Where to find good childcare #ad

When my son was ten months old, he was enrolled into the nursery at the hospital where I worked. I had heard such good things about it and took him along to his settling in day with such excitement. When I was there, I realised I had made a mistake, and this absolutely wasn't the right setting for him, or for me. I panicked. I only had a couple of weeks until I started back at work, and I needed to find other childcare arrangements. Thankfully, a new Childcare website had not long launched www.childcare.co.uk and it was my first port of call.

children walking in the Lake District

It listed clearly the childcare providers in the local area. I had decided that using a childminder would be the best way forward as it would be a home-from-home environment and my son would be looked after as I would have done if I had been able to not go back to work. As we live in a relatively rural area, there aren't that many childminders to choose from. I used the list on the website and contacted all the childminders. There were only two that had availability, so I made appointments to visit both of them.  I met with both women, then went home and wrote a pros and cons list for both providers. I actually ended up going with the one with more negatives on my list, because I felt it was the right thing to do. As it turned out, it was the best decision I ever made. Catherine, my son's childminder, was in our lives until both children started school. I couldn't have got through university without her and she is a very good friend now.

children at seaside

Looking at the website now, there is so much choice and you can really narrow down exactly what it is that you are looking for. My children are now ten and eight, but there are still childcare options that are applicable to them. You can search for a babysitter, private tutor or even an au pair. I have toyed with the idea of an au pair for the summer holidays when the B&B is really busy and my time is tied.

You can message the featured childcare providers through the website, but if you want to contact the other providers, you will need to upgrade to gold membership, which is £24.99 per month. Included in this price, you also get access over 200+ online training courses worth over £5000, a free tastecard+ worth £105 - 50% off restaurants, a free Kids Pass worth £75 - 57% off days out, free online Creative Steps Magazine worth £12 per year, access to 30 minutes of free legal advice and also access to over 400 online guides and resources.

The website is an incredible resource which is simple to use and provides results instantly of childcare providers in your area. The range of different providers is impressive and the fact that, even in a rural area, there are plenty of providers, is a really positive element. I would definitely use childcare.co.uk if I needed to find childcare, and it definitely helped me out in the past too.

Disclosure: This post is a paid collaboration with childcare.co.uk. All opinion is my own.