And did I mention the cost!! My pay used to go directly into my bank account and straight out again to the nursery. I should have just gotten my clients to pay the nursery direct and cut out the middle man!
I know I'm not alone in having these issues. Childcare for working parents - particularly those trying to freelance or set up their own business - is a nightmare. But now someone has at last had a brainwave. It is just such a good idea, that I absolutely had to work with them.
Take a look at http://www.third-door.com/ - particularly if you're a parent living in SW London.
Shazia, a mum to a 2 year old and 4 month old (so imagine how much sleep she's getting!), decided that there had to be a better way of allowing parents to work remotely with flexible child care that suited them.
So she and her husband created Third Door, where you get flexible work space (a hot desk or meeting room) with on-site childcare (in an OFSTED registered creche) all done on a pay-as-you-go basis.
No more having to stick to certain days assigned to you by a nursery. No more having to pay for childcare that you can't use when your child is sick. No more mad rush to pick your child up from nursery after work - because they're just downstairs. No more wondering how your child is doing, because you can pop in and see them, perhaps have lunch with them. No more working on your own in your spare bedroom without any other adult company as you can network with like-minded parents in your area. No overheads of having your own office.
The benefits just go on and on. Like I said, a brilliant idea.
The company is launching in May in Wandsworth, just up the road from Cupcake Spa for those of you who know it. And to help celebrate its opening, Third Door is running a competition that I genuinely think will change somebody's life.
The prize includes:
- 30 hours of free workspace and childcare
- Third Door membership
- a Business in a Box package that includes logo design, company name registration, business cards, letterhead and website creation
- 3 hours of consultancy from experts in finance, legal, marketing, PR, technology, social media and business coaching
- a laptop
- a smartphone
Basically all the tools you need to start up your own business or enable you to work part-time, freelance or possibly build up a blog. Sometimes in fact, all you need to be able to change your life is some child-free time to think, a blank screen to tap ideas onto, a strong coffee and someone to talk to. If you win this prize, you can do exactly that!
So if you want to enter, go here. And please help spread the word about this to anyone who you think would benefit from it.