Posted on 05.03.2017
CAN STUDENTS SOLVE THE NATION’S CHILDCARE CRISIS?
The country’s working parents are in despair because of the significant lack of after-school childcare.
Last week, in its Childcare Survey 2017, the Family & Childcare Trust revealed that the country is facing a childcare crisis. In England, only half of local authorities have enough childcare for parents working full-time and a frightening two-thirds have insufficient after-school childcare for 5 to 11 year olds.
The founders of an innovative new website www.studentnannies.com believe that university students can help solve this problem by creating a student army to help working parents struggling to find childcare. The site links parents with local students who are looking for flexible childcare or babysitting work. Students are perfect for childcare because they are smart, energetic and available flexibly, in exchange parents pay a fair wage and help students with career contacts and mentoring.
The site has been set up by working parents for working parents and co-founder James Pinniger, a dad of two, says, ‘There are over 2 million students studying at UK higher education institutions – if just 1% of these students signed up to Student Nannies it could help more than 20,000 families with their childcare.
‘Our network of students can work flexibly to help parents with the challenges of after-school care, babysitting and school holiday cover. By making it easier for parents to hold down demanding jobs we are boosting the economy, and by networking with professional parents through our community, students can gain career contacts, insights and mentors, helping them to kick-start their careers and get into the workplace themselves. With students currently under increasing financial pressure with rising living costs and university fees – we feel it is a real win-win for both parents and students!’
The company currently has over 1,000 parents and students signed up, mostly in London and the home counties but the word is already spreading with members springing up in Manchester, Birmingham, Cumbria, Cardiff and St Andrews. European students who are currently studying in the UK are also proving very popular with parents because of their language skills.
‘The idea for the business came about when we hired a local art student to mind our two children – every Wednesday they made amazing craft projects together which they all enjoyed,’ explains James. ‘When she left us after a year we wanted to find another student but couldn’t. So we set up studentnannies.com! That’s how we found our current Student Nanny, Chloe, who is wonderful – she bakes with the children every week, helps with homework and reads to them. She also helps us with babysitting and extra hours.’
Chloe Wells, 21, a geography student, says, ‘Being flexible enough to work around my busy schedule, and offering competitive pay, Student Nannies is the perfect way of earning a bit more each month, and I never leave without a big smile on my face after spending time with the children. What’s more, the contacts I have made through the parents has provided me with a network of professional people who can help me forge my career path.’
The founders of Student Nannies are available for interview. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
Picture captions: Student Nanny Chloe Wells, 21, geography student, with her charges Minnie Pinniger, 7, Monty Pinniger, 4
Download the Family and Childcare Trust’s 16th annual Childcare Survey Report, which was released on 2nd March – http://bit.ly/2lOF5TA
ABOUT STUDENT NANNIES
www.studentnannies.com is owned and run by Student Nannies Ltd a company set up by a small group of friends and working parents based in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
Student Nannies has been based at the Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest hub in Milton Keynes since February. Entrepreneurial Spark is the world’s largest free business accelerator and provides a unique training and enablement programme focused on developing the right mindset and behaviours needed to become a successful entrepreneur.
HOW STUDENT NANNIES WORKS…
We are a platform linking up parents who need help with childcare, with students looking for fun, well-paid work. It’s free for parents and students to sign up, post a profile and see who is looking for help or work locally to them. They can also receive, and reply to, messages. But if they want to be proactive in their search and send messages to members they think might make a good match, they can upgrade to VIP membership (£15 a month for parents and £10 a year for students). There’s no minimum sign-up period. We are not a nanny agency and do not employ students or nannies – we simply provide a smart network through which students and parents can discover local matches. Then it’s up to them to contact the person, meet up, chat and see if they want to work together.
Students and parents negotiate their own rates, we don’t charge commission and there are no hidden fees.
Click here to download a selection of high-resolution images
Free for Editorial Reproduction in association with articles about StudentNannies.com