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Hotel/Resort Babysitting Services - Have you used them or would you?

Hotel/Resort Babysitting Services - Have you used them or would you?

Old Oct 5th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Hotel/Resort Babysitting Services - Have you used them or would you?

Someone suggested we use a hotel babysitting service for our children (ages 4 & 5) during the evening one night of an upcoming trip. Dh and I immediately said no thanks. We use babysitters at home, but to go to another city and leave my children w/someone I don't know (and nobody I know knows) isn't something I would consider. My mother says, "what are the chances something would happen?" I don't know what odds are, but I'm not up for taking them. It seems people who take advantage of children are going to be drawn to jobs which involve children and less background checking might be done (versus working in a school). Just curious what others think. I know people who are going to be using the hotel babysitting service on this upcoming trip and I think we are being looked at as overprotective (which doesn't bother me) for not using it.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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Most hotels use bonded baby-sitting services, and if that is the case, then your kids should be safe. I think you are totally off-base in thinking that professional baby-sitting services are stocked with potential felony child abusers. Ultimately, you have to decide whether you're comfortable using such a service, and if you're not, then how on earth can anyone argue with you?
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:03 AM
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I agree, I've taken people w/me to give us a break (Grandparents, friends, relatives, etc.) but I've never had the urge to turn my children over to an unknown quantity. Were I in a big Resort-type setting w/a bunch kids, I'd probably be fine w/it. It is, however, highly unlikely that will be happening anytime soon since I loathe Resorts. We have a friends going w/us to Key West next month & she'll give us a night out or two for dinner which is fine w/me. In turn, we are her Key West tour guides/advisors, so it works out for everyone in the end.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:04 AM
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Doug makes a very good point about each individual's comfort level. Not that I don't want to see you get lots of responses, but this has been discussed many times before. Search using "hotel babysitters." There is at least 1 post that has 60 or so responses.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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Actually, Doug, I don't have to decide - I think I made the point that I have already decided. I was just curious as to what others thought as I'm just surprised that other people on our trip are going to use the service.

SAnParis - I'd be okay with a daytime outdoor multi-kid camp like program as well, but the thought of turning my kids over to a complete stranger in the evening just seems insane to me. My cousin is going to use the service for her infant and I'm a bit shocked.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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It is something that only a parent can decide for themselves. My children are now grown up, but I have used them..thinking that they were bonded and well trained. I've had bad experiences with sitters I thought I knew well.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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Mincepie makes a good point as well...I have been fortunate on the 'nanny' front as I essentially had one of my daughters pre-school providers approach me about caring for my kids, + my kids are crazy about her. So, I have basically avoided this type of situation, partly through luck. In addiiton, my wife stays at home about 80% of the time & works out of the house. I also think that the age & maturity of the child would have some bearing on making that type of decision.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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My parents used it when my sisters and I were kids and we never had a problem.

A hotel isn't going to chance their chain's reputation on babysitting services.

Can you imagine the fallout if something did happen.

What ever happened with that Wyndham in the islands?

That said, you are completely justified in not using the hotel's baby sitting service.
 
Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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Have there been any publicized cases of child negligence at the hands of a hotel child care provider recently? I just googled, but couldn't find anything.

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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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"I think we are being looked at as overprotective (which doesn't bother me) for not using it."

As a mom of a 21 and 24 yr old, I remember those days. I'm glad you don't let it bother you what other parents or people think - there is no right or wrong answer to this except to do what makes you comfortable and to heck what anyone else thinks or feels, they are your kids, you are their mother, and if the worse you are being is over protective in this instance who cares, it's hardly an 'overprotective' moment that will have any effect on them - unless, and you alone know your children - if leaving them also with a stranger would cause them any anxiousness then it really isn't worth it to me.

What are the chances something goes wrong? Slim probably, but with anything in life there is always that chance you could be the one in a million and if you are not comfortable you won't have a good time out that night anyway, likely pondering any and all possibilities that could pop into your head.

When our kids were that age, I chose not to leave them with resort sitters; I felt like you did, and was more comfortable at home with sitters they knew for more than the 5 minute introduction. We did, however, at some resorts that had "kid hour" or a "kid coke-tail hour" like the Balsams did with little hot dogs and cokes for the kids, we let them attend that with a group of kids in an adjoining room to dinner which gave us an hour of adult cocktail time - or if a resort had an organized group play for a few hours during the day also (The Balsams) or when they were 6, in the group offerings at Disney for a few hours where they'd all watch a movie and have pizza while we ate, a few hotels in Bermuda also had the above type of short term, group 'movie' event, etc during adult early dinner hour.

When they were younger, when we could, we brought our sitter or my mom with us so we had some dinners alone,etc; but when we could not we looked at it as this was a family vacation, the family would be together, we wouldn't have adult time, and we'd have it again when we were home and comfortable with our sitters.

Sometimes we were lucky enough to be traveling with other families one of whom had a teen old enough to watch them all for one night out for the adults.

