Temporary childcare in Europe?

Old Jun 4th, 2002, 11:25 AM
  #1  
Rhonda
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Temporary childcare in Europe?

We are taking our two sons (2 and 4) to Paris with us this summer so they can experience a different culture. I know there will be days they don't feel like going doing anything, so is there a safe, secure place we can drop them for the day while my husband and I sightsee? Anyone know what something like this would cost?
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 11:41 AM
  #2  
Andre
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Rhonda,

You should check with your hotel, which will almost certainly be able to arrange a babysitter and give you price info.

Andre
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 12:37 PM
  #3  
ChildPsych
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Strongly suggest you leave the kiddos at home for this trip, maybe with their grandparents or a fond aunt and uncle. Go enjoy Paris with your husband. You will be happier and so will your children, especially the two-year old who's way too young to appreciate a different culture. We took our (then) five- and seven-year old to Europe. It was a great trip, but very child-oriented. I can't imagine taking even younger children.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 01:01 PM
  #4  
stupidparents
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I would not leave my small child alone with a complete stranger in a foreign country for all the money in the world.
If you are willing to endanger your kids for a night out, why not just leave them home with someone.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 01:42 PM
  #5  
trollalert
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This must be a troll. On the off chance it's legit (and on this Forum anything is possible) your best bet is to leave the kiddies at home (if there is no one to leave them with, everyone stay home until the kids are old enough to experience a different culture). At 2 and 4 they are not going to experience anything in Paris. Some hotels may be able to arrange babysitting, but I would not be comfortable with that. Leave the kids with the grandparents or someone in the family, or everyone just go to the beach or lake.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 04:00 PM
  #6  
Rhonda
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Actually I'm quite serious. I don't think it's ever too early to expose children to unique and different experiences. I carried my oldest on a three week trek through India when he was 1 and a half and I think he's better off for it. Having a young baby has a way of immediately endearing you to the locals.

As for leaving them with "complete strangers," that's part of the purpose of my question, to get recommendations for places people have used in the past.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 04:23 PM
  #7  
k
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But Rhonda,they will still be complete strangers to you and the babies.
Whatever you think that your are doing in a positive way by exposing babies to an environment that is new and different,you could not be more off the mark.Very young children do not like new strange noises,smells,people.They like continuity and the same familiar faces.But aside from your cockeyed childrearing ideas, to leave a child alone with babysitting services in another country is really trusting fate much more than most parents would be willing to do.
There is such a thing as baby selling .. not just in Europe, I would not recommend this in the US either.
Then what if there were some incident in the city you are visiting and the babies are somewhere,in a foreign land with foreign people, and you cannot get to them, there are so many scenarios and this is such a volatile time in the world, I am sorry , but I think you would be absolutely crazy and irresponsible to leave your children with anyone just so you and the hubby can take a walk alone.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 05:24 PM
  #8  
xxx
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Rhonda,
A friend of mine asked me this same questions about her 10yr old son not so long ago and my advice to her is the same as I'm going to give to you.
DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN WITH STRANGERS. Not even the ones the hotel suggests, just imagine how afraid they would be with a person they do not know, in a strange country. Either leave them home with a relative or if you can afford it pay for a third person to come along for that reason only (maybe a teenage family member not too young though) so that when they're tired you have another option. I have traveled with my children since they were 6months old and I agree with you that they're never too young to be exposed to different cultures, but I would never have left them at anytime with hotel staff, or a babysitting service in a strange country.

