Parents of young children know the struggle—outdoor exercise allows you to be the best version of yourself, but getting outside in any meaningful way is often elusive. Which is exactly why the Mt. Hood Meadows Daycare is so valuable. Mt. Hood Meadows, located on the northeast face of Mt. Hood, just under 70 miles east of Portland, is one of only a few mountain resorts to offer state-certified daycare. In 2022, the resort expanded the formerly winter-only daycare operation to year-round, giving parents the peace of mind and freedom to get outside in all seasons
All the Outdoor Recreation
The 3,544-square-foot facility located in the South Lodge at the base of the resort is staffed by licensed teachers and aides to meet state guidelines. Care is offered for kiddos as young as 6 weeks to 11-years old; the pitch is you get outside while the kids benefit from age-appropriate indoor learning and outdoor recreation of their own.
What this looks like for parents is quality childcare while you head out on the network of summertime trails or hit the slopes in the winter. Summertime outdoor recreation is right out the door at Meadows, including approachable waterfall and wildflower hikes, or the chance to log miles on a trail run that’s sure to challenge the fittest among us. The resort also offers scenic chairlift rides, dining and relaxation on the sundeck. Many parents even use this childfree time to work remotely at the Wi-Fi connected lodge and sundeck.
Kids Thrive Indoors and Out
Daycare supervisor Lauren Yaeger shares that the daycare experience for the kiddos is structured to function both as a preschool for local families and employees who enroll their kids year-round, and an enriching daycare for drop in children. She says that all activities from art projects to STEM projects begin and end in a day, with time set aside for kids to also head outside and experience the mountain environment. The kids head to nearby Seymour’s Fort, which features outdoor games and activities. Another activity is hiking to Umbrella Falls, a memorable one-mile round trip adventure.
In the off-season (non-winter) the daycare is open Monday through Thursday, with four-day summer daycare camps, (“Mountain Scouts,” for kids ages 30 months through age 5, and “Mountain Explorers,” for kids ages 6–11) as well as full- and half-day care and hourly drop-ins. In winter, the daycare is open daily with full and half-day options as well as the opportunity to enroll in combo daycare/ski days for kids age 4 and older to hit the slopes with the Mountain Learning Center (ski school). Ski instructors meet them at the daycare facility and bring them back after their lessons.