6 Ways to Find Childcare While on Vacation

Finding childcare while on vacation or away from home can be stressful and scary. How do you know your children will be taken care of properly and kept happy and safe?

Numerous resorts and vacation hot spots offer childcare services, but parents should check out the facilities and staff qualifications before leaving kids at an unknown facility.

Here are things to consider when looking for daycare on vacation.

Look for Affiliates to Known Day Care Centers

daycare provider playing with baby

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Find 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 you're headed to. You can also complete any registration forms ahead of time.

Many large daycare centers can accommodate an extra child on vacation and you may be able to arrange for special rates or services that would typically be found at the regular location.

When researching, keep in mind that a same or similarly named facility does not always mean it is the same daycare company.

If possible, go online to the main website and look over the locations. Then, call and verify before you leave home.

Bring Your Caregiver Along

babysitter caring for 2 children

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Whether it's your au pair, a professional nanny, or a teenager down the street who often watches your kids, consider bringing them along for your trip if you want extra hands around to ensure you have time to relax.

Bringing along a vacation babysitter gives parents the opportunity to spend time together as a couple, enjoy nightlife, and relax on the beach while knowing that a trusted person is looking after their children.

Make sure you're comfortable with the person you choose and can trust them to keep close watch of your kids. You'll also want to be prepared to pay more for accommodations and entertainment, too. Having connecting rooms may be a convenient and cost-effective solution.

Hire a Babysitter at Your Destination

mother handing over baby to babysitter

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If you decide you don't need full-time childcare on your trip but want a few hours of uninterrupted adult time, seek out a babysitter at your destination. Ask your child's regular caregiver for suggestions and find out if they have connections where you're headed.

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 Your Hotel in Advance for Services Offered

mother and daughter checking in at hotel
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A reputable concierge service should have a list of childcare 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 childcare professionals. And, yes, there is a huge difference!

Many hotels also offer on-site 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

daycare teacher with kids
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A growing number of communities are seeing drop-in childcare centers, and the convenience and hours can provide parents with another childcare alternative.

Rather than waiting until you're absolutely desperate for childcare, 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 childcare. Only after you are armed with information and are comfortable with the facility should you consider leaving your youngster there.

Vacation With Relatives

woman walking with little girl on beach

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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!

By Robin McClure
 Robin McClure is a public school administrator and author of 6 parenting books.