Other people's children

· Parenting

Did you know that 64% of parents we surveyed said that they have looked after their friends' children after school from time to time? Currently though, it is only something that people do to help out on occasion. Kids love having other children over; parents are busy; and schools want fewer people at the school gates. So why does sharing after-school childcare not happen more?

I don't want to commit

A stay-at-home, or home-working, parent has taken that decision for a reason. They have structure and routine and the regular addition of another child would disrupt that.

I am not always in the mood

Even if you have the flexibility to work from home, or leave early, some days you just don’t want extra children in your home.

People take advantage

There are some who will accept favours and deposit their child at playdates again and again without ever offering anything in return.

It's the cost

You probably don’t want to take money from a friend, but you’re feeding their kid, so why shouldn’t you? Mostly because no-one likes to talk money with their friends. Obviously, if there is a reciprocal playdate or after-school pick up, that would balance things out.

It might not work out

What happens when you don’t want to look after the child anymore and choose to terminate the arrangement? Will it affect your friendship?

I will lose my freedom

What if you want to go out, or on holiday on the night you are supposed to look after them?

I want to help out my friends, but only on days when four things are true... - Rachel Beech

Here’s what what our Founder Rachel Beech thinks about hosting other people's children:

"I want to help out my friends, but only on days when four things are true - I am working from home (or not working at all), I am feeling tolerant of other people’s children (and my own), I don’t have any other commitments, and I have food in the fridge.

Those are my criteria, and when all of those things happen, I am happy to help anyone - and I can pay back those people that have helped me."

Unfortunately, the above factors don't always occur when the parent you owe a playdate to needs that favour returned. That is why the Fetching app allows you to return a favour by accepting a “fetch request” from anyone in your network when it suits you.

By putting hours back into the system you are neutralising your “childcare debt”. That way, no-one has their goodwill abused, and you can earn credits on a day that works for you. Whatever your criteria may be!

Fetching is the free app that helps you share after-school childcare and playdates amongst your network of trusted friends and family. To change the way you manage your childcare, download the app today!