Mar 9 2011
There’s an African saying that it takes a village to raise a child. This centuries old pearl of wisdom holds a lot of truth. Kids need multiple role models to learn their way through life. No two parents alone can impart all the knowledge necessary for their kids to grow up. They’re either too busy, or in many cases, just a little different than their beloved offspring. The apple doesn’t always fall directly under the tree.
But wait just a second. We don’t exactly live in a society where we can cast our children into the middle of a village for teaching and enlightenment. Children need to be watched over and protected. You don’t just let anyone look after them. You need someone who is trained, and trustworthy. For this Childcare.co.uk was founded.
Childcare.co.uk is a site that specializing in introducing safe child carers with parents. At a very basic level, it’s a job board for everything from babysitters to full time live in nannies, and some of the facilities that offer child care services as well. The focus is in the United Kingdom. (For those in need of a brief English geography lesson, here’s an entertaining one.)
The specific childcare specialties are separated by category. These include babysitters, childminders, nannies, au pairs, nurseries, private midwives, nursery nurses, and maternity nurses. Of the 200,000 registered members the vast majority are babysitters, childminders, and nannies (not counting parents). Now, the first question you’re probably thinking is, what’s a childminder? For those who are not as versed in the world of childcare, a childminder is a person who is officially registered to take care of a child for two or more hours. Babysitters are designated for just a couple hours, and nannies are typically commissioned for longer periods.
Each caretaker is given a profile page (sample pictured below). This includes the age, gender (99% are female), marital status, whether they smoke, number of children they have, what services they provide, and where they’re located. It also includes means to contact them, a personal description, and a profile picture.
Finding potential child carers is easy. They’re matched based upon location. You enter the type of caretaker you’re looking for, your postcode, and search away. It returns lists of friendly profiles of locally based prospects. From there you can select one that looks like a good match and contact them. Childcare.co.uk has a secure messaging system so you don’t need to give out your personal information until you’re ready to do so. Based on the profiles I saw most child carers seemed like wonderful people that would be great to take care of your kids.
Once you’ve had enough time to ensure the caretaker is the right fit for your family, you can negotiate the terms of their hire and begin working with them. Childcare.co.uk doesn’t get involved with the transfer of money, they just provide the introduction. Let’s say you get home and find the kitchen a mess, the kids not put to bed, and syrup all over the carpet with your youngest still playing in it. Although babysitters can’t be blamed for everything, you might expect a little more discipline out of the people watching over your kids. In this situation you can rate the caretaker and also write a review. Not everybody is gifted in working with kids and by providing honest feedback you’ll help them move on to a different career, and also help other parents in their search for child carers. At the same time, if you find a great babysitter then you can add a positive rating and review for them.
In today’s world people don’t have time to be at home with their kids all the time. Maybe they’re home late, or gone for the day. Sometimes neither parent is available to watch their little bundles of joy. For those in the UK, Childcare.co.uk is the place to go for matching parents with childcare providers