My sister-in-law is currently living it up at the amazing Sani Resort in Greece. Not only do they have creche facilities for babies but there’s a Kids Club for those age 4 and up. Even better, the room that they happened to book includes 3 hours of babysitting per day. Which means they truly are having a holiday!
Sometimes you don’t have the option of a hotel creche or babysitter. Faced with trying to get some extra help with the kids whilst staying in a holiday home in France, my sister trialled a ‘live-in’ nanny. In case you are considering this as an option, here are Georgina’s thoughts below….
We’ve used hotel crèches, kids clubs, baby listening and babysitting services. For more on this, check out an FAQ I put together about childcare abroad. But on a recent trip to a holiday home in France, we opted for a ‘live-in’ nanny for a few days.
If you’re interested in this option, here’s what you should consider:
Working with an overseas childcare agency
— Holiday nannies from the UK
We considered hiring a ‘holiday nanny’ (from a UK-based agency) to come with us. This option sounds particularly appealing if you might need help with the kids during your flight. However, our preference was to find someone who was already based in the area.
— Finding an agency in France
I found SillyBillyS childcare agency online, who are based in south-west France. Nicci Brown runs the agency, and is a very experienced childcare professional herself, with a network of experienced childcarers across the area. I outlined what we were looking for, and unfortunately Nicci didn’t have anyone available in the local area. That’s when we started to consider a ‘live-in’ role. Nicci then sent us details for a nanny who would be interested in the role on this basis, along with her references and police check details, and we decided to go ahead. We paid a fee to the agency, and then an hourly rate to the nanny, plus an additional amount to cover her travel costs (as she lived a few hours away).
Things to consider for ‘live-in’ childcare
— Do you have enough room?
We had a spare room with an en-suite bathroom available. It was important to us that she would have enough room to be comfortable. We also wanted to make sure that we all still had plenty of space, as we were effectively inviting a stranger to join us on a family holiday.
— Designing a schedule
It’s difficult to map out your holiday in advance, but we agreed on a schedule that included both daytime childcare and evening babysitting.
— Mealtimes and free time
We had never had ‘live-in’ childcare before, and our nanny had never taken on a role like this before either. I asked her in advance to give us an idea of her food likes/dislikes so that we could make sure that we catered for her. During her time off she went out and about to explore the area.
Would we do it again?
We had a great experience with ‘live-in’ childcare on our holiday, as it gave us the freedom to have some time away from the kids. We were lucky to find a nanny who did a wonderful job with our children, and who was also happy to give us space when she wasn’t working with the kids.