We are an Autism family, but we are also a family who loves to travel. That may take a little extra work but the memories we make far outweigh any challenges. We do our homework when we visit a resort or take a cruise and find out what if any accommodations are made or services are available for special needs children so we can plan accordingly. This past October I had the honor of attending Beaches Moms conference at Beaches Resorts Turks & Caicos. The kids did not accompany me simply because at the time I had to register the children Ethan was struggling to settle into a routine in kindergarten and I didn’t want to disrupt that. However, he wound up settling in nicely so we hope to be able to attend this year’s conference.
While I was there I could not help but think everywhere I turned how much my kids would love Beaches. From the beautiful beaches just begging for little toes to be wiggled in the turquoise waters or white sands made for pails and buckets, to a pirate water park ready for a swashbuckling good time, to sparkling pools meant for splashing around, and Sesame Street friends with arms open wide for a hug or up for fun activities like science on the beach or cookies with Cookie Monster, it’s paradise for kids in paradise.
Beaches is also made for mom and dads who want a little quiet pool time without having to worry about keeping an eye on kiddos or have a romantic dinner by the beach in one of Beaches amazing Discovery Dining experiences. After experiencing Beaches Turks & Caicos I knew without a doubt I wanted to bring my family back to a Beaches Resorts so I did my homework and talked to some of the wonderful childcare staff at Beaches about their Camp Sesame for kiddos and even asked a few questions at the airport.
Here’s what I found:
The children are cared for by quality trained childcare professionals:
“All nannies and Kids Camp staffers at Beaches Resorts are members of the International Nanny Association, America’s oldest and largest in-home child care association. To become accredited, each nanny must meet the minimum requirement of 2,000 hours of child-care services. Additionally, our nannies have been trained in safety, nutrition and child development.”
While mom and dad have their fun the kids will be having a blast:
Bring your kiddos swimsuit, towel, and beach toys and they will be ready to have fun at Beaches.
At Kids Camp, three to five year-olds can truly have a blast with their very own set of activities, supervised by Certified Nannies. There’s energy to burn and we’ll make sure that your tyke has ample opportunities to have fun and play happy; toddler pools, shell collecting, face painting, treasure hunts, puppets, costume time, magic shows, sand castle building just to name a few. Children must be potty-trained to participate in this age group.
Operating Hours: 9am to 9pm (Hours vary at each resort)
Some camps open an hour earlier to accommodate parents going on the early scuba-diving trip.
Many Beaches locations also offer Camp Sesame which offers the kids a chance to have fun with some of their favorite Sesame Street characters. What’s great is that most of these activities have an educational element to them so they are also learning while making amazing vacation memories.
Sesame Street Themed Activities Include:
- Super Science Fair with Grover
- Bird Watching With Big Bird
- Baking Cookies with Cookie Monster (Right up my little foodie daughter’s alley)
- Trash to Treasure with Oscar
- Outerspace with Elmo (My son will go crazy for this!)
- Tea Time with Abby Cadabby
- And more!
Outside of the camp, Beaches also offers Sesame Street train rides, parades and parties like the one above. So many opportunities for kids to experience the natural beauty of Beaches, interact with their favorite characters, and have fun!
Special Needs Friendly:
I spoke with Martella Tait of Beaches about special needs kiddos and Camp Sesame. Beaches definitely welcomes special needs children into Camp Sesame. She stated that they evaluate each child’s individual needs and many can be incorporated into the regular program with a little extra attention (This is probably the case with Ethan. He is in a mainstream kindergarten class at school with support.) In some cases of medical needs they do have a nurse practitioner to assist. Nanny services are also available.
“In other cases we have to assign a one-on-one nanny service, in which case we still ask the parents to guide us as they best know the children. I, as well as the other counselors do work closely with whichever practical nurse or nanny we have to assign to a particular case. In the case of us assigning a nanny, the regular babysitting rates apply U$10.00 per hour, U$15.00 after 11:00pm. A flat taxi fee also applies after 11:00pm which is U$10.00 , however, if the sitter is needed throughout the vacation, the rate is U$8.00 per hour.”
If the child needs a little extra help succeeding in the group activities the nanny can help them do that. If necessary I would hire a nanny to help Ethan at Camp Sesame.
Beaches does their very best to accommodate all families and make sure everyone has fun while on vacation. (I spoke with an agent at the Turks & Caicos airport which is fairly small and they said if they are made aware of any special needs such as difficulty waiting in line they can accommodate you there as well.)
Beaches also offers great options for babies, big kids and teens that you can find here. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Beaches is not a resort that just happens to have child care. Beaches is FOR families and it shows in their camp and kids activities offerings.
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