6 Ways to Find Child Care While on Vacation

Check out childcare tips to make your vacation more relaxing

Finding child care while on vacation or away from home can be somewhat stressful and scary! How do you really know your children will be taken care of properly and kept happy and safe? Numerous resorts and vacation hot spots offer child care services, but parents should really check out the facilities and staff qualifications before leaving kids at an unknown facility. Here are places to try and things to consider before dropping off your children.

Look for Affiliates to Known Day Care Centers

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Check out if there is an affiliate daycare center at the location you will be staying at. For temporary or part-time care, child records can often be faxed from your regular daycare to the location where you're headed and all registration forms completed ahead of time. Many large daycare centers can accommodate an extra child due to vacation and arrange for special rates or services typically found at the regular location. Word of caution: a same or similar name may not always mean it is the same daycare company, so be sure to do your homework. If possible, go online to the main website and look over locations and then call and verify before you leave home.

Bring Your Caregiver Along

Whether it's your au pair, a professional nanny, or a well-known teenager down the street who often watches your kids, consider bringing them along for your trip if you want extra hands to watch your kids and some time to relax. Bringing a vacation babysitter gives parents the opportunity to spend time together as a couple, enjoy nightlife and relax on the beach while a trusted person watches their children. Just be sure you're comfortable enough with the person to entrust them to keep a close eye on your kids and be prepared to pay more for a room and entertainment. Having a connected room is one possible solution.

Hire a Babysitter at Your Destination

If you decide you don't need full-time childcare, but want a few hours of uninterrupted adult time, seek out a babysitter at the destination. Ask your child's regular caregiver for any ideas and ask whether she has connections to get additional input or ideas about options. Online services, such as UrbanSitter, can provide a pool of reliable babysitters and nannies who are local to your hometown or to your destination.

The UrbanSitter mobile app makes it even easier by enabling you to search for someone who is just right for your family’s vacation needs and schedule, read reviews from other parents, and book and share job logistics before you depart, while you are on the go, or when you arrive at your destination.  Hotel concierges are another source for connecting you with vacation babysitters to hire at your destination.

Call Hotel in Advance for Services Offered

A reputable concierge service should have a list of child care services that have met the approval of past patrons. Be sure to ask whether the listings you are given are just an accumulation of possibilities with no references or recommendations or whether they are ones that have been deemed as highly qualified or reputable services by parents and child care professionals. And, yes, there is a huge difference! Many hotels also offer onsite child care or evening babysitting; parents should check out the details in advance of the stay to know what is offered and at least have a pretty good inclination about whether the kid clubs are right for their families. 

Check Out Drop-in Care Options Ahead of Time

A growing number of communities are seeing drop-in child care centers, and the convenience and hours can provide parents with another child care alternative. But rather than waiting until you're absolutely desperate for child care, search for drop-in care ahead of time. If you like what you read and see about a drop-in facility, the next step should be to get the center to fax over registration forms so that you can have them completed.

Once you arrive at your destination, make an unscheduled stop into the prospective facility and check out the premises first-hand before you require child care. Only after you are armed with information and are comfortable with the facility should you consider leaving your youngster there.

Vacation With Relatives

Bring grandparents or other relatives along on the vacation to help with childcare. This way you get some relaxation time and your kids get some quality time with family members. This may be more cost-efficient than hiring a babysitter or bringing along your nanny, but you should go into the vacation knowing that it is now a family affair!

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