What do you do when you go back to work once your children are in school, but can’t afford wraparound care to make that work possible? Nicky Grant has set up a service to help.
What do you do when you go back to work once your children are in school, but can’t afford wraparound care to make that work possible?
Mumpreneur Nicky Grant has come up with a solution. She has launched a web-based business, www.afterschoolcare.co.uk which is free to register on and matches working parents with experienced child carers. Parents only pay a small sum – £10 – after they are matched.
One person who has benefited is Jenny Hughes, a mum of two whose youngest child has just started at primary school. She does a job share as an administrator in a business centre, but office hours are 9 to 5. She needed someone to look after her children from 3-5.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays.
Ann Casey is a mature paediatric nurse student who attends her course Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each week. Ann is also an NNEB trained Nursery Nurse who has experience of nannying and babysitting children of all ages. She was keen to try and earn some additional money to help support her during her three years of training. She registered with www.afterschoolcare.co.uk and when Jenny also registered the two were matched. Ann not only provides help in term time, but in the school holidays too.
The website, which also provides before school carers, has nannies, nursery nurses, teachers, students, part-time workers and grandmothers on its register, was set up by Nicky in response to her own experience, and research, showing that working women with school aged children don’t want to employ a full time nanny and are increasingly looking for part-time care – particularly before and after school.
Nicky says: "The credit crunch has meant that everyone has had to look again at cutting costs and a lot of mothers who work and have school-aged children no longer want to pay for fulltime childcare – they need to cover the time before and after school only. Mothers are struggling to find people with that kind of availability and they are reluctant to pay the large introduction fees that nanny agencies charge. There are a lot of carers – particularly older women who can fill that need. Equally for the carers it can give them an extra bit of income at a time when money is short. After School Care really meets both sides needs."
After School Care acts purely as an introduction agency and although it is open to all carers, it particularly aims to attract retired or semi-retired women who perhaps have grown-up children (or grandchildren) of their own and would like to earn some extra money without the commitment of a full-time job.
After School Care is free to join (for carers) and they can simply register their details (location and availability) online. They are then encouraged to refresh their interest each month in order that the database stays current.
Parents can register their own details and see the carers that are available in their area – if they want to contact anyone they pay a nominal fee of £10 per month which gives them unlimited searches within a 30 day period. Matches are brought up on a ‘nearest match’ basis first – according to location and availability.
Afterschoolcare.co.uk is a matching service only and stresses it is the parents’ responsibility to check for any references and experience. The site does, however, offer advice for both parents – for example, a link with information on checks with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).