I was recently introduced to the website Childcare.co.uk, a database-style website for searching local childcare options and was really impressed by how many providers were listed and the site’s overall ease of use.
It does not surprise me that the platform has to 2 million users, it is so user friendly. The home page invites you to register as either seeking childcare or childcare jobs but before you decide if it’ll be useful to you, it’s possible to search childcare options in your area with just your postcode. You can search for a variety of childcare options from childminders & nannies to nurseries, tutors, home help, and even doulas and private midwives. My search for childminders in a 5-mile radius of my home in West London provided me with 500 listings which of course could be narrowed down with further requirements.
The profile of each childcare provider is really thorough and detailed and provides you with plenty of information to help you decide if you’d like to message them through the website to further discuss details. These details include price, a timetable of available slots, personal bio, qualifications and much more. Although Childcare.co.uk don’t personally vet each provider, they provide all the information you need to be looking for such as being Ofsted registered, insured and DBS checked. Their safety centre and advice on documentation is very thorough and the guides easy to follow, giving you the minimum requirements for each position and some of the extra qualifications you may want them to hold; for example, a health and safety certification.
This really struck me as a useful resource for parents to be aware of during these times. Even now some children are returning to school, we never know when we may need last-minute/emergency childcare and this is a great place to find it. With many of us home educating our children full time and social distancing measures easing, this may be a way to book yourself a well-earned rest or even a tutor to give some additional support in certain subjects. Hopefully, this could even be the start of more long term arrangements that can continue when life gets back to a more normal schedule.
Rarely using childcare services myself, I felt that Childcare.co.uk was a platform which I could trust to help me find the services I need and with the website being established (launched in 2009) and the largest online community for parents in the UK, I’m further instilled with confidence.