One night out was not worth the anxiety for me when they were 5 and under.

When they are a bit older, you may choose resorts for family vacations that have organized day group play activities and/or evening movies, etc as many do and they will be old enough then that they can verbalize if they want to go and if they like it when they are there, and can call you if not comfortable.

The fact that sitters are bonded or insured does not give me any peace of mind; they might have had a background check, and gone nutty since then -
or so what, so the hotel is somewhat protected b/c they are insured and they've attempted to protect themselves, but that doesn't necessarily protect my kid if something happens, it just means I have someone to sue.

So hotels are covered, but again, no guarantees in life on anything.

This being said, I am not saying someone is a bad parent if they choose to use sitter services at any age, everyone's situation and comfort level is different and the important thing is to do what make you comfortable and not judge anyone else who does it differently.

So if your friends make you feel uncomfortable when you are there, just smile - or tell them everyone makes their own choices, you aren't commenting on theirs, and let's not comment on yours.

This is just the begininng - on every parental decision you make your kids will have friends whose parents make a different decision,, when they are young, teens, driving, curfews, etc and you will have your own feelings and that's that.

As I used to say to my kids, it isn't a democracy in my house, I hold all the veto power.
Have a good vacation, enjoy your little ones, that time passes all too quickly and they will be running off when on vacation like mine do now for their own nights out without us !! Or,, we all come back from a night out and we go to bed and they go out on the town dancing and for one more nightcap !!

Sometimes I long for the days when they were in bed before me
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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Lizziea06 - FYI

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...5&tid=34436422

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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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Regarding my previous post, I have not researched it to know if it is true or not.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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Not exactly publicized, it sounds like.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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I would never have left my kids with a hotel baby sitter.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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We didn't - since we took the same care in personally selecting child care for our kids on vacation as at home. At home we always went on recommendations from trusted friends, etc. and then interviewed sitter ourselves.

Our dtr is now of babysitting age and we are amazed how little info people want about her before she is offered a sitting job.

We did use centers/activities starting when our kids were about age of yours on a few occasions at resorts - somehow we felt safer if there were a number of child care personnel there at the same time plus our kids were old enough to report anything weird.

But the only answer is whatever you are comfortable with - not your mother in law, best friend, pediatrician etc.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 02:17 PM
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TOTALLY off topic here, but I am amazed at some of the things that don't get publicized these days. Tell me if any of you heard about this - it was a big story in Cincinnati but I never saw it get ANY national coverage: a little boy, Marcus, recently "went missing" from the park (according to his foster mother). For days people & police were out searching for him (he was special needs as well). Finally it was discovered his foster parents had locked him the closet for the weekend so they could go out of town (when they found him dead upon return they burned his body).

I know this is terribly unpleasant and I apologize for even mentioning it here, but I was just wondering if anyone outside of Cincinnati heard about it. I would watch the national news cover all sorts of silly stuff while it was going on (a few weeks ago) and couldn't believe it didn't come up. A very sad commentary on our foster care system (not that there aren't wonderful foster parents out there as well).
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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In the summer of 1983, I was 25 years old, and working a government job. My father had suffered a stroke, and I decide to give myself a few months to relax and spend time with him before I began law school in the fall. My parents lived on the beach, so I decided to earn some extra money by babysitting for tourists at hotels and condos on Panama City Beach. I simply left my name and number with the front desk at the hotel or condo. None of the hospitality folks knew me, but I had plenty of business. It did amaze me even 20+ years ago that people would leave their children with a complete stranger. I can't imagine that happening today. I never had any bad experiences, but once felt uncomfortable around the two fathers who offered me a drink while their wives got ready. I said "no thanks" and drove around for a while until the wives were ready. I even sat for a blind child and her sister once. I learned a lot from that experience.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 03:33 PM
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snowrooster-

I think I might have both read about this and seen it on CNN - was this the foster parents that wrapped the boy in the carpet first?

I am hoping this is the same story that you are talking about, because to imgaine two similar incidents happening recently is horrific.
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 04:51 PM
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Snowrooster: I feel the same way you do. We travel a lot with our toddler and have never used and will never use hotel/resort babysitting services.
I know or hope hotels do thorough background checks on their employees but my husband and I just can't trust that an anonymous HR person did their job right. My 2 cents. I'll add that I don't judge people who do use them (and I'm not implying at all that you are).
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Old Oct 5th, 2006, 07:02 PM
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They've never been employees of the hotel in any hotel my DH has been connected with. His hotels provide lists of sitting services and no more, certainly no individual names, and it is up to the parent to choose and do the interviewing. In today's world...who could or would do more without assistance from Lloyd's of London!

We did use hotel sitters but that is now close to 3 decades ago. One became the kids' sitter when we left town even (we needed her for hotel functions in town at my husband's hotel, initially). She was fabulous and the kids remember her to this day. We used them in Miami without a thought. Different times.
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