Fort Myers Beach Hotels – Things to Do
Vacation Child Care Programs
Family vacations are great for spending time with loved ones as you get away from your normal routines and obligations. But a family vacation can sometimes feel like no vacation at all for parents chasing after kids. Parents need time to themselves, and not just for romance. They may want to relax, reconnect and revisit what brought them together. They may wish to enjoy the many things to do in Fort Myers together as adults. For those parents looking to enjoy time with their partner, or just a bit of “downtime” while on vacation, finding the right child care arrangement is very important, both for the child’s wellbeing and your own peace of mind.
1. Do your research in advance. Lots of hotels and resorts offer access to babysitters, day care and kids activity clubs. Research the babysitting services offered or recommended through the resort. The extra time it gives you as a couple to enjoy the things to do in Fort Myers will more than make up for the extra time you spend researching.
Even if you’re only leaving your kids for an hour or two, keep safety in mind. Ask the hotel where they find the sitters, how they interview them and if they run background and reference checks. Do they watch the kids in your room, a child care facility or other spot in the hotel? Interview the actual babysitter yourself and take a look at the facilities to confirm they are clean and safe.
The Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina offers our Kidds Kampp® programs. These are drop-off camps for kids ages 4 to 12. A typical day at Sparky´s Kidds Kampp® includes lunch, crafts, theme related activities, nature exploration and more! Kids have the opportunity to learn from our recreation professionals about the local flora and fauna that inhabits Ft. Myers Beach and scan the shoreline for dolphins!
2. Check the references and details. What resources can families use to find reputable child care services? Word of mouth and recommendations from trusted sources is a great start. Check with your friends and family first to see if they have had a great experience with vacation child care. The Internet is also a resource for great checking child care facilities. Family destinations with reputable child care centers will highlight their programs as an integral part of vacation planning. When searching, you’ll also probably turn up useful articles prepared by online travel and parenting resources that identify “top 10” family destinations. Your searches should yield a list of destinations with basic information such as pricing and hours.
What questions do parents need to ask to determine if a child care option is reputable? Parents should ask whether child care centers are regulated and licensed by a state division, and inquire about the center’s discipline policy and child care philosophy, security protocols, and staffing qualifications and requirements. They can also look into state Department of Education child care licensing divisions to determine the credibility and quality standard of licensed centers.
To determine if the center will be a good match for your child, ask about a typical day’s activities and schedule. Staff should be happy to respond to inquiries from parents. Asking questions such as “What is your daily routine? How will your staff nurture and support my child? Is your staff trained in special needs? How do you accommodate allergies and special dietary restrictions?” Address safety and security procedures. This will not only give you the peace of mind to enjoy your time to pursue the things to do in Fort Myers, it ensures that your child will enjoy their time as well.
If you’re considering a private sitter, many of these same questions apply. Consider qualifications, training, certifications, and whether they have references. You may consider asking to meet with a sitter in advance, which will give you ample time to ask questions and get a sense of their disposition and ability to connect with your child. Ask about their knowledge of safety procedures. Be sure you understand pricing and other policies, such as minimum hours required or payment procedures if you return earlier or later than expected.
3. Prepare your child for the experience. Explain to your child that he or she will be spending time with a sitter or going to “day care” and meeting new people. Talk to your child about time in a way he or she will understand; for example, “I will pick you up right after lunch and I will be so excited to hear about the fun you had.” Allow your child to bring along a nurturing item like a blanket, picture or favorite stuffed animal. Always say goodbye! If you have time upon arrival at your destination, you could visit the child care center or meet the sitter prior to drop-off and familiarize your child with the setting or person.
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