I don’t know about you but for us finding childcare isn’t very easy. Unless you have retired grandparents or parents to help then it’s really down to your friends and siblings. And it’s likely they have kids of their own to look after.
We have a couple of people to ask to help with childcare. However it might be we want to do something with these people, like a nice meal out, but can’t because they are usually our babysitters!
In cases like this it’s important for parents to find a reliable babysitter from a trusted source. You could ask other parents if they use a babysitter and ask for their information. You could swap childcare with friends and take it in turns to help each other out.
Alternatively you could look to someone like Childcare.co.uk to source a reliable babysitter or childminder in your local area. Childcare.co.uk is the UK’s largest childcare website who have helped over 1.8 million people find childcare or childcare work since they launched in 2009. They have asked me to take a look at their website and share my thoughts and opinions with you.
As you can see above, the homepage offers you a quick search in your area of the service you require. This website isn’t just to look for a babysitter. You can in fact search for a local private midwife or doula, private tutors, or even some household help. Amazing!
I had a quick search for babysitters near my postcode and the results were really interesting. There were over 300 registered babysitters within 5 miles of my postcode!
The first selection were really promising. In fact, I actually recognised one of them from Lambs nursery! She used to look after him there, so I’d 100% book her through childcare.co.uk to babysit the boys.
Once you find someone you like the sound of you can click to view their profile where you can find out further details about their qualifications and experience.
Above is an example of a profile that came up in my search. It’s great to have all of this information in one place, specifically their availability. Of course qualifications etc are important, but for me I like seeing what availability they have so I can narrow down my search by availability. I don’t want to waste any time looking at sitters who potentially can’t help when we need them. Then find the person I feel has the right qualifications and experience.
Once you have chosen the right person, you can click call or message to get in touch with them and go from there.
Going through the list I did find the further I looked the less likely I would book the people coming up. It was only the top 10 or so I felt comfortable with. Further down the list I found accounts with no profile picture, no proper name or description.
Having looked into their safety procedures I understand why they don’t allow professionals to put their real full name. However a name made up of symbols and numbers did put me off. Even if they just put, for example, Hannah123, I’d feel the were much more approachable and ‘human’ then something like Babysitter123.
A great feature of the website is being able to read reviews from families who have used the services. For me, word of mouth is a great way of finding reliable professionals. If I were to book a babysitter via childcare.co.uk, I would certainly take notice of the reviews.
I’d also like to point out their ‘Safety Centre‘. This is where you can read up on their account policies. For example not sharing full names, and how they record who has accessed photo numbers and email addresses of those registered to the website.
They also ask anyone offering a service to upload relevant documents, like a DBS check, to their account. These are manually validated by an actual person and not just electronically.
Click the link above to read more about their safety procedures.
Overall I think the website is a great resource for families to search for the childcare they are looking for. It’s very easy to navigate and a quick way of finding those people local to you. You can narrow down your search quickly, take a look at the reviews, then if you decided to, contact them to discuss your needs.
Without word of mouth recommendations, or always relying on family and friends, finding decent childcare can be a huge struggle on parents.
As I work from home, I’m able to work around the school run etc, so haven’t required the serviced of a childminder. However who knows what the future holds with my business and one day I may need to use someone like childcre.co.uk to source extra help with the boys.
* In collaboration with Childcare.co.uk. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.