When friends Katrina Clark and Lisa Robertson discovered the benefits of swapping childcare, it occured to them to create a website where other mothers could do the same, so they set up Connect4Care.
Childcare swaps can be particularly helpful for shiftworkers. Submissions to the Productivity Commission’s Enquiry into Childcare highlighted the particular dilemma facing health care staff in accessing affordable, quality, flexible childcare in a workplace that operates on a 24-hours-a-day, seven-day-a-week cycle. This service could be a huge benefit to nurses and midwives, saving thousands of dollars a year and offering a flexibility that formal childcare can’t provide.
The site offers a step-by-step guide on how to find a suitable family, what questions to ask and how to make contact. You set the parameters of the arrangement together and all Working with Children Checks are verified by Connect4Care. You can use their site to connect with others near you, in your workplace or set up your own group.
Connect4Care is offering free 12-month membership to those who join by the end of 2015. So you can see how it would work, there are groups online already for the following hospitals: the Mater in North Sydney, Royal North Shore, Royal Prince Alfred, St Vincents (Sydney), Gosford Hospital. You can join those or start your own.
Katrina Clark writes about the site.
They say it takes a village to raise a child and yet sometimes I wonder, where did the village go?
Perhaps small country towns still have mothers gathering outside the school gate at pick-up and drop-off times but this is becoming rarer in the big cities. The good news is that we have the ability nowadays to be more in touch with each other than ever before. It’s just that we do that from our living rooms.
Katrina and Lisa, co-founders of Connect4Care.