Working parents looking for an answer to childcare nightmares, your prayers have been answered in the form of a site that connects local students and parents with a twist.

childcare

The site, Student Nannies, aims to connect parents with students who are studying subjects that their child loves. The service enables parents to search for local students via the subject they study and students to search for parents based in the professional industry they would like to break into.

The company is not a nanny agency, but instead finds local matches which suit both student and parent.

Speaking to WeAreTheCity, Founder of Student Nannies, Tracey Blake, said: “It is a service created for working parents, by working parents. Students have a lot of spare time. Some may only have eight hours of lectures a week and some of the jobs available to them can be pretty miserable.”

Student Nannies was born out of Blake’s need for support with childcare for her daughter Minnie, 6, and son Monty, 4, due to her full-time role as a journalist on a national newspaper and as a children’s story book author.

She added: “My daughter Minnie, who is six, loves art and we have an art student called Louise who collects her from school every Wednesday and then they hang out and do really creative craft projects together – most recently making marbled paper using shaving foam and food colouring –  before Monty arrives and joins in. Students are smart and sensible, and they really can contribute positively to your child’s development – especially if you choose a student with a different skill set to your own as parents. The aim and goal is to create a community of parents and students who are helping each other.”

ABOUTUSTracey
Tracey Blake, Minnie and Monty

“You can search via a variety of filters. You can search by times students are available to work, skills they have, whether they are happy to tutor too, do homework, be a pet nanny, can cook, will work in the school holidays, etc.”

It is free to register with a fee charged to exchange messages between matches as a VIP member. VIP Membership is just £10 a year for students while parents pay a monthly subscription of £15. Once a connection is made, the parent and student negotiate hours and rates.

Students Nannies launched last week and is currently focusing on growing its community to build up the amount of profiles available on the site.

“If we notice that there are lots of parents signing up in one area of the country, then we’ll go in there and market to local students to highlight that there are parents looking for childcare,” added Blake.

Safety

Student Nannies does not vet students, but offers parents a service so they can run a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check on potential Student Nannies for peace of mind, plus the company stresses the need for safety and offers advice on everything from where to hold your first meeting with a student nanny you have matched with, to how to keep your online identity safe and how to check a student’s ID and references.

Blake said: “We take safety seriously because we know that, for parents, their children are

studentnannies
Left to right: Kim Colley with her son Charlie, Sarah Brown with daughter Georgia Rose, James PInniger (Tracey’s other half), Tracey Blake with Minnie and Monty

their most precious thing in the world.”

Entrepreneur mum

Blake said that starting her own business during her evenings and weekends has not been easy, however it has been very rewarding: “It is hard as we all have full-time jobs. I get the kids to bed and I’m back on my laptop to check copy and send emails.

“Don’t be naive about the amount of work that goes into starting a business – luckily the more challenging it is the more rewarding and satisfying your achievements become.”

Blake advised: “If you have an idea in the back of your mind, just do it. It’s better to do something than regret not doing it.

“Women are very resourceful, so a word to all the mums out there – if you’re sitting on a great idea just go ahead and do it.”