Few of us would leave our precious bundles in the care of others for eight hours a day while on a holiday, but there’s obvious appeal in family breaks during which parents can take advantage of quality childcare to get a little ‘me’ or ‘us’ time, whether it’s to be pampered in a spa, play tennis, read a book by the pool, or – an increasing necessity in today’s working environment – catch up on important emails.
Contrary to much public opinion, it’s not only luxury and all-inclusive hotels and resorts that offer kids’ clubs and crèches – many budget-friendly holiday parks/campsites and some self-catering complexes also offer childcare for different ages. Childcare is also a essential component of family ski holidays until your kids are confident skiers who can go out with you.
Many properties across our site offer childcare for everyone from new parents who need a break from the rigours of caring for tiny children to old hands whose teens need a little independence, structured fun or simply and environment in which to make new friends. We’ve hand-picked the best around the world and in all price categories.
Check age limits and hours and days of operation of kids’ clubs and crèches before booking, to make sure it will meet your needs. Next up, find out about carer:child ratios, level of English spoken, and whether the childcare has any official accreditation (such as OFSTED in the UK). Other parents’ feedback, by word of mouth or via review websites – is also very helpful.
With kids old enough to have a say in the matter, ask if they will actually go to a club – there’s no point booking a holiday on the strength of available childcare if your offspring are going to refuse to attend. And try to find out if there will be other children actually using the club, especially if you’re travelling outside the school holidays – if not, your children won’t enjoy themselves.
If your child has any particular requirements or allergies, find out what provision the club or crèche can make.
Check if a club or crèche has to be booked at the time of your overall reservation, to avoid disappointment and inconvenience on arrival.
If you think you might feel anxious about leaving your child, or that your child might feel anxious being left, find out if you will be able to stay with them for a while to settle them in. It’s also worth finding out if the club or crèche is near your room or a place you’ll be spending a lot time, so you can nip in if you’re feeling unsure.
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