Guide to Meribel

Meribel childcare and crèches

Introduction

The childcare provision in Meribel is great, with a lot of companies to choose from. If you're unsure which is right for you, we will be able to recommend a local nanny, babysitter, crèche, or ski school to keep the kids entertained while you get a well-earned break, on and off the slopes.

It is advisable to book your childcare service at the same time as you book your accommodation, as they tend to fill-up quickly—especially during peak weeks.

On this page, we'll take you through the best options for childcare during your stay in Meribel. We'll look at typical prices, just what your little ones can expect, as well as some other "nice to know" info.

Hire a nanny

Like most ski resorts, Meribel has many specialist nannies and childcare companies. They know the resort like the back of their ski gloves, from the best local ice cream sundae to the best place for a snowball fight. They will also drop the kids off to their ski lessons and pick them up. If you want them to, they will even stay with you in the chalet until the kids go to bed, allowing you to switch off and enjoy your holiday in style. Find out more about nanny services in Meribel...

Nannies can provide care at your accommodation while you ski (usually between 8am and 7pm, for eight consecutive hours at a time), and baby-sitting services (usually by the hour, from 7pm onwards), if you're looking to head out for the evening.

The price of care will differ between companies. This will depend on the number of children, the number of hours/days needed, and, in some cases, the age of the children.

The age range of children, who can avail of these services, is normally between four weeks and 14 years old. Again, this can vary from company to company.

Typical day for the child:

Before the grown-ups head out in the morning, the nanny will arrival at the chalet, getting ready for the day ahead. They can prepare the food for the day (purées, sandwiches, or any items that you've approved), and organise the day's activities. In the morning, the nanny can bring the kid/s out for a walk around the village, or drop them at the local ski school for a few hours — all depending on what you have agreed with them. If they prefer the indoors, there are endless activities here too. Most nannies come prepared with colouring books, toys, arts and craft and other essentials to pass the time. They're also well-trained in dealing with any separation anxiety, or other such bumps on the road, that may arise.

Approx. Price (Nanny Service):
  • 1 Full Day (8 consecutive hours): €250
  • 6 Days (8 consecutive hours per day): €1500
Approx. Price (Babysitting Service - after 7pm):
  • 1 - 3 Children: €30 per hour
  • 4 - 5 Children: €35 per hour

Please note, the majority of nanny service providers will assume that one full day is equal to eight consecutive hours (due to French labour laws), and will give you the choice of what consecutive hours best suit you—usually from between 8am and 7pm. Others may be more flexible and could, for example, break the day into two four-hour shifts, with an hour's break between. It is always worth double-checking with your chosen provider.

Babysitter Service

While most nanny services will offer a babysitting service in the evening, it is always handy to have a list on hand should you need a babysitter at short notice, at any time of the day. Here's a list from the Meribel Tourist Office of independent babysitters in Meribel, the majority of which speak English.

Typical day for the child:

Similar to the nanny service, a babysitter will call to your chalet to offer childcare while you're out. Traditionally, this service covers just a few hours at a time, usually while the grown-ups head out for the evening.

Approx. Price:
  • 1 - 3 Children: €20 per hour
  • 4 - 5 Children: €25 per hour

ESF Day Nursery

The state-owned ski school (ESF) operates a nursery in Meribel for children aged 18 months to three years. Morning sessions run 9am to noon, and afternoon sessions are 2pm to 5pm. Optional supervised lunches are also available from noon to 2pm. For more information, visit www.esf-meribel.com.

Typical day for the child:

An action-packed day of fun and learning awaits. For those that are not ready for the snow, there are indoor restrooms and play areas that are perfectly suited for toddlers. Children are looked after throughout their stay by qualified supervisors and activities include signing, reading and playing with toys. Should they choose, there's also outdoor activities such as sledging, snow play, and even walks in the garden.

Approx. Price (6 mornings OR 6 afternoons):
  • €200 per child
Approx. Price (6 mornings AND 6 afternoons):
  • €300 per child

Kindergarten Mini Piou Piou Club

Run by the state-owned ski school (ESF), Mini Piou Piou Club is a snowy kindergarten playground complete with ski lift, playground characters and merry-go-rounds. Suitable for children aged three to five years old. Morning sessions run 9am to noon, and afternoon sessions are 2pm to 5pm. Optional supervised lunches are also available from noon to 2pm.

Typical day for the child:

Here, the aim is to get your little ones ready to become the ski champions of the future. Under the supervision of qualified ski instructors, they will learn the basic of the ski world with specialised equipment that's tailor for kids, with mini ski lifts, treadmills and snow games that will keep them intrigued and learning throughout the whole day.

Approx. Price (6 mornings OR 6 afternoons):
  • €200 per child
Approx. Price (6 mornings AND 6 afternoons):
  • €300 per child

Ski School Piou Piou Club

From age four and above, children can take ESF ski lessons. In the "Ourson" class for four-year-old's, they learn how to use ski lifts, how to start/stop, how to turn, and so on. By the time they graduate to the "Flocons" cohort (for five-year-old's), you'll be amazed how good they are getting — and how hard it can be to keep up with them! Read more about ski lessons... Morning sessions run 9am to noon, and afternoon sessions are 2pm to 5pm. Optional supervised lunches are also available from noon to 2pm.

Typical day for the child:

For many kids this is the first time that they'll have put on a set of skis, and the ski area is designed to reflect that — with super flat, wide and soft surfaces. The skiing is set around "the adventures of Piou-Piou", a colourful mascot who guides them through their first snowy adventure. There's even a medal ceremony at the end of the week for every kid.

Approx. Price (6 mornings OR 6 afternoons):
  • €200 per child
Approx. Price (6 mornings AND 6 afternoons):
  • €300 per child

Nanny Services in Meribel

  • Meribel Nanny Services
  • With years experience working as a nanny in the French Alps, company founder Nicole decided to start Meribel Nanny Services, a reliable and personal childcare service. Ensuring you have a relaxed, enjoyable holiday.

  • www.meribelnannyservices.com

  • SnowBugs
  • Offering a high quality, friendly and trustworthy service since 2008. Personal and professional, SnowBugs entertain your little ones in the comfort of your own chalet in the beautiful ski resorts of the Meribel and Courchevel Valleys.

  • Facebook page

  • Jelly and Ice-Cream
  • Starting from Val d'Isere in 2006, Jelly and Ice-Cream have grown to become one of the most reputable nanny service across the French Alps. Organise a nanny to your accommodation for a half day, full day or for your entire stay.

  • jellyandice-cream.com

  • Merinannies
  • With years of experience in the field, Merinannies provide private nanny services in multiple resorts across the French Alps. Offering a perfectly tailored service to best suit your little ones' needs.

  • merinannies.com

Bring a relative

Another option is simply to bring the grandparents or other relatives along for the ride. Lots of people enjoy the many comforts of a winter chalet holiday without ever actually going skiing. Ask them to look after the kids during the day, then give them first refusal on the hot tub each evening.

Typical day for the child:

A day spent with one family member, while the others are out skiing.

Approx. Price:

Free! Or, hot tub privileges, the first batch of coffee, the last slice of cake, etc.

Other resources for families