Review: Finding Local Childcare With Childcare.co.uk (AD)

(AD) Most parents need childcare at some point. Whether you are returning from maternity leave, looking for a childminder for after school or just looking for a bit of extra help it’s hard to know where to look. I shared some advice to help you decide what type of childcare you want for your baby when you go back to work, but where do you find a childminder, nanny or other childcare? I had heard childcare.co.uk mentioned by friends in the past so I was interested in reviewing the website.

photo of a MacBook open on the childcare.co.uk website home page


What is Childcare.co.uk?


The website (which is also available as a mobile app) describes itself as a “multi-award winning online networking platform that helps connect parents, childcare provides, schools and private tutors”. As a parent you will find it is a huge database full of childcare options in your area as well as lots of advice to find the provider for you. It claims to have helped over 2 million people find childcare, tutors and childcare work.

So is Childcare.co.uk an agency?


No, an agency will normally charge you a fee to find the right provider for you and they will also carry out various checks. Childcare.co.uk provides the initial information you need without the high cost. They provide advice on what checks etc you will want to make, but it is the responsibility of you as the parent to ensure they are right for you.

How do you find childcare on Childcare.co.uk?


Very simply you select what type of childcare you are interested in (or all childcare) from the list. The options you can search for include: babysitter, childminder, nanny, nursery, private midwife, nursery nurse, private tutor, out of school club, household help and doula.

On the home page you then just need to enter your location or postcode and click “search now”. On any of the other pages you get the option to change the maximum distance from your home (it defaults to 5 miles). You can also choose to add an additional search criteria eg “Childminders who provide 2 year old free childcare entitlement” if you want. 

The results will vary depending on category and location because it relies on providers having added themselves to the database. If I search for childminders within 1 mile from me I get 24 options. I can then visit their profile to see what information they have added about themselves and any reviews that parents have left. Providers can even complete a chart to show their availability.

Do you need to become a member?


You can browse all the information on the site, but to contact anyone you need to sign up for a free membership. The free membership allows you to contact gold members, put up a post with your own requirements or contact babysitters. I know from Facebook discussions that most childminders who are actively looking for more children will have a gold membership so you can contact them for free. 

If you sign up for the gold (paid) membership you can message any of the providers through the system and see their direct contact details if they have chosen to share them. There are also various other benefits including discounts at restaurants and attractions. If you choose to have a gold membership you can cancel at any time and you will have access until the period you have paid for ends.

Childcare.co.uk website close up searching for a childminder in loughton

How many providers are there on Childcare.co.uk?


There are a lot of providers, but it will vary according to where you live. It’s really easy to check for yourself, but here are a few stats on what is available in my area. I live in Loughton, Essex and within 2 miles of my home address (based on my postcode) there are the following added to the site:

Babysitters: 98
Childminders: 49
Nannies: 60
Nurseries: 2
Private Midwives: 0 (and none within 10 miles)
Nursery Nurses: 2
Maternity Nurses: 0 (although there are 32 within 10 miles)
Private Tutors: 4
Out of School Clubs: 1
Household Help: 1
Doula: 0 (but 3 within 10 miles)


So in my area (and assuming it is representative) there is really great coverage of babysitters, childminders and nannies, but many of the local nurseries aren’t on there.

Why I would recommend Childcare.co.uk 


The site is really easy to use, but more than that it’s the amount of local childcare providers on there that really impresses me. Of course they won’t all have spaces, but from the last logged in date I could see a lot of them are active on there. It’s nice to be able to find out more about people before you decide to contact them and it’s so helpful when they have reviews from other parents. 

If you would prefer childminders etc to contact you then you can put your requirements up so you don’t even need to worry about sifting through who might have spaces.

I knew they had nannies and childminders, but I didn’t realise they had babysitters on the site too. I will definitely be using it to help find someone when we are brave enough to finally leave Baby Boy.

***Disclosure: This is a sponsored review, but as always it’s my honest thoughts *** 

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