With half-term in full swing and summer holidays fast-approaching, if you’re in a spin about what to do with childcare arrangements for six weeks and have called on the grandparents one too many times, two of our fabulous Programme Partners, Studentnannies.com and Sitster, might just have a non-bank breaking answer.
Set up by a small group of friends and working parents, Student Nannies links parents who are looking for flexible childcare with local students looking for babysitting work.
The idea for the business came about when one of the founders hired a local art student to mind her two children. When she left they wanted to find another student but couldn’t. So they set up studentnannies.com to help students find rewarding and fun work, and parents find affordable and flexible childcare.
Unlike traditional nanny agencies, it’s free to sign up to, post a profile and see who is looking for help or work locally. You can also receive and reply to messages, and if you want to up the ante and cherry pick members you think are a good match, you can upgrade to VIP membership for £15 a month so you can message potential Student Nannies. There’s no minimum sign-up period, so as soon as you’ve found your match there’s nothing more to pay except the rates you negotiate with your student.
Nearly 2,000 parents and students are currently signed up to the site, with European students studying in the UK proving most popular thanks to their language skills. Goodbye expensive childcare and hello one to one language classes - win-win!
Sitster is a free app that is formailising the age-old tradition of babysitting circles to make it easier for those who don’t necessarily have family nearby to share ad-hoc childcare arrangements.
When founder, employment lawyer and mum of two, Laura Farnsworth, initially created Sitster it was primarily with evening babysitting in mind. But demand has elevated it as the childcare of choice for many parents looking for free ad hoc childcare in the daytime too.
Sitster basically takes the awkwardness out of childcare swapping with friends by making it easy for parents to create babysitting groups and request and schedule sits using a points system so it’s completely free and fair. You earn points when you sit for your friends and you use points when friends sit for you. So no more awkward conversations of; ‘I think you owe me a night out’ or feeling like you’re putting a friend on the spot with; ‘can I ask a REALLY big favour?’.
So, whether it’s to fill in gaps during school holidays, to have a bit of you time - or even you and him/her time - it’s apps and sites like Sitster and Studentnannies.com that are leading the charge for flexible childcare arrangements to fit #WorkThatWorks lifestyles. And we’re huge champions of that!