Toddlers and babies
Toddlers and babies are very
trendy on a ski holiday, but don’t really gain much from it themselves.
Most of them never leave the chalet. Those that do wish they hadn’t.
Some nearly-three year-olds manage a little skiing, but normally it will involve being carried up the nursery slopes and released to schuss and crash.
In our experience, tobogganing with under-fives usually ends in tears and can be seriously dangerous!
Small children are much more likely to
end up at the doctor’s. The dry air, central heating, cold and
ultra-violet can all affect them. Chalets have fireplaces, staircases
and stone floors they may not be accustomed to. And it is a long journey
for the baby, its parents, and anyone near them on the aircraft or
Looking after children is always
risky. Most children who get injured do so in their home, with their
parents. Nannies are probably less likely to be distracted than parents,
but chalets were never intended to be nurseries, are normally less
child-friendly than one’s own home, and are difficult to make entirely
For under-threes we think the best for
the child and you is someone the child knows, who travels and stays
with you. It’s what grandparents were made for.
Alternatively, our guests have found nanny
company 'Jelly and Ice-Cream' (which used to be called Valtina) excellent. You pay per nanny, not per child, and one nanny can look after up
to 3 children if all are aged over 2, or two children of any age. 2013-14 rates are: one half
day (morning 9am-1pm or afternoon 1-5pm) €88 per nanny (€96 peak rate). Six half days are €476 (€535). A full eight-hour day is €144 (€165) and a week of these costs €823 (€946). Babysitting is available from €16 per hour. New this year is baby equipment hire which would save having to bring your own pushchair, for example. A week's hire of a single pushchair is €40. The
website is www.jellyandice-cream.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
or phone 0033 679 76 95 95. Office in the Galerie des Cimes. Some of their people are just mums – not
trained nannies – but the consensus is that they are very good.
Another good company providing nannies in Val d’Isère is T4 Nannies, who charge per nanny, in sterling. Their 2012-13 prices were: six half days £375, six full days £700 (£800 for peak weeks). We will update this page with their 2013-14 prices as soon as we get them. Their website is www.t4nanny.com, email email@example.com or phone their UK number: +44 (0)20 8144 1054.
There is now a third nanny company, based in Tignes, and working in Val d'Isère for the first time this year, called Snowbabies, whose website is www.snowbabies.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org, UK phone +44 (0)20 8144 4912 or French mobile 0033 618 31 49 85. For 2013-14, six half days were £350/400, six full days £600/700 (off peak/peak) and we will put their 2013-14 rates onto this page as soon as we get them. They also offer pushchair hire and a 'consumables' service, so you order nappies and baby food in advance of your holiday and have them delivered to your chalet on arrival.
A new venture is mytravellingnanny.co.uk, matching you up with a temporary nanny who travels with you on your holiday. My Travelling Nanny prices start at £325 per week for a standard/student nanny, while a qualified nanny is £420. These were 2012-13 prices and we will update them when we receive their 2013-14 rates. On top of this is cost of the nanny's holiday charged as a member of your group by YSE. For more information email email@example.com or ring their UK office: +44 (0)20 8133 3126.
The Village d’Enfants, Val d’Isère’s
skiing kindergarten (0033 479 40 09 81), is right on the
slopes by the Rond Point, where the buses turn. The lower age limit has been reduced to 18 months instead of 3 years old, though many of the brilliant facilities such as the lovely play area in the snow would be wasted on infants. The staff are all French and it is popular with outgoing children.
The Tourist Office has a list of baby-sitters, though they are not vetted.
It is your responsibility to talk to
whoever may be arranging your childcare, meet the carer and go around
the chalet with them to satisfy yourself that they can keep your
children safe in it.
Our chalet girls are always
impecunious and sensible, and can often be persuaded to help, but they
have their own work and are rarely experienced with small children.
Again, any such arrangement is entirely the parents’ responsibility.
If you bring a buggy, it needs to have
big wheels to get across snow (pushchairs are carried free of charge on our flight). But children are better off indoors: a
walk with a buggy along the valley floor inevitably involves half with
the child facing into the blinding sun and half with it looking the
other way, normally north, into the wind. It is uncomfortable and
dangerous. The locals never expose small children for long to freezing
air or neat UV. Only we Brits do that! Backpacks and papooses are great
until you slip on the ice. And if you were thinking of carrying them on
your back while you ski, DON’T! Small children are happiest riding on
To be brutally honest, we find that
parents who can leave their under-3s with Granny in Britain not
only keep the children and Granny happy, they also enjoy their own ski
However, if you do want to bring your baby or toddler please note the following:
Babies under 2: we charge a £100 administration fee which entitles
the baby to a coach seat but no plane seat (the baby
sits on an adult’s lap), and the use of a high chair, travel cot and
quilt in the chalet, but no proper bed, baby-sitting or food. This is reduced to £50 if the baby isn't taking either flights or transfers. If you would like the chalet cook to provide food - either normal food for a toddler or puréed food for a baby, we charge £30 per week. Please let our sales staff know if you would like food provided.
Children 2-12: £50 off per week in standard beds.