Everything you need to know about daycare at Breckenridge

Four years ago I was near tears when I dropped my nine-month-old son off at his first ski resort nursery. Despite assurances from other moms, from the daycare director herself, and from the obvious quality of the place—it was clean, stocked with colorful toys, had a quiet nursery with cribs, and a super nice staff—I wondered if I was being the ultimate selfish mom by ditching the kid and taking some laps.

Kids in Breckenridge, COConclusion: I was not being selfish. Long story short, when I ski, I’m happy. When I’m happy, I’m a better mom. Chances are that’s true for you, too. So go ahead and book a day—or four—at the nursery if your brethren aren’t old enough to go to ski school or to ride the lifts with you. Since dropping Henry off long ago, I’ve had another baby and logged an average of 20 days each season—not bad for a nursing mom! Here’s what I’ve learned about how to make the most of the resort childcare:

1. Reserve a spot online and ahead of time
It’s no secret that Breckenridge is a beloved destination for families. Even with three daycare options to choose from, the nurseries fill up fast, especially on holiday weekends. Online reservations can be made here.

2. Show up when they open, but not beforehand
Childcare is available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. I was tempted to show up early to minimize the chaos. But the doors really don’t open early. Waiting for them to open can make kids antsy. Avoid it, if possible.

3. Pick the location that’s easiest for you to get to
Here are your choices at Breckenridge:

  • Peak 8 Child Care Center, located at the Peak 8 base area behind the top Gondola terminal. It has four classrooms for children ages eight weeks to 5 years old, and is open year round.
  • Village Child Care Center is in the Village Plaza near the Quicksilver chairlift and has three classrooms. Open only in the winter, the Village center takes children ages eight weeks to 5 years old.
  • Beaver Run Child Care Center is located next to Beaver Run Resort and the Beaver Run Superchair. This center has two classrooms for infants and toddlers ages eight weeks to 3 years old.

I know you’re wondering which of these are the “best.” They all are. The staff at each center is certified, trained, and friendly. They will all treat your kid with kindness.

Daycare Kids BreckGiven that, pick the spot closest to where you’re staying. Trust me on this. Hauling your equipment and the covered wagon worth of gear required by a baby or toddler requires about 28 hands, which you don’t have. Shorten the trip and you minimize the stress.

4. Don’t rush
Per the above tip—trying to get everyone on the mountain at the same time can be really stressful, especially if you have an older kid going to ski school. Consider doing the daycare drop off in street clothes so you’re not even tempted to schlep everything in one trip. Sure, it might take another 30 minutes for you to get ready and on the mountain, but they will be 30 peaceful, childfree minutes.

5. What to bring
Diapers, breast milk or formula, a change of clothes, and any specific snacks you want fed to your child. For kids eating solids, the nurseries serve their own lunch and snacks.

6. Don’t worry
They might serve food you wouldn’t at home (looking at you ‘tater tots). There may be a movie shown, and your home might be screen-free. Let it go. You want kiddo to have fun at daycare, and these pros know how to make it fun.

7. Enjoy yourself AND keep your cell phone handy
When my oldest was at nursery, the only impediment to me relaxing was my own worry (is he ok? Will he nap? Am I a bad mom?). With my second, the main worry was, well, him. He’s a mama’s boy and according to him, mama’s boys don’t get dumped at daycares. So I kept my cell phone handy and when the staff called to let me know he was sad (they did not insist I come get him—they simply were honoring my request to keep me updated), it was easy to go get him. Or to send my husband to get him (my strategy on powder days).

– Rachel Walker

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