Weekend Daycare Advice for Parents: I Put My Child in Ski Daycare
I confess. I put my toddler in ski daycare on the weekends. There are going to be some readers who think, “Way to go mom! You need a play day too.” But others out there are going to question this decision. I know because I’ve gotten the silent looks from acquaintances when I answer their question, “where does Owen go when you snowboard?”
Yes, he’s in child care five days a week from 7:30 to 4:30 each day. And no, I try not to feel guilty about this.
Weekend daycare is not my first choice. I would love for my mom or some other relative to take him for the day and they have, but it just doesn’t work out every time. So we use ski daycare and here is how I justify it:
- Snowboarding is my release in the winter from a busy week. I need it like runners need pavement time.
- Now that Olivia (age 6) skis, it’s a fun family activity that, in just a few years, Owen will hopefully join.
- The “on the slope” child care is convenient because Owen can join us before and after in the lodge and we don’t have to coordinate when we get home or picking Owen up from a relative’s house.
With that said, not every ski daycare is alike so it’s a bit of a trial and error. If you find yourself in my shoes, here a few pieces of advice:
- First off, you should feel very comfortable before leaving your child in any sort of care. If you are concerned about health and safety, background checks on caregivers, conflict resolution, or any other thing – be sure to call ahead and ask. It’s no different than interviewing a sitter. I find the best time to call is during the week when it’s less busy at the center.
- Find out whether lunch is provided and if there are any restrictions if you bring your own. I usually pack back-up food in case Owen doesn’t like what’s on the menu.
- Ask about age grouping if you have a child on the border of age groups. Owen was put in the infant room recently when clearly he belonged with the older toddlers.
- Pack comfort items from home. There are usually no restrictions on blankets, teddies, and other favorite toys.
- Label everything. I mean everything – diapers, wipes, bottles, sippy cups, food, bag, etc.
- At pick-up be sure to chat with the caregivers about his day. Some will have the info written down while others will simply verbalize your child’s day.
- Finally, I recommend recording your impression of the center and keeping it for reference. We go to so many different places that I tend to forget the details on some by the next year.
So what about you? Do you ever put your child in care on the weekends? If so, what’s your advice for those considering it for the first time?
- E-family news: Choosing & Starting Child Care – How to Adjust as a Parent