Finding good quality childcare isn’t always easy. Fortunately at the moment most of us are at home with our little ones, but that’s not the case for all of us. All those poor keyworkers are still out there keeping us safe or enabling us to buy the things we need!
Sarah and I are both keyworkers but due to our asthma we are lucky enough to have both been allowed to work from home. In fact, we’re not even allowed to go to work, so we’ll be at home with Joshua until things change!
But for those of us who do still need to brave the outside world childcare is harder than ever. A lot of the normal childcare helpers, such as grandparents, are on the vulnerable list so it isn’t as easy as just dropping the kids off with nanny and grandad for a few hours like it was pre-lockdown!
Fortunately there is a solution for last-minute or even pre-planned childcare for when you really need to leave the house for something but can’t take your child with you. This comes courtesy of the website childcare.co.uk and we had a look to see what would be available if we needed it.
How Does It Work?
Everything starts with a simple search, where you can choose the type of service you need and the area in which you need it. It’s all done from the front page of the site, as below.
Turns out there are loads of providers registered in our local area, many of which are still available to assist keyworkers if required. In fact, within a short radius of our house there were 130 childcare providers on offer.
Each comes with a description of services offered, experience, qualifications and pricing structure. A lot come with numerous reviews from other parents that have used their services in the past, which gives you some additional confidence than qualifications alone.
Here are the first couple of childminders from my mobile search results, to give you an idea how it’s all laid out:
If you find one you like from the search results you can click on ‘view profile’ for more information. From there you can see the full description, qualifications, services offered etc.
From this profile page you can also see availability and fees.
You can then make contact with the one you want through the site and discuss the details of what you’re looking for and when.
You can also post an advert detailing what you need and when, so that suitable local childcare providers can contact you to offer their services directly. This feature seems perfect for one-off childcare needs and is something that would be really useful if you need a local, reliable and fully qualified option, either for a one-off requirement or an ongoing longer-term need.
Obviously this will become even more useful when we can all start going out to events again, but even for now it would be pretty useful for emergencies.
Do You Have To Pay?
Once you register for a free account you can search for childcare providers, look at profiles and message any gold members that meet your needs.
You can also post a babysitting request, where you advertise details of what you are looking for and when, and local babysitters will make contact with you if they can help.
However, you can also take up a gold membership if you wish to. If you have a gold membership you can contact anyone on the whole site including free members, and you also get a range of other benefits including training, extra site features and discounts at a range of places.
However, for the bulk of what you’d use the site for as a parent it’s all pretty much free to use. Nice!
Overall, childcare.co.uk looks easy to use, doesn’t cost anything at all to use the bulk of the features and has a really extensive range of around 500,000 childcare providers registered on its site. You can see why over 2,000,000 people use its services to find the childcare, tutors or work they need!
For more reviews of anything that might be useful to parents, pop along to our reviews & giveaways page.