Tuesday 29 September 2020

Finding childcare with childcare.co.uk


2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year with Covid 19 turning  our life upside down. A crucial issue that parents have had to deal with during lockdown and changing restrictions is childcare. 

The amazing hubs set up in schools during lockdown for children of key workers provided vital help. But as key worker childcare hubs have closed and schools reopened, what do you do for childcare if your children are not of school age or for when out of school? This can be especially difficult as we cope with this new normal and ever changing restrictions and local lockdowns.

Who can you get to look after your children if you normally had grandparents or friends look after your children but they no longer can because they are high risk and have health issues? How can you find safe and reliable childcare during this worrying pandemic? What do you do for childcare if you live away from family? 

As we live away from family and have to juggle the difficulty of childcare here is our review of a fantastic resource that can provide childcare solutions during these difficult times as well as in the future when hopefully things improve.

Childcare.co.uk is an award-winning online social networking platform for parents and childcare providers. Launched in 2009 it is the UK’s largest childcare website that is trusted by over 2 million members.

Created to be an easy way to find local childcare, the website allows parents to search for local babysitters, registered childminders, nannies, private tutors, maternity service providers, household help, out of school clubs and nurseries. 

Finding the right local childcare for you and your family is simple thanks to the website’s search facility. To display childcare that is local the website uses a postcode search which displays the various childcare options in and around the area. Parents can narrow down the search to find the childcare they want by selecting from the various types of childcare such as childminder or out of school club.

Recognising key worker parents’ need for childcare during this covid 19 pandemic childcare.co.uk have also included a facility to search for key worker childcare, NHS workers seeking childcare and NHS emergency childcare.

They also have the option to search for virtual tutors which is helpful if schools close down again and you need to dive back into home learning or you are looking for tutors to help your child with their learning in a safe way.

Search results then showcase the different childcare providers in your local area (within 10 miles of the postcode used). You can narrow down results to find the right childcare for you by selecting options such as childcare providers with special needs experience.  You can also do an advanced search that includes options such as availability to find the right childcare for your needs.

At a glance the results show the name and photo of the childcare provider, the approximate distance to the childcare provider and brief description of their experience or services. Other details displayed on the results page can include hourly rate starting price and if a copy of criminal records check is held.

To find out more details of a childcare provider you can click on their profile which includes a detailed about me section, experience, qualifications, fees, reviews from other parents  and availability plus summary of services and safety checks.

Parents can contact childcare providers directly using the website’s safe and secure private messaging system. There are no booking or agency fees for sourcing childcare via the website and you pay the childcare provider their fees directly.

Signing up and using the childcare.co.uk service is free (gold membership subscription available to access premium features) and it can be accessed via the childcare.co.uk website and on iOS and android apps plus Amazon Alexa.

I really like how easy the site is to use and that the messaging system enables safe and secure communication. I also feel reassured that I can find safe, trusted and qualified childcare thanks to the fact I can find childcare providers who are DBS-checked and Ofsted registered. It is also great that the website offers guidance on finding safe childcare and advice on checking documents and references. I also think it is brilliant that it covers a variety of childcare options as well as private tutors and maternity services.

I would highly recommend childcare.co.uk for parents-to-be, parents and guardians. It is a fantastic resource that allows you to find safe, reliable and experienced childcare that suits your needs including one-off childcare as well as regular childcare arrangements.

Have you used childcare.co.uk before? 

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