How to find the right childcare for you

Childcare

When you have children, nothing quite prepares you for the enormity of your new role and it can often feel overwhelming.

Then, just when you have got used to your new role and have found your parenting feet, your maternity leave ends and you need to make the decision whether to stay at home or head back into the workplace.

Finding the right childcare for you can be a tricky business as there are many different types of childcare options available these days eg. family, nanny, nursery, pre-school, childminder or workplace crèche (if you are very lucky).

There is no right or wrong choices for childcare, it is a matter of personal choice and budget. What is important, however,  is that you ensure your child is receiving quality, professional care suited to their stage of development.

Childcare.co.uk is an award winning online social networking platform for parents, childcare providers and private tutors with over 2 million members and is a site I am familiar with from my days as a childminder.

Not only does the site offer advice on choosing childcare, but it is also a directory of local settings, childminders, nannies and babysitters and is completely free to use for parents and carers.

You can search via the website on your PC, or download the app available on Appstore and Google Play.

To get the best results from your search, simply enter your postcode and select the type of childcare you wish to look for:

  • Childminder
  • Nanny
  • Out of School Club
  • Au pair
  • Nursery
  • Private Midwife
  • Nursery nurse
  • Private tutor
  • School
  • Doula
  • Household Help

Alternatively, you can create your own profile detailing your specific childcare requirements and contact details and suitable childcare providers will be able to contact you.

Each service provider writes their own profile and can list:

  • How many year’s experience they have
  • What professional qualifications they hold
  • Whether they are Ofsted registered
  • What days / hours they work / are available
  • Cost per hour
  • Which schools they pick up from
  • If they provide meals

The website, and apps, have a free, secure messaging service so you can put any essential enquiries to your selected childcare providers before arranging a meeting.

I would advise that you arrange to meet at 2 or 3 providers before making your decision and take your child along too – after all, it will be them spending the time with them, not you.

Top Tips on choosing childcare

Babies thrive on physical interaction and cuddles, so you may choose to have a one-on-one carer such as a professionally qualified nanny who would work in your own home, or a similar home setting such as an Ofsted registered childminder.

For an older child, social, physical and intellectual development should be considered, so you may choose a larger setting, such as a nursery.  

It is also worth investigating whether the setting accepts childcare vouchers and if you are entitled to two and three year old funding which allows you up to 30 hours of free childcare for 38 weeks of the year – most Nursery schools accept this funding as do some childminders.

Once the kids are in full time education, some schools provide breakfast and after-school clubs, or you could choose the childminder option which is often more flexible, especially if you work shifts.

Did you struggle to find childcare for your child?

Disclaimer: Post written in collaboration with childcare.co.uk

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

13 thoughts on “How to find the right childcare for you

  1. It’s really hard isn’t it! I’m struggling with childcare at the moment but I haven’t taken the step yet to organise a babysitter or childminder – I find it hard to be that trusting even though I know there are fantastic carers out there

    Laura x

  2. Finding the right childcare can be very hard. Great information here.
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  3. Finding the right childcare is so important, you are leaving the most precious things with someone else so you need to go with your gut feeling too.

  4. Laura Dove says:

    Finding the right childcare is so important, I have been lucky to always stay at home until they have been at school. It’s hard work for parents!

  5. This looks like a great resource for parents and we’d research the private tutors as we didn’t realise they did that online through the site!

  6. Neha says:

    It is so important to find the right childcare for sure especially when forking out so much money. Shame they have stopped the Eden red voucher scheme to new entrants

  7. Luckily I’ve not needed childcare but I’ve certainly seen the adverts for this website. They really capture my son’s attention. It looks great and sounds like it’s really easy to use.

  8. Until it was time for the girls to go to preschool I didn’t need childcare. There is so much choice, it can be hard to know where to send them.

  9. I’ve only ever left my two twice. Both times the grandparents jumped in to help. If we’re off out somewhere, we’re more inclined to take them with us. Now they are 10 and 12 they can go to friends if we need a few hours child-free. We both work from home, so we’ve been rather blessed

  10. Jon says:

    Wish we had sites like this around when we were looking for childcare years ago. We just ended up having to search Gumtree!!!

  11. Liona says:

    I was completely lost when it came time to find childcare. This looks like a really useful tool,

  12. Hannah says:

    It’s great that they offer so many different options for childcare – including tutors! I had no idea there were so many different options!

  13. Oh wow I had no idea they covered so many different types of childcare! It is something that you have to get right for your family and that is different for everyone 🙂

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