How to organise childcare for your ski holiday in Morzine: from babies up to 5 years
Morzine is an excellent choice for a family ski holiday with childcare. From private nannies and crèche to ski nurseries and ski lessons starting from as young as 3 years of age: discover the childcare options available for your chalet holiday.
As parents, we know that happy, well fed and well looked after kids are a top priority for any family holiday, never mind one that involves cold temperatures and all the extra clothes and equipment that comes with a holiday at altitude.
Parents coming to Morzine can rest assured that the resort is a really family-friendly place with many excellent, well-established childcare services to choose from. The option you choose may depend on the amount of childcare you desire, how much flexibility (or ski time) you crave, your budget, the location of your accommodation, and the age and specific needs of your child.
To keep things simple, we’ve created a mini guide which sums up all of the options and gives you an indication of what to expect from each one. We hope this helps you feel informed and confident about making the right choice for your child, but please do get in touch with any questions.
Private Nannies (babies and kids of all ages)
Great for: parents wanting to respect baby/toddler rhythms, parents needing flexibility throughout the week, parents needing help with ski school drop off/collection/meal times, easy organisation with English speaking nanny
Less great for: keeping costs low, playing/ socialising with kids the same age (although nannies often get together to provide this, so do ask)
Our recommended Morzine nannies are all fully certified, fun-loving, imaginative carers who genuinely love ensuring that the children in their care have the best time ever. They are all native English speakers who know and live in the resort.
The nanny will come to the chalet, usually with a bag of toys and activities, to look after your little ones in the chalet whilst you go out skiing. The nanny will plan fun, age-appropriate, activities such as colouring and baking, as well as taking kids out on daily adventures around the resort. There are loads of fun things to do for kids in Morzine, such as playing in the snow, sledging, taking a gondola ride, riding on the town’s pretty carousel, swimming in the pool, ice skating or jumping on le petit train for a ride around town.
Many nanny services have a half day (morning or afternoon) or a full day option (9am-5pm), but there is usually flexibility around this if you need something more bespoke. Many nannies can also pick up/ drop off older kids at ski school, and take kids to lunch in a restaurant and then back to afternoon ski lessons.
If you are staying in a catered chalet don’t forget that snacks and lunch for your children will not be included with your holiday, you will need to provide this yourself and let your nanny know where to find it in the fridge/cupboard. There are food shops and supermarkets in and around Morzine, please ask your chalet host.
Costs: Around €125 per day, or €17 per hour for a bespoke service
If you fancy a night out enjoying Morzine’s après ski and restaurant scene, make sure your little ones are in safe hands and opt for one of our recommended nanny services. Babysitting is around €15 per hour.
Creche L’Outa – Morzine’s Day Nursery (babies – 5 years)
Note to parents, 27 September 2022: The management contract for L’Outa crèche has expired and negotiations are underway for its renewal, which are expected to be resolved by mid-October 2022. The municipality is making every effort to sign a new contract quickly and we will communicate as soon as we have news. Unfortunately until then it is not possible to book childcare through L’Outa and you may wish to consider other options if you are planning a holiday during peak season (school holidays).
Great for: keeping costs low, families staying in Morzine, kids who enjoy nursery at home and being around other children
Less Great for: kids who prefer one-on-one care, families staying out of town and skiing from Montriond, parents needing flexible childcare around their schedule
Putting your child into a French nursery may feel daunting but Morzine’s tourist nursery, called L’Outa, is a very welcoming and highly trusted childcare establishment, which many parents rave about.
It is located at 300 Chemin de La Couttetaz, on the Pleney side of town and within walking distance to the ski lift and town centre. The nursery is registered and supervised by the PMI (the French Child/Baby protection agency) and has been awarded the much coveted Family Plus accreditation by the national tourist board.
The crèche has a pleasant atmosphere and is run by a friendly team of French and English speaking childcare professionals, who welcome children from all countries, from 3 months to 5 years (inclusive). It can accommodate up to 20 children in high season.
