Posted on 06.03.2017
UNIVERSITY students are being urged to create a “nanny army” to help solve the nation’s childcare crisis.
Young people keen for a foot in the door to their dream jobs are being encouraged to become nannies for UK parents – who will then in turn offer them career advice.
The new scheme, Student Nannies, has been launched to help parents desperate for affordable childcare, while also giving younger generations the chance to network for their future careers.
Co-founder James Pinniger said: “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.”
Dad-of-two James said that the flexibility behind the idea suited both busy students and parents.
Speaking from his own experience, he said: “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.
“When she left us after a year we wanted to find another student but couldn’t – so we set up studentnannies.com.”
He said that European students in the UK were particularly in demand, with parents hopeful they could help their children learn a second language.
More than 1,000 parents and students have already signed up to the scheme, with the London-based idea already growing to Manchester, Birmingham, Cumbria, Cardiff and St Andrews.
It comes after it was revealed that the UK was facing a childcare crisis with parents struggling to balance their jobs with the cost of childcare.
The British Chambers of Commerce recently warned that businesses were losing talented staff because of the high cost of childcare.
Geography student Chloe Wells said: “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.”
The 21-year-old added: “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.”
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