Think very long and hard before you make any decisions.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 06:00 PM
  #9  
morons
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Unique experiences? How about this?
The "strangers" you entrust your children with get in a cab and you never see them again.
Good Luck...you're gonna need alot of it if this is how you reason out life situations.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 06:28 PM
  #10  
StCirq
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Rhonda: While I never would have entrusted my kids to the care of anyone other than personal friends in Paris (and I did that only once), I do not share the notion that leaving your kids with a reliable babysitting service is going to result in your kids being sold on the white or black or brown or whatever slave market. I also agree there's value in taking very young children to foreign places, contrary to the opinions of many on this board. I would suggest that you post this same question on the BonjourParis website (www.bonjourparis.com), where, I believe, this topic has been covered and where reliable people have recommended reliable babysitting services. There are a number of well-respected Parisian babysitting services, and as I say, I haven't used them, but I know they exist and I think on BonjourParis you'll get a kinder and more useful reception than you're getting here.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 07:21 PM
  #11  
pyscho
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Right, and when you come back and the children whimper every time you change their clothes or give them a bath, you will wonder if one of those kind strangers was really a sick individual who likes babies.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 07:30 PM
  #12  
TravelMom
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We have taken our son to the UK twice to visit my husband's family (6.5 months old the first time, 20 months old the second time). We went out alone at night on the second trip, but we only left him with the aunties after he has had a few days to adjust to get to re-know them. I would NEVER leave him with a stranger in a foreign country. That has got to be freaky for a kid no matter how well-adjusted or well-traveled you think your kids are. We tried a hotel babysitter on one domestic business trip and it was a fiasco. Gave our son total separation anxiety which he had never had before, probably from strange place, strange person. While we'll always take our kids (soon there will be two) overseas because immediate family is there, if I were really craving alone time as it sounds like you are, I'd say leave the kids at home and go for a long weekend. And this comes from someone who is a huge supporter of traveling with your kids.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 07:39 PM
  #13  
jill
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A long time ago, when my children were 4 and 7 we went to Jamaica.Rented a villa with a staff.Now the staff were ladies, very nice,very sweet with the children.
One night my husband wanted to put the children to bed then take a drive,leaving them with the housekeeper.
When I went in to put my son to bed, I told him what we were doing, and he hung on to me and cried and would not let go.Now maybe he was just tired,maybe he just felt like he was in too alien a place to have his parents leave him, but there was no way I was leaving him with his being so upset.
Since then,I never left either of my children when on holiday.If I took them with me it was with the understanding that we were all together for the duration of the trip.If I wanted to be alone with my husband, I would leave them at home with family and go away with him alone.
I would never wish the heartache and misery on any parent that has left a child with someone and had that child molested,harmed in any way,and the parent always feeling guilty.
Even when you do everything you can that is right for a child and something happens -you still feel guilty!Why put your children in that kind of possibly harmful situation?
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 08:28 PM
  #14  
Jennifer
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Hi Rhonda,

I used a babysitting agency while I was in Paris. I have the name written down if you're interested. I used the service once, in April of this year and was extremely pleased. I'll also admit that my children are 9 and 12, and it was during the day. The babysitter took them to the zoo while I went shopping! She was a college graduate, 26, and spoke excellent English. She came to our apartment. The problem was that I didn't get gone for an hour because we were engaged in a fascinating conversation! However, the children loved her, and I felt very confident in my decision to leave them with her. I also carried a cell phone so they could contact me at any moment.

In the US, most babysitters are quite young, but this wooman told me that in France, most people do not like babysitters under the age of 18.

My children are a lot older than yours, but I was satisfied, and my children had a wonderful day. Obviously, I can't guarantee what will happen the experiences or outcomes for others, but I just thought I'd share my own experiences.

Oh, I *think* I remember the rate at being ~$6. per hour, but I wouldn't swear on that. I did, however, give her an extra $15. as a tip, which was most appreciated by her.

(If you are interested in the name of the agency, please e-mail me, as I may not find this thread if it slides down a bit!)

As with most parenting decisions, the best advice I can give is: follow your gut. Every family is different, and what works for one family may not for another and vice versa.

Jennifer
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 08:51 PM
  #15  
another
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I've heard of many people taking sitters with them. If there is any way you can afford this, it would be a great alternative. I doubt you'd have too much trouble getting someone to agree to go to Paris with you for this onerous task! (I think I see hands going up all over this board!)

When you get right down to it, most people modify their vacation plans when they have children. Different trips are enjoyable at different ages (and for different children). This is to avoid frustration and to maximize enjoyment for all concerned.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 09:43 PM
  #16  
Jennifer
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another -- that is the PERFECT idea!! Perhaps if they allowed two out of seven days for the take along "nanny" to have all to herself, the nanny could also help out with doing laundry and other things, as well. Other than airfare, one extra person wouldn't cost a tremendous amount of money more.

Brilliant idea!

Jennifer
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 11:39 PM
  #17  
123
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What kind of parent drags very small children to europe and then wants advice and names for babysitters from complete strangers (many who appear to be morons) on a public website? If you and your hubby want to sight see alone then don't take your kids...or don't go. I am constantly amazed at the sheer stupidity of parents...and who cares what it costs or are you willing to leave your children with the lowest bidder? I hope this is a troll and that no responsible parents would do this to their most precious of resources.
 
Old Jun 5th, 2002, 04:14 AM
  #18  
s
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Rhonda,

My parents travelled a lot when I was growing up, and I know they used babysitters when we were in Europe. They would get recommendations from the hotel, as Andre suggests above.

s
 
Old Jun 5th, 2002, 04:30 AM
  #19  
Dawn
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Rhonda...what month are you going? We have decided to go to Paris with our little girl who will be 19m when we go in November. The reason why we chose Paris is that one of the student interns that works with me will be living there and is an excellent babysitter. Otherwise I wouldn't leave her with anyone she or I didn't know. I would look into taking someone with you as others have suggested, how about their grandma?
 
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