The well-cared for premises features a room for babies (3 months -16 months) with a play room, a feeding station, a changing room and 3 rooms with 5 to 6 cots. A space for older children (16 months-5 years) includes a play room, a room for activities/arts and crafts, a changing room with toilets and 3 bedrooms with 5 to 6 beds. There’s a kitchen and dinning room to provide meals and a garden with an outside playground.
Routines are structured according to the age of your child and their needs, and as you would expect from a nursery, the carers will always take into account your child’s sleep schedule and be keen to know how your child slept during the night, when they woke up and what needs they have for the day. At the end of the day you will find out how your child slept, ate and what they did and enjoyed during the day.
The crèche is open Sunday to Friday (closed on Saturdays) and parents can choose between morning (8:30am – 12:30pm) or afternoon half days (13:30 – 5:30pm) or full days (8:30am -5:30pm).
A typical day
8:30 / 9am – Arrival of children
10am – An activity such as painting, sticking, playing with sand, followed by some free play in the play area. For babies nursery rhymes, music or other gently simulating activities.
11:30am – Lunch time in the dinning room for older children or the feeding room for toddlers on a high chair or babies requiring a bottle. From 6 months – 16 months toddlers eat a main and dessert, from 16 months to 5 years kids eat a starter, hot main course and dessert and cheese.
12:30 – Nap or rest time
3:30pm – Snack time, usually a yogurt, fruit, bread and jam or small cake
4pm – Afternoon activities different to the morning ones
4- 5:30pm – parents collect children
Costs: 6 x mornings: €285; 6 X afternoons: €265; 6 x full days: €385.
1 morning: €49, 1 afternoon: €45. 1 full day: €69
For more information see the crèche’s website.
Ski nurseries and kids ski lessons (3 years- 5 years)
ESF is France’s biggest network of ski schools and has developed excellent entry level ski experiences for children from 3 years. It starts with Piou Piou – a ski nursery designed for children to discover the joys of sliding. Kids are introduced to skiing in a playful way and begin to get used to the equipment. It is run by a professional team of ESF Morzine instructors and supervisors offering ski lessons, wrap-around childcare and – in the case of Morzine’s Piou Piou – meals.
Depending on where you are staying, you can choose between the Piou Piou clubs in Morzine (Pleney area) or Montriond Piou Piou (Ardent ski area).
When kids are between 4 and 6 years old they experience a development push that triggers their motor skills, meaning balance and coordination usually improves, this means they can start learning the basics of skiing downhill, turning and snowplough. Kids of 4 years can either join Piou Piou or be enrolled in ski lessons at The Snow School or with one of Morzine’s excellent independent ski schools.
Club Piou Piou Morzine – 3 – 5 years
Great for: families staying in Morzine centre, kids who have experienced nursery, playgroup or other group learning situations with kids the same age
Less great for: families staying outside of Morzine – it may make more sense to join Montriond’s Piou Piou, kids who need one-on-one care
Morzine’s Piou Piou is conveniently located on Avenue de Joux Plane on the opposite side of the road to the ESF office. The ski nursery area is on the front de neige (at the bottom of the pistes) and a short walk from the Pleney télécabine, meaning parents can drop children off and then easily ski on the pistes of Morzine and Les Gets.
At this age lessons take place in a fenced off ski nursery area, which has a magic carpet – a type of conveyor belt used as a basic ski lift in kids’ skiing areas – and a very gentle slope. When your children aren’t skiing, they are being supervised by the team who organise outdoor and indoors activities (games, crafts, watching videos etc).
You can choose between a 6 full days or 6 half days for your child, with or without meals, and lessons run from Sunday to Friday.
Daycare & lessons half day from €260 (€215 low season)
Daycare half day, lessons & meals €436 (€388 low season)
Daycare full day, lessons & meals €539 (€458 low season)
Prices differ for 4-5 year olds, please visit the ESF website for more information.
