Let’s be clear. There is a childcare crisis happening - further exacerbated by recent events.
However, childcare has always been a challenge for working parents, particular for those with children at primary school.
Suddenly working parents go from sending their child to a nursery from 8am-6pm to sending them to school where the hours are more likely to be 8:30am-3:30pm - not particularly conducive to holding down a full-time job.
They are no longer entitled to their 30 hours of free childcare so they need to consider alternative options.
Nannies and childminders do an amazing job - that is not up for debate. However, there are currently only 39,700 registered childminders and this number is decreasing. For children aged 4-11, those childminders have a capacity of 6 so, if they were all at capacity, they could look after 238,200 children.
There are 5.5 million primary school children in the UK.
On top of this, 52% of stay-at-home parents say that they would return to work if they could find good quality, affordable childcare.
For some people they don’t need a lot of wraparound care. Not enough to warrant taking a childminder or nanny from someone who will commit to more hours.
These parents are often fairly confident that they can make it work, and many do. But it is stressful. Leaving work a bit early, requesting flexible hours, perhaps even being a bit late to the school gate for pick up.
The Fetching app allows parents to share the school run amongst a chosen group of friends and family that they trust. By picking up a friend’s child as well as your own, you earn credits that you can use at a time when you need your own child collecting.
Only parents that you connect with are approved to collect your child after school and look after them in their home until you are able to collect them. Only people who have your phone number or email address can invite you to connect - no-one can find you on the app without this information.
Provided you put in as much time as you take out, the app is free. This means you will need to collect other people’s children once or twice a week to earn the credits you need to cover your childcare on the other days.
Maybe you can leave work early one day or maybe you have the option to work from home. Collecting a friend’s children on these day will not only keep you in credit on the system, we hope your child will enjoy having a playmate for a few hours as well.
You might not be able to commit that much every week, which is why we offer a “credits overdraft” that can be extended if you need more flexibility - we all have busy weeks!
If you know you won’t be able to make the school run at all, this is not the app for you.
We don't employ childminders
We don’t employ professional childminders or nannies, we simply provide the technology to facilitate a new way of managing the school run for those who need some extra help a few days a week.
Our product is built around school communities and networks of friends helping each other out.
You may feel that you can share childcare by using messaging apps instead. You may have done it already for ad hoc requests. However, we believe that we can not only save time, but end the administration and (let’s face it) guilt of asking for a favour.
More than just a messaging app
Here’s what we do automatically, to save you having to send multiple messages.
- We inform the school. Once your school is added to the app, they will receive an automated email to let them know that someone other than the child’s parent with collect them. The email will also contain a photo of that person for security purposes and their phone number should they need it.
- You can keep details of your child’s dietary requirements and favourite activities on the app so whoever collects them is informed without you having to send another message.
- We also store your friends’ address details so you know where to go to collect your child - just in case you haven’t been there before.
- We know you are busy, so we also send reminders to make sure you remember who you are collecting on any given day.
- Once your child is collected, the “fetcher” clicks a button on the app and you are notified.
- Finally, we keep the credits system so everyone feels comfortable that both they and their friends are in this together, and no-one’s is having their good will taken advantage of.
Why do we need Fetching?
We need it because we believe that Fetching can be a real childcare solution for many people and, if you are regularly collecting other people’s children, we don’t want it to be just one more thing to juggle!
We understand that we are new, and the safety of your children is not something that you take lightly. However, we have taken every possible precaution to ensure that only people you know and trust in real life are allowed to collect your child from school.