Despite having three children, we are still relatively new to the world of finding childcare.
I have been self employed since my first baby, eight years ago. But it’s only been in the last few years where we’ve been in a position to be able to afford childcare.
I used to do the near-impossible and exhausting work / childcare juggle myself. But now, Otto goes to a childminder two days per week and it’s made an amazing difference to how present I can be, both in my work and with my children, rather than always trying to do everything at once but never feeling particularly productive at either.
Otto’s childminder is brilliant, but sadly for us, she is moving out of the area. So the time has come to find a new childcare solution. We found his current childminder through a friend’s recommendation, and to be honest, I have very little idea about how to search for a childcare provider. Word of mouth has been great, but so far we’ve been unable to find a childcare provider with quite the same convenient location between school / home / childminder that we currently have with Otto’s existing childminder.
I had a feeling I was asking for the impossible until I went to Childcare.co.uk
Childcare.co.uk is an award winning online social networking platform for parents, childcare providers and private tutors with over 1,800,000 members.
You enter your postcode and the distance you are willing to travel, and you get a comprehensive list of childcare providers near to you. It’s not just for childminders, you can filter by babysitter, nurseries, nannies, au pairs, and even midwives and doulas, too.
You can search for and message individual childcare providers, and you can also create your own profile to advertise your specific childcare needs to members of the website – this seems particularly useful if you have quite specific hours or requirements needed for your childcare.
For the past week, I have been working my way through the list of childminders in our local area. There are a lot more than I knew about, and I also found the profiles of Otto’s current childminder, plus a few of our school friend’s childminders are all on Childcare.co.uk. The fact that Childcare.co.uk is a resource used by well regarded childminders that I already know is reassuring.
Expanding on someone’s profile will give you details of their experience, a description of their childcare setup, their rates, places they visit, routines, etc, plus a photo of the childcare provider.
It doesn’t seem to be compulsory to fill in every detail, so some profiles are much more detailed than others. It would be nice to see a profile photo for everyone, plus a rough description of the location of the childcare provider within our town, so that I can work out if their location is local enough to work for us, without having to contact them first.
One of the best features is the reviews from other parents and carers. You can rate and leave a review for a childcare provider that you have used, and it did give me a lot of peace of mind to read through the happy experiences of other local parents / carers. Personal reviews really are the most powerful recommendation.
Childcare.co.uk is also a great resource for babysitters and I will definitely be using the website and the ratings feature next time we need to find a last minute babysitter.
I’ve come away from my Childcare.co.uk research with a comprehensive list of childminders very local to us and have even have a few dates in the diary to meet a few of the childminders in person and get to know a bit more about them.
Finding a new childcare provider always seems daunting at first. I want Otto to have the best childminder I can find for him, and it’s often hard to know where to look. Childcare.co.uk has given me a newfound confidence that we will find the right person in the right location for Otto before long.
Thank you to Childcare.co.uk for this paid partnership with Sorry About The Mess