Piou Piou Montriond/Les Lindarets
Great for: families staying in Montriond and parents who want to ski from ardent/ Les Lindarets, kids who have experienced nursery, playgroup or other group learning situations with kids the same age
Less great for: families staying in Morzine – it may make more sense to join Morzine’s Piou Piou, kids who need one-on-one care
Piou Piou is available for children from 3 ½ years to 6 years. The kids ski area is located at the top of the Ardent cable car in the Lindarets bowl. Parents can drop children off at Piou Piou here and ski Avoriaz, Chatel, Les Crozets and the other Swiss resorts of the Portes du Soleil. All the ski instructors speak English and groups are limited to 8 kids per lesson.
The sessions are structured differently to Morzine’s Piou Piou. This club offers half days in the morning only. The lesson runs from 9:15 to 11:15am in high season or 9:15 to 11:25am in low season). At the end of the lessons the children are supervised by the ESF Kids Club team until 12:30pm. They organise playful activities inside and outside depending on the weather, such as games in the snow, walking in the snow, reading, drawing and watching videos.
Piou Piou Montriond runs from Sunday (or Monday) to Friday, and includes a ski class & childcare until 12:30pm.
Costs: 1 half day: €64; 5/6 half days: €259 (€229 low season)
See ESF Montrond/Les Lindaret website for more information and to book.
The Snow School ESF Morzine (4 -7 years)
Great for: families staying in Morzine centre, kids from 4 who showing the stamina and coordination skills needed to start ski tuition, kids who prefer to be taught in smaller groups with lots adult attention
Less great for: parents staying outside Morzine who want to ski on the Lindarets/Ardent side of the resort
The Snow School is ESF’s premium initiative for teaching children to ski from 4 years old in small groups of up to 4 kids. These sessions are carefully adapted to the needs of the child and offer lots of individual attention. In the 2 hour or 2 ½ hour lessons your child will learn the basics of skiing in a fun and friendly manner as well as discover the pleasures of the mountains. On day one, the 4-5 years old children will meet in the Piou-Piou ski area.
Costs: €275 – The package includes 5 morning group lessons and a 6 day Morzine-Les Gets ski pass.
Low season: 9:15am to 11.45am
High season: 9:00am to 11am or 11:15am to 1:15pm
Independent ski schools
Great For: little ones who prefer one-on-one or a small group with lots of support and attention from the instructor, siblings of a similar age/ability who want to learn together, parents wanting private lessons for their kids
Less great for: parents who want to ski all-day (unless you work with a nanny for wrap-around childcare), parents trying to keep costs low as generally lessons are priced per hour (but check out low season prices for great value tuition)
Morzine has some excellent independent ski schools who are well established and have been teaching English-speaking children to ski for generations.
BillSki Snow School – private lessons (from 3 years)
BillSki’s lessons are all about helping your little ones to enjoy the mountains, feel comfortable on the snow and progress slowly but positively. Bill is a lovely, friendly chap and him and his instructors speak English and hold BASI or equivalent qualifications, so you know that you’re kids are always in very safe hands.
Meeting places are flexible and usually at the top of the Pleney or Ardent bubbles.
Costs: €90 per hour for 1 child; €130 per hour for a group of 4 children
New Generation – ‘whippersnappers’ ski programme (4-5 years)
New Generation’s children’s programme combine a mix of technical and exploratory challenges to keep kids engaged. All sessions are tailored to ability levels, with a focus on helping children understand the mountain and slopes, whilst building confidence. Lessons are always taught by ski instructors who speak fluent English.
They offer sessions lasting 2 hours each day with 2 – 6 kids per group.
Costs: Monday to Friday (5 x 2hr lessons) or Sunday to Friday (6 x 2hr lessons) from €300. Find more info here.
For all ski schools and lessons for older kids up to teenagers check out our list of recommended ski and snowboard schools.
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