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would you use this ski nanny service?

(11 Posts)
skinanny Wed 05-Dec-12 12:41:00

I am currently a registered childminder with 10 years experience as a childminder and 25 years as a parent. I have two outstanding grades from Ofsted and lots of excellent references.
I would like to buy a ski apartment close to gondola/ski lifts and offer an independent nanny sevice during the ski season for families who have babies or very young children - too young for a children's ski school.
I would care for them in my apartment which would be fully resourced like a small, cosy creche.
Homemade meals would be available and I would offer flexible times to suit parent's skiing needs. No more than three children cared for at any one time.
I speak French and English but would be looking to buy a property in Bulgaria as both more affordable for me and also caters for budget family skiing and first time skiers.

fedupwithdeployment Wed 05-Dec-12 12:48:37

Sorry, I wouldn't (we skied with children when small, but DH and I took turns at the bottom of the hill), but others may be interested. I suspect you may have difficulty with the number of people wanting Bulgaria, but I take your point about budgets.

LIZS Wed 05-Dec-12 12:55:35

I doubt you'd get enough clients to make a living in Bulgaria. Most first time families do a package deal so as to limit the stress of it and it would n't have enough clout or snow reliability for those who already ski and just want to take kids along. Better to be somewhere closer to UK and where you speak the lingo - Andorra or Pyrenees perhaps ? Have you approached any tour operators , perhaps the smaller niche family ones, as to whether they might be interested in a partnership ?

BranchingOut Wed 05-Dec-12 13:06:50

I would consider this, as we have always been a bit concerned about the random, not sure who you are getting, element of going with a package where childcare is included.

I don't see why it wouldn't work in Bulgaria, especially if you chose a popular resort. But much better in France!

What about regulation and insurance?

skinanny Wed 05-Dec-12 13:13:26

Thanks very much - I appreciate your replies. That's a good idea about contacting tour operators.
I take the point about snow surety but do believe that Borovets in particular is ripe for development and would be more attractive if greater investment in snow cannons.
I wouldn't really be looking to make a proper living I just love being in snowy mountains - just to keep myself in food and fuel. My rates would also be very cheap as they would be based on the Bulgarian rather than UK cost of living.
I would let out my UK home for the season and try to build up a good word of mouth reputation. I would also be able to provide evening babysitting in hotels or chalets.

skinanny Wed 05-Dec-12 13:15:27

Yes - I certainly need to look into regulation and insurance. It's not easy to find out about this online, and unfortunately I do not yet speak proficient enough Bulgarian - although I am working on it!

StuckOnTopOfTheChristmasTree Wed 05-Dec-12 13:33:59

I read through most of your post and was thinking it sounds reasonable, until you got to the part about Bulgaria. Its really the budget end of the market, and budget travellers generally will look for packages where this is included. Your service is more likely to appeal to independent travellers and for that reason I wouldn't choose Bulgaria.
I've heard lots of people in recent years go on about how cheap Bulgaria is, and that its ripe and ready for development - and I still think its just talk. It just doesn't have the infrastructure investment behind it. A few extra snow cannons is just not enough to get people from UK, Netherlands, Germany etc. to head to that resort. The people that seem to do a lot of talking up are the ones that have bought apartments in places like Bansko and Borovets and are now struggling to get any of the rentals that they expected.
I would probably spend a few years getting a feel for different areas/resorts and an idea of property costs while working for an established childcare provider if you haven't already done this, to really understand the location and reality of potential market. Unfortunately if you are being driven by cheapness so that you can afford the property, you are probably going to be in a resort with limited market size/opportunity.
I have timed my pregnancy badly and will miss the season this year - but our plans for future years are more along the lines of sharing out the childcare in the family group, or booking onto family friendly packages. I like the sound of your offer but would probably only work with me if it was a personal recommendations from a friend I trusted. I would struggle to trust someone I hadn't yet met over the internet, and I'd want childcare loosely sorted out before I arrived in resort.

skinanny Wed 05-Dec-12 17:28:34

Many thanks for your considered reply StuckOnTopOfTheChristmasTree. Yes I am driven by cheapness of the property, but am not looking to buy as a rental property and hence wanting good returns.
It would be more of a hobby/way of spending time in the mountains and making enough money to eat/keep warm on daily basis without eating into my UK capital.
I have been to Bulgaria three times already as an independent traveller myself and I love it's no frills, down to earthiness. I have also proven here that I can provide a first class child care service.
It would be good to design a website with plenty of photos and encourage speaking with/emailing families before their holiday. To provide a personal service that they would not get with a package holiday. I would then be able to cater for each individual child's needs and preferences and have their favourite toys/activites/food ready for them.
I suppose what I envisage is a budget ski nanny but with a first class service, where the experienced nanny is based in the resort and therefore doesn't need to have flights/accomodation/meals all paid for by the family and the loss of privacy that that might mean.
I will be off there again in February so will do a bit more research and think about all your points.

narmada Fri 07-Dec-12 21:01:33

Have you checked out the competition in tge big hitter resorts like Meribel and Courchevel? There is a beitish nanny industry around those parts.

Think v carefully about whether you would have a market at all in Bulgaria. I have skied a lot, with and without kids, independent and package. But I would not consider Bulgaria- sorry. Infrastructure poor, poor resort security, poor snowmaking.... Oh dear, I am sorry to sound negative...but I think even tho you only want pocket money so to speak you are going to have to approach it initially in a businesslike manner. Otherwise you risk being out of pocket.

I am definitely not averse to indy holidays but.... wouldn't sofia be nearest airport? Are there cheap flights there to tempt visitirs to go the extra mile? Good transfer options? A good children's ski school? These are totally crucial to independent family bookers ....

Actuslly thinking about it more I reckon you need to go to the kind of place that attracts well off brits, not budget travellers.... sorry sad

Italy would be a good option as there is a real paucity of childcare options there and it is cheaper than other alpine areas IME. I suspect regulation and taxation could be something of a barrier tho grin

narmada Fri 07-Dec-12 21:03:33

Aaaargh this silly phone and my fat fingers. There is a British nanny industry in Meribel etc. is what I meant to say ...

skinanny Sat 08-Dec-12 18:49:21

Thanks narmada.
From what I can see there isn't any competition in Bulgaria so far - but as you say that may be for very good reasons.
Yes Sofia is the nearest airport. Transfers are just over an hour long and cheap compared to other European transfers. It is a longer flight though so yes slightly more expensive, or from Luton for more budget.
I will look into Italy and other British nanny companies to see what they offer - thanks for your advice.

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