Next up in my ‘Ask the expert’ blog post series, I ask Johanna at Lemonjelly Childcare her most frequently asked questions by wedding couples.
Here she tells me everything you need to know when looking to hire child care for your wedding day.
Lets start with the introductions…
1. What does Lemonjelly Child Care do and how long have you been in business?
We are celebrating our 10th birthday this year!
We have two areas of the business, we find and place in home child carers for families – nannies, maternity nurses and babysitters and we provide childcare support at weddings and events for 1-50 children in the form of mobile crèches, play zones, babysitters and event nannies for the day.
We take care of the little smiles.
2. What should a couple expect to be asked when looking for their child care for their wedding?
The key information we need to know is how much involvement do the couple want the children to have on the day, how many children there are and their ages.
Our service is tailored to each couple and each family so some couples do not want children at the wedding at all others would only like them entertained during the ceremony and speeches, some might just want a backup nanny for the day so, if needed, their child can be looked after by a nanny and not by someone in the wedding party, i.e. a grandparent, meaning they will miss a part of the day – once we know we can suggest a range of ideas that will suit and if they have no idea what they need we can give examples and suggestions that will provide a starting point to work from.
We adhere to a strict child/adult ratio which complies with Ofsteds recommendations, hence the need to know numbers and ages of the children.
3. What is the process of booking a crèche?
To book a crèche, we need to know a date, venue, approximate timings, and a rough idea on the number of children attending, we ask for a deposit to secure the date.
We contact the couple 6 – 8 weeks before the date to confirm all the details and send out our child information sheets – these give us all the details we need on the children such as if they have any allergies or medical conditions, their likes and dislikes and any relevant information on their routines.
We send a courtesy email to the couple the week before the big day and that’s it until we turn up on the big day.
That said, if at any point the couple need to make any amendments to the booking we will happily try and accommodate any changes.
4. How do you price your services?
Once a couple accept a quotation we ask for a deposit and the balance is due 6 weeks prior to the event, at this time we confirm all the details of the booking and make any changes necessary.
Other services such as babysitters and event nannies incur a small booking fee of £12 – £30 to secure the booking.
5. How do you ensure your equipment is safe and cleaned properly?
We inspect and clean all equipment at the start and end of every booking and all bedding, dressing up outfits and doll clothing is washed after every booking.
6. Do couples need to check for certain qualifications or insurances when booking their child care?
No unless they would like to do their own checks.
We have all the relevant insurances in place and all of our staff work within the childcare sector, have DBS checks and are first aid trained.
More importantly, they love their job and are passionate about providing good childcare.
7. Is there anything a couple should worry about?
Make sure the company is insured, ask for pictures/reviews of their set up – do they have the right equipment to meet the needs of the aged children you have attending your wedding.
Some couples may underestimate the number of nannies they may need on the day or book less to keep costs down – understandable – but it can be a false economy.
In 99% of bookings the children will never have meet the nannies coming to look after them and they are all in a new environment so the children may take longer to settle, and if the nanny is looking after too many children they won’t be able to give the child everything they need and may need to call a parent back to help them.
The adult to child ratio we follow and in a lot of occasions exceed is to ensure all the children’s needs are meet and so that parents can relax knowing that their child is in safe hands.
Its seems it’s becoming more and more acceptable to arrange for childcare at your wedding for both the couple and their guests. We have seen a big rise in couples who have their own child/ren booking a nanny for the day so they don’t have to rely on their own parents and many (grand)parents and family members love it as it means they don’t have to leave the celebrations early or miss any part of the day.
Photo booths are becoming a popular addition, children can make the same funny pictures as their parents. We set up a corner with a box of accessories and a frame to take some fun snaps – it can be a great ice breaker for the children especially if they don’t know any other children.
9. What are the best and worst things about being a child care specialist?
No two days, no two events and no two children are the same, we get to come up with new, fun and creative ideas for all our events.
10. What one top tip would you give to newly engaged couples when looking for child care for their wedding?
Like with all other aspects of your day, do what you want, don’t try and keep parents happy – some will love you for the idea of having childcare in place so they can have a child free couple of hours, others may not have come across the concept before and not understand it but will usually come and say hi and try us out.
Contact Name: Johanna Stevens
Location / Coverage: Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and surrounding villages