Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Child goes on a ski vacation school, childcare, and more

Well, I promised I would be back weekly, but it has been tough with being in Tahoe pretty much every weekend, but this article is spurred on for planning for our annual ski trip. This year's destination is Park City, UT with about 25total...adults and kids. Yes, in one house. So with a group this size pre-planning is essential. Especially as the majority of the children are 5 and under. We have a huge range from never seen snow to their only ski/board experience is on this annual trip to my two who see the slopes every weekend. So options:

AGE = Too Young for Ski School...most ski schools start accepting children at age 4 (and potty-trained), but you do have options to at least get yourself and potentially the child on the slopes.

INTERCHANGEABLE PARENT PASS: Or the other name it is commonly referred to and I think truly sums it up is the "Parent Predicament Pass." This pass will generally cost you the same as a standard lift ticket (or worse case a few dollars more). They place it on a bungee and this allows you and your co-parent to switch on and off the pass as children, weather, etc dictates. This is an especially good idea when vacationing with an infant. Someone can ski the morning nap and the other the afternoon nap. Some California/Nevada resorts that offer this are: Alpine Meadows, Northstar, Sierra at Tahoe, Tahoe Donner, Diamond Peak, and Homewood. Unfortunately this has not caught on outside the Tahoe response when querying the Colorado resorts is one sentence "By Colorado State Law, all ski passes and ski tickets are non-transferable." Otherwise go east my friend to New Hampshire's Bretton Woods.

CHILDCARE: Call central reservations for your destination and find out if they recommend any child care services that will come to your accommodations. Generally every ski town has a good one with background-checked, CPR certified care-givers. We have used Baby Business with Naomi in Steamboat Springs, CO and this year we will be trying the Guardian Angels in Park City. This option especially with multiple children is so much more economical compared to the resorts which can be $100-$200 a day. It also keeps your infant/child in a place they are already accustomed and away from the multitude of illness bugs that come with a daycare like environment at the resort's childcares.

With that said though we have found many of the on-resort childcare options very wonderful. Vail, Beavercreek, Northstar are to name a few we have used. But it's always good to check out there website and ask some questions:
> How are the age groups structured?
> What is the care-giver to child ratio?
> What are your security practices?
> How do you get in contact with me if you need me?
> Are your care-givers CPR/First Aid certified?
> What will my child's day be like (which will lead you to appropriate clothing, etc)?
> Will any snow play or ski lesson be included?
> What meals or snacks are included?
> What if my child has food allergies?
> Will I get a report card at the end of my child's day?

PRIVATE LESSON: And if you really want to get your child on the snow put your kids in a lesson to get them on the right track. And request a children's instructor as they know how to teach kids, it’s their business. Then you’ll enjoy skiing with your kids and they will be proud to show you their skiing abilities. If you child is not potty-trained...ensure they have gone prior to the lesson and/or ensure they have on a pull-up.

AGE = Ski School

Most US-based ski school accept children beginning at the age of four or five. And you will find rare cases at age 3. But generally in all instances they must be potty-trained and in some cases you have to provide proof of age.

Age is not the only factor when placing your child in a ski school. Ability will be taken into account as well. Ensure to be honest about your child's ability. Generally the resort will have an ability rating system published on their website or will ask you questions to help establish your child's ability. Other things you should be ready to share about your child would include allergies or behavioral concerns such as shyness or even crankiness due to jet-leg, late night, etc..

You should contact the resort about a month in advance of your planned visit to make a reservation. You will then receive confirmation with information such as check-in procedure including the when's and where's as well as what to bring and what to wear and other program specifics.

Questions you should have for the resort include;
> What is the general class size?
> What is the procedure for keeping classes together?
> What is the procedure for emergencies?
> What is your pick-up procedure/security?
Once you leave your child it is best to stay away. If you have to sneak a peek do so from a distance.
Good source:

1 comment:

sixwinks said...

The girls LOVED ski school and learned a lot! I am so glad their ratio was 2:1!