Finding childcare with Childcare.co.uk – review
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Over the years we’ve used a variety of childcare options for N. From day nursery, to nursery school, family, friends and after school club. We’ve also had N looked after occasionally inbetween nursery and work ending before the nursery extended their hours, by someone qualified in childcare.
We’re very lucky to have both sides of family, and different options with flexible childcare nearby. But not everyone does, and that’s why having a resource like Childcare.co.uk readily available for anyone to use is so helpful. It covers those who don’t have ready access to suitable childcare within their networks.
If you’re not aware of childcare.co.uk it’s a web platform that helps you find the type of childcare you’re looking for in your postcode area. With 2 million members that’s a lot of people who’ve used the service. If you sometimes get stuck for a babysitter, or are looking for longer term childcare for your children, then it’s worth a look. I was asked to do a childcare.co.uk review.
The website is straightforward to use. With clear areas to visit if you want to explore around the different childcare options. It covers all types from babysitters to nannies, maternity nurses to private tutors. Every need is well covered. As well as parents and guardians who can find local childcare, there’s also an area for those looking for childcare jobs. It covers all bases.
You can dig down via the top menu bar, or just use the search area. It’s as simple as choosing the type of childcare you’re looking for and typing in your postcode, then all the choices will appear.
When I tried it out, the search ran really quickly. Our area doesn’t have many childcare options in some sectors, but if you’re in a larger town or city you’ll have more options. I did find options under all the sectors I looked at, including a lot more childminders than I thought were around. You are restricted by the businesses who’ve registered, for example, the day nursery N went to isn’t on there but another his other nursery and after school club is.
The initial search for me was 5 miles from my postcode, but you can use the advanced search filters to expand the search, or look for more specific requirements. You can filter on qualifications, whether they’re Ofsted or DBS checked, non smokers, own car etc. Or what time of day you might need the childcare.
You can search, but if you want to find out more details like reading documents, or favouriting preferred choices, you would need to register.
What I like about the website
Childcare.co.uk is so straightforward to use and there’s so many providers registered, every search threw up options for me.
I think it’s helpful that it covers more than just childcare for babies and toddlers, but also after school clubs and private tutors that you might need for older children. It’s finding childcare made easy with everything in one place.
Safety is a big priority for parents looking for childcare, and there is a lot of guidance on how to move forward once you’ve found choices. Advice is to have face to face interviews, check background documents (providers can choose to securely upload these to their profiles – e.g DBS checks and Ofsted reports), and use their resources to support with progressing booking.
The platform is also useful for short notice and emergency childcare. When searching you can choose keyworker or NHS worker childcare. The latter is likely to be more limited to larger towns as I didn’t find any in my area, although there were plenty of childminders taking on key worker children through the Covid school closures in my area. I was also able to see availability of days, which means you could easily exclude those who didn’t have space on the days you want.
I like how the safety aspect is focused on too. Not only when choosing a provider, but the way the website works. So you’re using a user name rather than real name, and are able to securely message a provider.
The website is easy to access with Android and ios apps, as well as via Alexa skills*.
When you have a baby for the first time, it’s a minefield choosing childcare or baby sitters, and all the guidance is here in one place. Childare.co.uk has interview questions for nannies, information on hiring childcare and tax information available online. With users able to report and rate providers, it means you can find out more to compare before you contact people. It’s that little bit of convenience finding childcare near me, with everyone in one place, rather than having to search all over the place time and time again.
Have you ever used childcare.co.uk to help with childcare for your children?