare provides the best option for the majority of families travelling with young children. That is why this has been their focus for almost thirty years, with feedback from thousands of families suggesting it definitely hits the spot!

To find out more, head to: https://www.skifamille.co.uk/

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