By Claire West

MOTHERS wishing to continue working fulltime - but who can't afford full-time childcare - are being offered a new 'wrap around' service through a web-based venture.

'Mumpreneur' Nicky Grant's company - www.afterschoolcare.co.uk - will match them with experienced child carers to look after their kids both before and after school.

As well as nannies, nursery nurses and teachers, Nicky also attract students, part-time workers as well as grandmothers with a wealth of child raising experience and a bit of time to spare. The enterprise will offer working mothers wrap-around care, both before and after school hours.

After School Care was set up by Nicky in response to her own experience, and research, indicating that working women with school aged children don't want to employ a full time nanny and are increasingly looking for part time care - particularly before and after school.

Nicky explains in a bit more detail: "The credit crunch has meant that everyone has had to look again at cutting costs and a lot of mothers who work and have school aged children no longer want to pay for fulltime childcare - they need to cover the time before and after school only. Mothers are struggling to find people with that kind of availability and they are reluctant to pay the large introduction fees that nanny agencies charge. There are a lot of carers - particularly older women who can fill that need. Equally for the carers it can give them an extra bit of income at a time when money is short. After School Care really meets both sides needs."

After School Care will act purely as an introduction agency and although it is open to all carers, it particularly aims to attract retired or semi-retired women who perhaps have grown-up children (or grandchildren) of their own and would like to earn some extra money without the commitment of a full-time job.
After School Care is free to join (for carers) and they can simply register their details (location and availability) online. They are then encouraged to refresh their interest each month in order that the database stays current.

Parents can register their own details and see the carers that are available in their area - if they want to contact anyone they pay a nominal fee of £10 per month which gives them unlimited searches within a 30 day period. Matches are brought up on a 'nearest match' basis first - according to location and availability.

Afterschoolcare.co.uk is a matching service only and stresses it is the parents'
responsibility to check for any references and experience. The site does however offer advice for both parents - for example a link with information on checks with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

More details can be found at www.afterschoolcare.co.uk