is a new web-based service which enables parents to share childcare during school holidays, and after school. Father of two, Tejinder Gawera from Leicester came up with the idea when his own son was about to start school. “My wife and I both work full time, so we had to think about how we were going to cope with childcare after school, and during the holidays. I thought if other parents were having the same problems, why not help each other out?”
As necessity is the mother of invention, www.Letssharecare.com was launched in Jan 2009. Registration is free and enables carers to search the database for other carers and parents to share childcare within the local area.
Anyone making contact with a suitable family must register in full and become a subscriber, and be subject to a Criminal Records Bureau(CRB) check. Details are provided to both parties, and it is up to them to meet and arrange sharing childcare. There is a feedback form for parents to complete and potential sharers can view this feedback before deciding to make contact with a particular family. An annual subscription costs £66 for one child, and £30 for each additional child; this includes the cost of the CRB check. This compares well with the UK average cost of a play scheme being £85 per week per child, and after school care costing £45 for a 15 hour week.
Tejinder found that users register for a variety of reasons:
– A single parent registered because her teenage kids were fed up with looking after their younger siblings in the holidays.
– A couple with an only child wished to share so their child has more social interaction, especially during the long holidays.
– Some parents work shifts so finding suitable childcare is difficult.
– The credit crunch is also having an effect, with cutbacks meaning parents in work having to work longer hours, so needing more flexibility in
their childcare needs.
The site is basically a dating agency for childcare, and like all the best ideas it is simple to use. Tejinder plans to develop the service to provide a host of features such as parenting news, forums and social networks, product and service directories. For further details click the how it works tab at www.Letssharecare.com