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. Most of their staff (75%) are NNEB qualified or the equivalent and the remainder all have experience of working with children as teachers, nurses, nannies/au pairs, etc. with at least two year experience. 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 email@example.com,
or phone 0033 679 76 95 95. Office in the Galerie des Cimes.
Another 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or phone their UK number: +44 (0)20 8144 1054.
A third option for you is Snowbabies, operating in Tignes for 7 years and Val d’Isere for 3 years. Their website is www.snowbabies.co.uk, email email@example.com, UK phone +44 (0) 7736 838390. For 2013-14, six half days are £350/400, six full days £600/700 (off peak/peak). 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.
mytravellingnanny.co.uk matches you up with a temporary nanny who travels with you on your holiday. My Travelling Nanny prices start at £350 per week for a standard/student nanny, while a qualified nanny is £450 - both for 6 hours per day and 8 hours' babysitting per week. Their website has a calculator for varying hours. On top of this is the cost of the nanny's holiday charged as a member of your party by YSE. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring their UK office: +44 (0)20 8133 3126.
The Village des 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 from 3 years to 18 months, though many of the brilliant facilities such as the lovely play area in the snow would be wasted on infants. It is now run by one of our directors’ former nanny, who makes sure that YSE children are particularly happy, as she has for the last five years…
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.