When you first hear about Kowalah and On Demand Childcare you probably think of babysitting – getting someone to look after your kids when you are out for an evening.  Over half of our bookings however are during the day, providing support to busy parents while they are working.  In this post we’ll give you some tips about how to make best use of us for these day time bookings.

Why On Demand Childcare?

Firstly, why would you use Kowalah for On Demand Childcare, and not a traditional nursery or childminder?  For many of our customers they don’t have a need for a regular childcare service – where a child is in nursery for a consistent set of days per week.

We support families where one or both parents are working from home, or where a business is run from home – these parents are looking for support when meetings take them away from the house.  We have families with multiple children where mum needs to be in 2 or 3 places at once and a Kowalah can help with getting a child ready for school, or assisting with a school pick up.

The requirements are often flexible – in both timing and location – meaning a fixed nursery or childminder schedule don’t work for these families.  The ability to run individual requests for individual requirements really helps.

Which Kowalahs work during the day?

As we wrote in our recent post Who are the Kowalahs? you’ll see we have a range of Kowalahs – from university students, to professional workers, to mums looking for additional income.  When you run a search for a daytime booking you are likely to get responses from university students as they can normally do an early morning booking before lectures, or help out during the day or with school pickups.

Will Kowalahs travel with my children?

A big request for day time bookings is around dropping off or picking up kids.  It might be from school, or to an out-of-school activity, or a play date.  Parents need to be in 3 places at once and rely on a Kowalah to be that extra pair of hands.

All Kowalahs have their own means of transport, but do check with your Kowalah if you are asking them to run any errands for you, like a school drop off or pick up.  You’ll need to insure them on your car, or confirm they have suitable insurance on their own vehicle.  You must ensure you provide the required child car seats for your children.

You’ll be charged for any travel that your Kowalah undertakes in their own vehicle at 45p per mile.  If a booking starts with a pick up, or ends with a drop off, your Kowalah will start or stop their timer at and charge mileage from either your property, or the location of the pick up/drop off – which ever is the closest to their home.

Eeek, my kids are ill!

One of the most common urgent booking requests is when working parents wake up to find one of their kids is unwell and needs to stay home from school.  Kowalah can come to the rescue – but it is important that in your booking request you add to the notes against each child if they are unwell.

Our Kowalahs earn by looking after children throughout the week and so they have to be able to make an informed decision about whether to accept your booking – and ill children is one of those factors.  If your Kowalah arrives and hasn’t been informed your kids are ill then they have the right to step away and not continue the booking, and you’ll still be charged for the time you booked.

When should I book?

As always with Kowalah, the earlier you book the more choice of Kowalahs you’ll get.  If you know you need to be in London for a meeting in 2 weeks, then book your Kowalah straight away.

That said, we have great success in securing you a Kowalah at short notice – the night before, or even in extreme cases on the morning itself.

Do bear in mind that any booking requests with less than 6 hours notice incur a short notice charge as your Kowalah earns extra for these bookings.

What if I need a regular Kowalah?

The Kowalah app is designed for On Demand Childcare.  We recommend families choose a range of Kowalahs that accept their bookings as this way your children become familiar with a number of faces and this gives you more choice with short notice bookings.

However we also have families that need something more consistent for a short period of time:

  • 5 mornings a week across half term
  • a regular Monday booking across a school term
  • a Kowalah to join them on holiday

In these cases our team can help you directly – just email help@kowalah.com with your requirements and we’ll see if one of our Kowalahs can help.

Think Kowalah – think day time

So the next time you’re pulled into that short notice meeting, or your school schedule shifts and you need to be in two places at once – think Kowalah and let our day time Kowalahs come to the rescue.

About Kowalah

Kowalah is a mobile app delivering On Demand Childcare across the Cotswolds by connecting parents with local babysitters and providers of childcare. Parents are connected with up to 5 available Kowalahs in 15 minutes giving them speed and flexibility. All Kowalahs have been interviewed and referenced providing parents with peace of mind.