This item was received from the National Childminding Association. It is an important development which we believe will become a standard part of provision which parents come to rely upon. As usual, Children Webmag does not endorse any system or product it has not tested, and in this case it is important for parents to be able to rely on the quality of care being offered to their children, but we are happy to pass on information that may be of use.
Childminders who are members of the NCMA will now be able to register with the UK’s biggest and most innovative emergency childcare service Emergencychildcare.co.uk.
Emergencycare.co.uk allows parents to find, book and pay for childcare as and when they need it over the internet. Since it was launched under a year ago, more than 500 nurseries and 1000 nannies have joined the database, offering cover on a flexible basis throughout the UK. The service has expanded and now offers parents the chance to book childminders online.
It means that parents who find their regular childcare arrangement has broken down, have a last-minute work commitment, don’t have relatives to help out or simply realise they want help for the day, now have the option of finding an NCMA childminder from the Emergencycare.co.uk database as well as the choice of a nanny or a nursery.
Parents register all the information about their children so the paperwork is ready when the booking needs to be made – simplifying that process for the childminder. They can visit local nurseries and childminders on the database in advance so they will know what the environment is like for their child before they make a booking.
Registered childminders, who provide quality care in their own homes, often provide the best flexibility for drop-off and pick-up times and are often the most cost-effective childcare option. Childminders will benefit from increased income and the chance to open up their services to parents who may not have known how to get hold of a registered childminder at short notice. There are currently over 200 childminders registered on the site.
Emergencycare.co.uk is the first system of its type and has been developed by Tinies, the UK’s largest childcare agency. The service is expanding as Government figures show parents who work have childcare breakdown problems on average nine times a year, and 89 per cent of parents who have had a problem had to take time off work.
More than 1500 individual parents are registered with the site and large employers, including retailer John Lewis and more than 40 NHS Trusts, have promoted it to their staff.
Ben Black, who founded Emergencycare.co.uk, said the addition of registered childminders meant there was now a fully comprehensive back-up solution available to parents regardless of circumstances, location or budget.
“Childminders can often offer an alternative to nannies or nurseries. They provide the care in their own home and can often bring greater flexibility over drop-off and pick-up times. Working with NCMA to provide this service has meant that we are able to provide parents with a real choice of childcare, from childminders and nannies to nursery care.
“Parents, especially those in rural areas, would benefit because the extra option of childminders meant emergency childcare would be in the majority of cases in the families’ local area”.
Charles Rice, Director of Childcare Workforce Development at NCMA, said:
“Childminders will be able to offer parents security in knowing that a good quality childcare solution is only a click away. This partnership benefits both parents and childminders. It is of great benefit to our members to be able to register with this service as a way to help families with emergency childcare.”
Childminders can register to be part of the database for free, although they must be members of NCMA. Parents also register for free and only pay for the service when they need the childcare.
For more information visit Emergencycare.co.uk or call 0901 6070033.