Crucial - NHS/Keyworkers need Childcare support

by Ruth Hilton in Rochdale, England, United Kingdom

Not quite
Unfortunately this project was not successful.

Creating a community of 'peer to peer' child carers to support NHS/Keyworkers and parents returning to work as we come out of Corona Lockdow

by Ruth Hilton in Rochdale, England, United Kingdom

Our idea

We want to create a “Not for Profit” peer-to-peer Community childcare and Virtual education service

Currently we are in a Coronavirus lockdown, but soon we will be released and it's vital that people who have been tested and certified as Corona Free to give back to the community by providing essential childcare to  NHS staff, Keyworkers and parents returning to work.

The NHS loses 25% of its potential staff hours each day because of childcare issues.

Children are potentially the super spreaders and this is why Schools and Universities have been shut down and will remain shut for some time, July, September, and potentially to November, we're just unsure at this time.

Access to group childcare is therefore highly restricted and we want to create “Community” small group childcare hosted by a network of house mums and qualified Students by using the latest technologies available.

20% of childcare hours will be donated by childcarers FREE and via our “Don’t just Clap” fundraising campaign we hope to provide many more FREE hours of childcare to NHS staff to allow them to work or Simply Relax.

We also aim to help all NHS and Keyworkers with low-cost childcare and also get the country back to work by helping ALL parents with their childcare needs.

Let’s get the Country back to work!


Where did the idea for Childcare Connect stem from?

The idea of Childcare Connect was triggered by the challenges COVID 19 is causing to the country and in particular NHS and Keyworkers. It is incredibly difficult to balance work and home life childcare, with mainstream schools out of action. Remember only households with 2 keyworkers get any support at all and this support disappears during school holidays.


A little about us

We are a team of 4, myself Ruth (Project Lead), Jane, Mike, Steve and between us we have seven children. We all live in the North West of England and have a balance of skills and experience across key business start-up areas.

 Like many people we are have been "Furloughed", and have decided to use this time to give back to the community, and launch Childcare Connect, whilst building a team for the post Corona period.

I'm project lead because I'm highly organised and have spent the last 20 years in senior Sales, Commercial and General Management roles with the travel industry. I have extensive experience in managing large groups of people and structuring management teams.

With two children of my own, I understand the difficulty of finding suitable childcare, when working in the work office or at home. This will be exacerbated as we come out of Corona Lockdown, as mainstream schooling and group childcare is likely to remain offline. 

Jane, is our Finance Lead and is a qualified CIMA accountant with over 20 years post qualified experience. An excellent communicator and has experience of being a finance Trustee at "The Bruntwood Charity No 1135777.

This ideally qualifies Jane to take up the role of Finance Director for Childcare Connect where she can utilise her skills to manage the implementation of strong controls and processes across the business.

Mike, our IT lead has 25 years’ experience heading up IT functions for numerous Corporate and SME businesses.

Steve (my partner) will Chair the project and will focus on fundraising. He is an experienced Entrepreneur in the Travel Sector having built business such as Holiday Taxis from an idea in a Pub, to a business carrying 7m passengers.

Steve will also assist me in driving the business forward fast during its crucial early months of existence to reach critical mass as soon as possible


Our Founding Principals;

