I have always been very fortunate when it comes to childcare, as my mum has been able to help me a lot over the years, always willing to look after the children if Ed and I wanted to go out for a date night, or when we both had events at the same time. My mum was also helping look after Benjamin, picking him up from nursery a couple of days a week, prior to lockdown.
During lockdown, we came to realise just how much of a help my mum has been in the past, when she was no longer able to visit. It has been a real eyeopener on our privilege to have child-care available whenever we needed it. My mum has asthma, and even now the restrictions have lifted slightly, we are minimising contact with her, to protect both her and my nan, who has recently joined her ‘bubble’, after shielding for the past few months (she is in her late eighties and has existing health conditions, which put her in the at-risk category).
For this reason, I have been thinking about what we would do if we were to require childcare during these uncertain times, whilst my mum is unable to help out as she ordinarily would. Childcare.co.uk recently got in touch, asking if I would take a look at their site, to see how their service works, and what the company offer in terms of last minute or emergency child-care, alongside their longer-term options.
The platform has 2 million users, so it is encouraging to know that it is a well known, and trusted site. I had a look on the website for carers in the area we live in (Bournemouth) and was pleasantly surprised to see that there are over 700 childcare providers listed within 5 miles of our postcode (470 of which are DBS checked).
I put in a search for an emergency babysitter, available on Monday evenings and the search came back with 146 providers. You can filter the results further, depending on your individual requirements, for example, I checked non-smoker, which took the results down to 130. You can also view the results based on top-rated or nearest. The list shows a profile picture, short bio and price point, with the option to then click to see the full profile and message them if you want.
I loved how in-depth the profiles were. As well as being able to quickly identify whether the person had a DBS check, first aid training and a driving license, you can also read about their previous experience and qualifications, alongside a detailed spreadsheet of their availability throughout the week, which is fantastic if you are looking for somebody to do different hours on different days. As well as babysitting and childcare services, some providers also offer tutoring, something which is bound to be more popular during this time, where many children have been out of school for several months now.
The profile page also shows reviews left by previous clients, which is reassuring for those who would like to hear feedback before making a decision. Having never used a baby-sitter previously, I loved how much detail was provided on the childcare.co.uk site for each provider. I read through lots of profiles, looking into who I would feel confident and comfortable with leaving my children with, if the need arises. If you have a child with special educational needs, you can search for somebody who specifically has experience and/or qualifications in this field.
I feel much more confident about being able to find a qualified and experienced babysitter in the area, should we need one, after my search on childcare.co.uk. It is really easy to navigate around the site and to find what you are looking for quickly. I love how many different filters there are available, making your search streamlined. The only thing I struggled with was searching specifically for a babysitter available that evening, there didn’t seem to be the option to enter a specific date, so instead I needed to contact potential providers to see if they had availability.
I would recommend taking a look at the childcare.co.uk if you are looking for a child-care provider, whether its a babysitter, long term nanny or emergency help during Covid-19. The company has been around since 2009 and have won various awards and accolades including a Department of Education competition to find innovative solutions to help parents seeking childcare to connect with local providers.
This is a sponsored post, however all words are my own.