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Self-catering holiday with childcare - does it exist?

23 replies

debster · 25/04/2003 20:46

Is it possible to have a self-catering holiday abroad but with the option of having childcare? We want to go either to Spain, Canary Islands or Greece. The childcare would really be for our 4 year old, although if there were any on offer for our 7 month old then that would be fab too.

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SoupDragon · 25/04/2003 21:02

If this is in an apartment on a complex, then I think First Choice have kids clubs from Creche age. Virgin Sun used to as well but I think they were bought by First Choice.

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SoupDragon · 25/04/2003 21:10

First Choice creche starts from 15 months but there's a selection of kids clubs from 3 upwards. Website seems pretty rubbish if you don't know when/where you want to go though.

My link won't work, but we stayed at the Balaia Plaza in Portugal (I know it's not Spain etc) with Virgin Sun and the apartment was superb. It has the appropriate Kids Club and is now with First Choice.

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lisaj · 25/04/2003 21:38

A couple of years ago we went on a Thomson Super Family holiday which was self catering and with childcare. Ds was 2 at the time, but I'm sure that they took children at a much younger age. We went to Cyprus and were very impressed with them.

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willum · 25/04/2003 22:05

One of the holiday programmes on television, recently did a feature on holidays where they have a group of nannies and you can book one along with your holiday. Can't remember what company it was through. Maybe an independent agent might know. Or you could look up the holiday programmes on each of the t.v. channels sites.

Thats not a lot of help really, but they do exist somewhere!

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miriamw · 25/04/2003 22:57

I think that the company "Simply Travel" may have something on this line - I know that they generally have nannies, though a few of their apartments have access to a creche. I think they are listed in the summer holiday reviews somewhere on this site.

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willow2 · 26/04/2003 14:13

Simply Travel do have nannies - and creches - in various European locations and they are brilliant. We went to Greece last year and had such a lovely time that we booked for this year the day after we got back. Hasten to add that this is not normal behaviour and we are rarely this organised!

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debster · 27/04/2003 20:56

Thanks guys. I shall definitely check out your recommendations. I have also found a web site called babygoes2.com which specialises in holidays with children so hopefully there should be something there as well.

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Lil · 28/04/2003 14:22

Have just booked with Simply Travel as well, via babygoes2. It has child care for the whole age range. But not particularly cheap (is anywhere?)

Willow any tips? I haven't booked childcare abroad before and am already feeling guilty!! baby is 12 months and toddler 3yrs, I've only put them in for half days.

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sykes · 28/04/2003 14:39

Just Sardinia can organise a nanny for afternoons/mornings - depending on where you stay. We're in a villa but can use the hotel facilities (two pools, childrens' playground) nand a ten minute work into local fishing village. Scott Dunn has this option but expensive. Babygoes2 is great for information and there are lots of options in France and Spain if you trawl around the website. I've gone for the nanny option this time rather than a club.

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allatsea · 28/04/2003 15:04

sykes, are you going to cannigione by any chance?

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sykes · 28/04/2003 15:21

Yes - PLEASE don't tell me it's awful - I'm dying for a holiday. Any good points/great places to eat?

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allatsea · 28/04/2003 15:59

we're going in June, never been before - really looking forward to it, looks great! Are you going to the Cala di Falco villas?

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sykes · 28/04/2003 16:01

We're going first week of June - same place as you ..... how old are yours? Ours are 3.5 and 17 months - now. Two dds.

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lisaj · 28/04/2003 18:53

I have found an interesting website which has reviews of accommodation etc, which you might be interested in, so have a look at this

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willow2 · 28/04/2003 20:20

Lil - where are you going with them? I can tell you about Zakynthos.

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Lil · 29/04/2003 11:36

Willow, i'm off to Corsica holiday. I am very curious about the childcare though. I have booked them in for mornings only, and although they go to nursery at home I wonder how difficult it must be in a strange place with no time to gradually get used to it. HOw did your kids find it? any tips on helping them settle in?

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tigermoth · 29/04/2003 17:00

lil, if you're going with Simply Travel, Southen Corsica, I can give you some info - our sons went to the shimps club.

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sykes · 29/04/2003 17:34

When we left our first dd in a club - v small, excellent nannies etc - she screamed blue murder. Also, really didn't want to go back. Usual story of settling in after five minutes but made me feel really bad and still feel guilty that we left her there - was v pregnant at the time and really wanted a rest. I know the nannies would have come to get us if she was really upset and my dh hid round the corner and peeked in the window and she was fine. So would love tips re settling in but think you've got to be a bit tough. Having said that we're using a nanny this year.

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willow2 · 29/04/2003 22:00

Can't speak for Corsica, but Zakynthos nannys were great. We had a creche meet and greet the afternoon we arrived, where the kids all played together and got to meet the nannys while the head nanny showed us around the creche and explained everything. Also, before going we had been asked to fill in a form detailing ds' routine, likes and dislikes etc etc - this had been sent ahead of us and the girls seemed really well briefed.

Anyway, on the first morning ds was bit clingy, so just stuck around with him for a while until he relaxed and started playing with the other kids and staff. Then he told me to go! We went through this little routine each morning - I'd come in and play for five minutes and then he'd say I could go. When I signed him in each morning I had to leave a contact number if we were planning to go off site - so I knew that they would either come and get us or call us if there were any problems. But fortunately they never needed to as he was very happy.

Think it helped immensely that the girls were so lovely - they really warmed to ds and he to them. (By the end of the holiday ds was doing impressions of the head nanny - much to the other girls' amusement!) They really worked hard at making it as much fun as possible for the kids - loads of games, water and sand play, sticking, painting, foot painting, songs, trips to feed the chickens etc etc.

Think it also helped that ds had been at nursery for about six months by the time we went away - so he was pretty good about being left. Also it meant I knew that any initial upset would be forgotten by the time I got to the door! I think sykes is right about having to be tough. I honestly don't think it helps if you hang around too long - because children aren't stupid! They know you're going to go at some point, so better for your goodbyes to be relatively short and sweet than some drawn out affair that still has the same ending!

So top tips would be make sure the staff know a bit about your child's likes and dislikes, stick around for a short while until they seem settled and then peg it. Remember, you can always pop back for a sneaky peek to check they're ok - and someone will come and get you if they aren't!

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Lil · 30/04/2003 13:06

thanks for the tips guys!!

Tigermoth yes they are in the shrimps club..I've only got them in half days for 1 week but it sounds like I will regret not putting them in for 2 weeks! and did the cottages have video players at all - should I bother with videos???

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Lil · 30/04/2003 13:07

you can tell this is my first holiday with the children

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allatsea · 10/06/2003 18:42

sykes - have you been on your holiday yet? Just wondering what it was like as we're off on the weekend

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carolinel · 27/01/2005 12:51

Help! we are going to Sardinia in May (half term) with simply travel. I booked last year. They have just advised that they are no longer offering babysitting. Does anyone know any local nannies who I could contact?

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