  • Not for profit. We would have set up as a Charity if it did not take so long and was not so complicated when some fees are being exchanged. However, we are a NOT FOR PROFIT business and are focused on giving back in these times of need.
  • Getting the Country back to work. It is vital that we get the country back to work and childcare at a time when mainstream schools are likely to be shut for some time (until September-November), it has never been more important for getting the country back to work.
  • Giving back. We believe the Corona Virus has reinvigorated the concept of community and giving back. We therefore, will set some broad guidelines for hourly charges with lower suggested charges for key workers and a recommendation for Childcare's to charge for 80% of their time, but to give 20% free to people who really need it.
  • Team leader and Decentralisation. To balance the speed of roll out with “Control”, we believe it vital to recruit local leaders who can coordinate all activities in their local community. We aim to create central tools and technology that can be implemented at a local level by local people.
  • Parental Responsibility. Standard child protection such as DBS checks are fundamentals, but small group child care on a peer to peer basis requires Parents to take a greater degree of responsibility to use the tools we provide to go further. For example, we recommend “virtual interviews” that allow parents to meet prospective childcarers in advance and for either party to see the proposed location for the child care.
  • Using the latest technology. At all stages we are looking to “modernise” how childcare is done. We believe in using Video conferencing tools to pre-screen childcarers and parents, along with Social media tools like Facebook to source childcare suitability recommendations from parents, peers and children on a fully visible and cementable basis on childcarers time-lines. 
  • Virtual Tuition. As with Childcare there are a number of virtual educators in the market, but few Virtual Education assistants. We want to mobile university and 6th form students who have recently completed the same education to help children with the homework schools are setting them virtually is small groups using the latest video technologies like Zoom, WhatsApp, Facetime and Houseparty.
  • Safety first. We are of course 100% focused on child safety and will do everything we can to ensure that but as a virtual business, we also have to push as much responsibility as possible to parents and local childcare leaders.


Why do we need your money?

A community peer to peer childcare networks, requires “Leaders” in each local community to drive the project. Childcare Connect needs to support this with the following crucial technology tools and grants.

  • Childcare Booking system. We need to create “Nested” Calendars that summarise available childcare resources in an area and allow the last-minute unavailability of one childcare to replace with suggestions of other available careers. This will also give us a better view of supply and demand via Team leader and help us balance the focus of our recruiting between users and suppliers of child care. Estimated Cost £5k
  • Voucher system. We need to build a voucher issuing and database system to allow donators to buy a specific number of Free childcare hours to an individual NHS parent. Estimated Cost £2.5k
  • DBS subsidies. Standard DBS checks are £23. We want to subsidies this for Students under 23 to a more affordable £13 to mobilise younger people who we will also supply references to documenting their contribution to this good cause. £2.5k allows us 250 subsidies only and hence why we hope to exceed our crowdfunding target. Estimated Cost £2.5k
  • Funding Free Hours. Any extra money will be given back directly to NHS staff and Key workers.

Gift Free Childcare hours

We ask Childcarers to donate 20% of their time for Free, and charge a reduced from £4 per hour for NHS or Keyworker parents. 


How it works

Please donate as much as you can afford, and the Free childcare hours will be passed onto your named NHS or Keyworker, once the voucher system is live.


How much you give depends on what you can afford 

  • £100 – Funds 25 Free childcare Hours
  • £50 – Funds 12.5 Free childcare Hours
  • £20 – Funds 5 Free childcare Hours


Who gets these hours?

NHS and Keyworkers.

  • Vouchers. Once the Voucher system is live you will be able to buy a voucher for a named NHS or key worker who has helped you or your family.
  • General Giving back.  'Don’t just clap, give Back'. Donate generally and we will allocate these hours to deserving causes.

We ask project owners to honour their rewards wherever possible but please note that all pledges are donations and there is no guarantee that you will receive any rewards from the project owner. Please see Crowdfunder's Terms of Use for more information regarding rewards for pledges.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

£20 - 5 Hours of FREE childcare for NHS/Keyworkers

Please donate £20 and give 5 hours back to NHS and/or Keyworkers in FREE Childcare. All donations will be put into a central pot for distribution.

£20 or more

£20 - Childcare Connect Virtual party

Please donate £20 and just us in the celebration of our achievement. A party with a difference!

£50 or more

£50 12.5 Hours of FREE childcare for NHS/Keyworke

Please donate £50 and give back 10 hours back to NHS /Keyworkers in FREE childcare. All donations will be put into a central pot for distribution.

£100 or more

£100 25 Hours FREE childcare for NHS/Keyworkers

Please donate £100 and give 25 hours back to NHS and Keyworkers in FREE childcare. All donations will be put into a central pot for distribution.

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