Since giving birth to Oscar nearly a year ago, it’s safe to say that getting out and about to different events has become a bit more complicated. Sometimes we’re heading out somewhere and it’s just not practical to take a baby with us! We are lucky that my sister lives nearby and she is sometimes able to babysit for us, but it wasn’t always this way. I remember being very sick and depressed when pregnant with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and desperately trying to find a local childminder who could do Luke’s school runs for me. The school was thoroughly unhelpful – their suggestion was to chuck my then 4 year old in a taxi by himself! If only they’d given me some more helpful advice or pointed my in the direction of the award winning childminder website, childcare.co.uk.
What is Childcare.co.uk and who is it for?
Childcare.co.uk is the UK’s biggest online community designed for parents, childcare providers, au pairs, household helpers, schools, private tutors and more. Launched way back in 2009, it now has over 2 million satisfied members, a plethora of prestigious awards and a staggering 9.6 Trustpilot rating. Parents can use the site to help find all sorts of childcare services, from live-in nannies to babysitters. Childcare providers are able to upload their information and credentials to the site so that parents are able to easily access all their information and documents in one place.
Using Childcare.co.uk to find local childcare providers is really simple and easy to do.
Along the top bar of the website you can find all the childcare services that childcare.co.uk caters for. Clicking on one of these options opens up a handy postcode search feature that allows you to find services locally. You’re then able to use their safe and secure private messaging system to contact the provider and discuss details. Direct contact details, such as telephone numbers, are also listed for most providers should you wish to contact them that way instead.
Contacting childcare providers is simple, safe and secure.
Contacting and arranging childcare through childcare.co.uk is easy and free. Creating an account is free and you pay your childcare costs directly to the provider; that means there are no agency or booking fees! Before selecting and choosing a childcare provider, you are able to read the reviews that other parents have left. All reviews parents leave are published and the providers are given a chance to respond should they wish to. It’s really reassuring as a parent to read the feedback other parents have left as, obviously, everyone wants the best care possible for their children.
The postcode search feature.
Using the postcode search function enables you to input your location and choose a mile radius that you’re happy to search for childcare providers within. At first, when searching for childminders, I set the parameters to a 5 mile radius and an impressive 222 childminders popped up. I narrowed the search down even further to within 1 mile of my postcode. Even with such a small area to search within, I still found 36 childminders that I could choose to look into.
As the list of childminders came up, I was able to see each profile picture, a brief summary of their profile text, their review score, their price, when they last logged into childcare.co.uk and the links to view their profile, message them or ‘like’ them. I clicked on a few faces I recognised from the school run and I was really impressed by the amount of detail childcare.co.uk includes in the childcare providers profile area of their website.
Popular Search Results
You can also search childcare.co.uk by using the popular search results that have been used most frequently by other parents. These are really handy little clickable search links that can help you to narrow down childcare providers in your area. For example, when searching for a private tutor, the popular search results helped me to narrow down what subject tutors specialise in. In childminders, I could search for Ofsted registered childminders, childminders with a full driving licence or even childminders offering one-hour free childcare for women having smear tests(which I didn’t even know was a thing – how awesome!).
You can view potential childcare providers experience and qualifications.
When looking for someone to care for your children, whether it’s just for a few hours or over night, you want to make sure you’re leaving them with someone qualified and someone who is safe. When looking through the profiles of childminders in my area I was so pleased to see that they can list their experiences, qualifications and certificates. Their certificates can be uploaded to the website – such as DBS checks – which means you know that childcare.co.uk hold a copy of their documentation and that they are legitimate documents. What a wonderful way of giving parents and guardians peace of mind that their child is going to be in a safe place.
The profile pages are split into different sections – these are:
- My Summary – key points to consider ie. newborn experience, driving licence, special needs experience, first aid etc,
- About Me – childcare providers explain a bit about their families, home, experiences, and general useful information you’d like to know.
- My Experience – this section lists childcare experiences such as working in schools and nurseries.
- My Qualifications – information such as if they’re Ofsted registered, CRB checked, CACHE qualified and other courses they’ve completed.
- My Availability – a table showing when they’re available to look after children.
- My Fee – how much they charge per hour.
- Local Schools – this lists details on whether the childcare provider does school drop offs and pickups and if so, from what schools.
- My Documents – a list of their uploaded documents proving their checks, qualifications etc.
- Reviews – reviews are based on a 5 star rating.
Overall thoughts on the childcare.co.uk website.
Childcare.co.uk seems to tick every single box you could possibly think of when you’re looking to find childcare services. The childcare providers are required to include details of their qualifications, they can choose to upload supporting documents and they are subject to public reviews. If you’re a first time user of the website or you’re a little nervous about using a childcare service, childcare.co.uk also has tonnes of really helpful articles that you can read through. These articles range from choosing the right babysitter to how to interview a nanny. So much information is provided to you so that you can make a safe, clear and confident decision on your childcare provider. All of this is given to you for free. What’s not to love about that?
I would definitely recommend childcare.co.uk to parenting friends, especially since learning that they offer so much more than just babysitters and childminders.
I love that you’re really clued up on the individual childcare provider and their experiences before you message them. You can then get in contact with them on a safe and secure messaging service should you wish to discuss things further. Membership is free and there are no admin or booking fees, it seems that childcare.co.uk really is there to look after mums, dads and guardians and help people connect with childcare providers. It’s no wonder that in 2005 they won the Department of Education’s SBRI competition for finding a new innovative way of helping parents look for childcare providers.
If you are the type of parent who frequently uses childcare services, you can upgrade your free account to the Gold Membership which allows you access to even more features.
Have you ever used childcare.co.uk to help find childminders, babysitters, nannies or any other childcare providers in your local area? Have you heard of them before, and, if so, did you know that they listed so much more than local babysitters and childminders? Let me know in the comments!