Kowalah Stories - Alice
In today's post we continue to feature some of our wonderful Kowalahs and share their experiences to help new Kowalahs as they join the platform.
Alice has been with Kowalah for just under a year.
Why do you enjoy working on Kowalah?
Kowalah is such an enjoyable job due to it's flexibility! The families I sit for are all so helpful and make the bookings easy and relaxed for all parties. Once you have built a relationship with a family it is lovely to do repeat bookings for them as you already know what the children like to do and how best to support that family!
What are the families like that you have worked with on Kowalah?
All the families I have worked for have been great. No booking is the same, even for the same family! The children are always so polite and excited to meet you and tell you all about school and their hobbies. The parents have always been great, making sure I know where everything is in the house, keeping in touch if necessary and making me feel at home, in their home.
What happens at a typical booking?
For an evening booking, I will have contacted the parent beforehand, mostly to get details of how to recognise the house and to check if they would like me to bring anything. Then I will text before I leave to let them know I am on my way, meet the parents, get shown around the house and then meet the lovely children! Once the parents have left, following bedtime routines for younger children or helping older children with homework/ cooking/ music tuition is common for my bookings. As the parents return I make sure I've told them anything important from the evening, thank them and head home.
For daytime bookings I will usually make sure I know a bit about the children so I can pick some activities or plan somewhere to go nearby with the parents to make sure their children have a great day.
Why do you choose to accept or decline a booking?
I will generally accept all bookings unless I have one already scheduled or am busy myself. As we get to set a distance limit on our profiles, I would never decline a booking because of distance or age of the children as the parents can see our experience prior to booking.
How do you introduce yourself to a new family?
Once I have been accepted for a booking I would usually ring the parent (or text dependent on the time of day). I make sure I know anything important about the children/ house/ pets/ meals etc, then text on the day of the booking to check any last details. When arriving, meeting the parents (and children) is always the easiest part! All the families are so friendly and I like to make sure the family are relaxed and happy so they can enjoy their evening without worrying.
Do you prefer daytime or evening bookings, and why?
I prefer evening bookings for families I have previously worked with, purely because it works better with my schedule. However, starting with a new family is always easier to do through a day time booking as you generally have more time with the children and can build better relationships.
What are your future plans? (i.e. is Kowalah is step towards something else, or do you see Kowalah fitting around your future activities/jobs?)
I will be qualifying as a primary school teacher in the spring and will definitely be continuing with Kowalah throughout the summer and school holidays once I start my full time position in September. This job has been a great way to engage with families and support children during my teaching degree and would recommend to anyone that enjoy working with children!
Do you have any advice for a new Kowalah sitter starting for the first time?
Enjoy each booking! It is unlike any job you will ever have and such a great way to gain invaluable experience working with children. Be confident, be helpful and most importantly get to know the children and parents as well as you can.
Our thanks to Alice for taking her time to share her experiences with the Kowalah community. We look forward to sharing more Kowalah stories in the coming weeks!
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.