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holiday with baby -> need to know -> childcare
Perhaps one of the most important decisions you make about your holiday is child care. Without child care many parents feel they don't get a proper chance to relax where as others feel they are able to cope just fine.

" Choosing childcare will possibly be the most important holiday you will decision you will make. Only you as their parents will know what will suit your baby best. "
Organised child care will only be a success if your baby or toddler is happy about the arrangements and only you as their parents know what is most likely to suit them.

Some important aspects to consider with regard to child care include:
  • From about 7 months onwards, some babies become very clingy and suffer separation anxiety. If this is the case, you may find it difficult to leave you child anywhere and relax.
  • If you decide to opt for an organised creche, use a British operator as this should provide a guarantee of quality child care. Whichever operator you use, make sure you ask what the child to carer ratio is, (this is usually 3:1 for babies and toddlers), and that carers speak English.
organised creche
If you decide to book a day care or creche place for your baby or toddler, make sure you do some extensive research first. Often this can be quite expensive and needs to be booked in advance so be sure to ask lots of questions.

Things to ask include:
  • What is the child to carer ratio?
  • What are the physical care arrangements like? - Is there a separate area for taking naps? How large is the play area? What is the outside play area like? Is there sufficient shade and are there toys and equipment available to play with?
  • Typically what activities are planned for each day?
In addition, it is best to book your holiday via a reputable British operator, who employs staff with the right training and experience. Also, check how far you can go whilst your little one is in the creche. Many places insist that you remain on the premises.
babysitters & nannies
Many hotels and even villa holidays can arrange babysitting or nanny day care services for you. This can work well if your child and nanny hit it off, as you will generally be able to dictate the hours and activities that you require help with, so there is lots of flexibility available. However, this is usually arranged on an hourly rate, so can be very expensive for a full day.

" Be sure to ask what qualifications and experience your nanny has and that they speak English. "
Most good hotels are happy to arrange this for you, but be sure to ask for the same nanny each time, what qualifications and experience they have and that ask that they speak English. Remember to go through the basics with them, such as your little one's routine, allergies, medication, comforters, favourite toys as well as your contact number or location whilst you are out.
extended family
Going on holiday with granny or grandpa can be an excellent solution to child care, provided you all enjoy each others company. If you decide to go for a big family holiday, be sure to ask before you assume that their help is available. Most grandparents love the opportunity to spend time with their grandchildren on holiday, but discussing arrangements ahead of the trip is a good idea so that expectations on both sides are met fairly- grandparents often find it hard to say no to a request for help, but remember, it's their holiday too.

" Most grandparents love the opportunity to spend time with their grandchildren, but be sure to ask explicitly for their help before you leave. "
An alternative is to travel with friends that have a baby/toddler of similar age. This works well for families with toddlers as they have companions to play with and parents can arrange to split babysitting sessions, so that both couples can have sometime off. Discuss who is bringing what equipment and toys so that an extensive selection may be shared. Although holidaying with friends can be great fun, be sure to do this with only friends that you have already spent lots of time with. The closest of friends can fall out when faced with one another for 24 hours! If at all possible, obtain two smaller self catering apartments, rather than 1 large apartment as you all then have privacy and some socialising space. If this works out too expensive, then at the very least ensure that the shared accommodation has two bathrooms!
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