For families with infants, top-quality childcare matters. Here are five programmes that receive consistently favourable reviews, ensuring you enjoy your family ski holiday.
The crèches run by Powder Byrne have an impressive nanny-to-child ratio of one-to-three. They pride themselves on creating a home-from-home atmosphere and ask parents for detailed information about their child’s routines, mealtimes and dietary preferences, so arrangements are individually tailored.
Powder Byrne takes babies from four months, and a week’s childcare is £495 in school holidays, but complimentary in low season, excluding meals. The company operates in Grindelwald, Lenzerheide, Flims Laax Falera and Arosa in Switzerland, and Lech-Zürs in Austria.
Luxury ski specialist, Scott Dunn is renowned for its high quality care for little ones. Highly trained private nannies are always on hand to make sure junior guests are well looked after.
There’s the Scott Dunn Explorer’s children’s club in Val d’Isère for children aged four months to 13 years, and a mini children’s club for children aged four months to seven years for guests staying at Le Portetta in Courchevel Moriond (1650).
Scott Dunn’s dedicated family team can pre-arrange all baby equipment, and if your kids and learning to ski they’ll be driven to ski school so that their little legs are saved for practice on the slopes.
And whether little ones are with a private nanny or in the children’s clubs, they will be provided a lovely lunch too so that parents can stay up the mountain all day.
For 32 years, Esprit Ski has been providing childcare in ski resorts, and its crèches take children from 17 weeks to 40 months. They are very popular, and get booked up quickly – it is important to secure your child’s place at the time you book your holiday. The company operates in a dozen resorts throughout the Alps, including the little French village of Peisey, which links into Les Arcs, and Les Gets.
For many years, Snow Bizz has run an excellently organised crèche at the French resort of Puy-Saint-Vincent. It has a nanny-to-babies-up-to-two-years ratio of one-to-two, and one-to-five ratio for youngsters aged two-plus.
The bright and spacious crèche, located right on the piste, takes infants from six months and costs £30 for a half day or £45 a full day. It claims to be the only British ski crèche to be registered with the French childcare authorities.
As with many North American resorts, Big White in Canada, puts a priority on its offerings for families, and its childcare has won awards. Children play in and outdoors. Youngsters are taken from 18 months for up to eight hours a day. A full day, including lunch, costs £40. For slightly older children, the resort runs a children’s evening club, from 5pm-8pm, including dinner, which allows parents to enjoy some après-ski.
In the Italian resort of Champoluc, the small British holiday firm Ski 2 runs, with fully qualified British staff, the only nursery of any kind in the village. The Ski 2 Penguin Club takes children from three months, and is open from 8am-6pm seven days a week. A full day, including lunch and snacks, is £45, a half day £30 – although free of charge from 5-18 January. Children two and upwards can try, under supervision, the small slope beside the nursery.