Now we have 3 children, our working situations have changed somewhat since having Freddie nearly 8 years ago. I was due to go back to work part time when he had just turned one, but after discovering I was pregnant with Sasha when he was just 5 months old, we decided for logistical and financial reasons that I would stay at home with the children for the time that they were small.
Fast forward 5 years later, pregnant with Arlo, and by this point I was working part time, something I wanted to do for me, as well as for the family finances and relieve the bread-winning pressure from Adam a bit. This meant that when we decided to have a 3rd baby, that we would need some form of childcare from around 8 months old for Arlo. Whilst we are lucky that we have grandparents help out when it comes to looking after him, I knew that there was one day a week where he would need some other kind of childcare. We looked into nurseries, but actually found that for us, a home-from-home environment was more appealing, as well as actually being more flexible and cost effective on the old purse strings.
So where on earth do you start when it comes to finding a wonderful childminder to look after your most precious thing?
Obviously word-of-mouth is often a good way, but what if you don’t know anyone who uses a childminder, or you’ve moved area? Not everyone has instant contacts, or indeed, a good selection of potential childminders to choose from.
Childcare.co.uk could be the answer for you!
This site has actually been on my radar since Freddie was a tiny baby, as having considered a nursery for him when I was planning on going back to work, I was actually shocked to discover that all the good nurseries in my area had wait lists of over a year, so we then considered the childminder route and started perusing on Childcare.co.uk
The website is an award winning online social networking platform for parents, childcare providers (and private tutors) and has nearly 2 million members.
You enter your postcode and the distance you are willing to travel, and voila! You have a list of potentially suitable childcare providers near to you. As well as childminders, you can find babysitters, nurseries, nannies and au pairs by using the filter.
I love the fact that you can read reviews on a possible caregiver, and you can filter for various preferences i.e. if you want an OFSTED registered childminder, within 1 mile of your home, plus you can see what availability they have by looking at a calendar. You can also see what activities they provide, what their preferred local school is (great for combining school age children with littler siblings)
Arlo’s current childminder is actually on here, and I definitely still would’ve chosen her from looking at her profile (always good to know!).
Finding a new childcare provider can seem so overwhelming if you haven’t faced this journey before. We all want our children to be with the best person that can be with in the absence of a parent, but having a website like Childcare.co.uk means you can thoroughly research the options best for you (and have a bit of an online hand-hold), rather than going into the whole experience totally blind.
Thanks to Childcare.co.uk for partnering with The Spirited Puddle Jumper
See my other posts on Motherhood