The first time you run a Kowalah booking request you are no doubt a little apprehensive – who are the Kowalahs, have they been interviewed, will my kids get on with them?  Hopefully your initial call with your Kowalah puts your mind at rest and when they arrive you can be totally relaxed and head out knowing your kids are in safe hands.

A week later and you need to go out again, and often this is where we hear the understandable request “Is Lucy available – she was great and the kids only want her!”

When you run a Kowalah booking request we will notify all the Kowalahs that are within your location – so, as long as Lucy hasn’t moved house then she would be automatically included in your next search.

However, knowing that Lucy has been included in your search, there are still a number of reasons why she might not respond to your request:

I’m already booked

One of the most common reasons that your previous Kowalah cannot accept your booking request is that they already have a booking that day.  Our top rated Kowalahs are working most days of the week and if you put in a last minute booking request it is likely they are already committed.

Top Tip: Book as early as soon as you know you need a Kowalah to get the best choice – When is the best time to book a Kowalah?

I’m on holiday

Our Kowalahs lead busy lives too, and often they coincide with the lives of our Kowalah parents – Christmas and Summer holidays, half-terms, weekends away.  Kowalahs are able to set when they are on holiday – they don’t receive booking requests for dates when they are away and therefore won’t respond to your search.

You are too far away for a 3 hour booking

When Kowalahs receive a booking request they get to see the distance between your house and theirs, and they use that information to decide as to whether they accept the booking.  Your first booking might have been for 10 hours while you were away at a wedding, or an overnight stay with friends – Lucy might live 15 miles away and while that made sense for your first long booking, for 3 hours on a Saturday night it might make more sense for someone else closer.

I’ll wait for a longer booking

Kowalahs use our platform to earn money – and whilst the average booking length on the platform is 4.5 hours – they range from the 3 hour minimum up to overnight stays that might last 15 hours.   Some of our Kowalahs will specifically look for a 6 hour or longer booking on a weekend evening rather than picking up the first 3 or 4 hour booking request they receive.

I can’t work at that time of day

As we discussed in our blog post Who are the Kowalahs? different Kowalahs prefer to work at different times of the day, or weekdays versus weekends.  So although Lucy may have been perfect for a mid-week booking, she may have a daytime job that prevents her from accepting booking requests during the day.

Build your network

The best way to use Kowalah, and get an even better experience, is to focus on extending your Kowalah network by deliberately choosing a range of Kowalahs over the course of a number of bookings.

Of course we want you and your children to love your experience with your first Kowalah – but more than that we want you to love the entire Kowalah community and build out a network of multiple Kowalahs that your family use.

Our founder Candy Cowan wrote a blog post about her own experiences growing her Kowalah network on the Cheltenham Maman blog recently – What we discovered by using more than one sitter.

Next time you run a booking request have an open mind – we will have notified all the Kowalahs you have previously used, and if they have not accepted it could be for any one of the reasons listed above.  By choosing one of the other Kowalahs we present to you, you’ll extend your network, introduce your children to some more brilliant Kowalahs and make it even easier to get On Demand Childcare in the future.

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.