Monday, October 22, 2018

Childcare.co.uk - A Safer Way To Find Childcare | Review ♥

 *This is a collaborative post, however, as always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Childcare - it's something that we as a family have a distinct lack of. In fact, for the most part, I am the childcare. Jacek works full-time five or six days a week and I am a stay at home mother to our two boys.

Jacek's family live in South Africa and my father lives in the Channel Islands, meaning that the only relative we do have to mind our children if needs be is my mother - but she also works, so is not readily available.

I'm not going to lie, it is extremely panic-inducing trying to work around everyone's plans if we do happen to have to get childcare. What if my mother can't mind them? Would it just be easier for everyone to bring the boys with us even though I know they won't like it or sit still?

It's times like this when I wish I knew of a reliable babysitter or childminder that I could trust with my boys - because honestly, the thought of leaving them with just anyone fills me with fear. They are, after all, the most precious things I own and if anyone is minding them, I want to make sure that that person is reliable, trust-worthy, caring and totally capable when it comes to dealing with a possible medical emergency, etc.

And then when is comes to finding a babysitter or childminder that has all of these desired credentials, where do you even look? This is where Childcare.co.uk comes in.

Childcare.co.uk is the U.K.'s largest online community of childcare providers, parents, schools and private tutors. In fact, the website is trusted by a whopping 1.8 million members and it is free to make an account - although you can pay to upgrade to a Gold account if you so wish - Gold membership is £24.99 per month or £129.99 for the year and offers a whole host of benefits such as a free kids pass worth up to £75 a year.

The service allows parents to easily search for local childcare services such as babysitters, registered childminders, nannies, etc. using a postcode facility. You can also search for babysitters with different credentials such as DBS checks, experience with newborns, etc. This will then give you a list of these services close to you home and you can then read profiles for people offering childminding services within your area.

Members can also post 'job's, giving a brief of what you are looking for in a childminder and stating your requirements. Childcare service providers can then respond to you via phone or email (whatever details you decide to leave on your 'job').

Babysitter rates can be found on members profiles and there is no booking or agency involved, you pay your childcare provider directly.

You can also check reviews left on childcare providers profiles by other parents - this is so helpful as it's great to see from other people's points of view who offers a great service and who is reliable.

However, please be aware, with Childcare.co.uk, it is still your responsibility to interview your potential childcare provider, assess their credentials and qualifications and request references and a copy of their DBS check - Childcare.co.uk will not do this for you. Potential babysitters can upload documents to their profiles such as their DBS check certificate, driving license and passport, etc. to prove their identity, etc. before you get in contact with them.

Think of the site as a platform to be put in touch with potential babysitters, etc., but we as parents still need to do these checks to be rest assured that we are leaving our children with someone we can trust.

This means that you will have to set aside time to meet your potential babysitter. I would never dream of letting my children be minded by someone that I had only just met! This also means that you will have to begin searching for your childcare in advance of any events - but once you have found someone amazing via Childcare.co.uk, they will probably then become your 'go-to' childcare, so it's worth searching for someone you trust and like to look after your children.

Childcare.co.uk has a handy checklist for checking childcare providers - detailing how to check documents, references, etc. so that you are given complete peace of mind when leaving your children with a childcare provider.

I think for a family like ourselves who don't have childcare readily available, Childcare.co.uk could be such a valuable resource for us. As I've stated, I would have absolutely no idea where to begin a search for a reliable babysitter, let alone where to look for someone in our area, so seeing a list of potential people in our area, all in one place to browse through, would be great for me.

Some people may be put off by the fact that you still need to contact your potential babysitter, do your checks on them yourself, etc. but honestly, I think it's better for us parents to do these things ourselves and know just who we are trusting our children's care with. After all, they are absolutely precious to us, so taking this extra time to make sure we are leaving them in capable hands is invaluable.

If you are in need of a reliable childcare provider in your area and are like myself and don't know where to start, then Childcare.co.uk could be just the site you need.

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