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The ‘virtual nannies’ looking after kids via Zoom

The 'virtual nannies' looking

The same number of guardians have battled with childcare issues during the pandemic, various tech firms have been offering arrangements.

Richard Conway says that numerous individuals were not persuaded by his thought for “virtual babysitters” – whereby the childminder is on the opposite finish of a Zoom call.

Sri Nujella and daughter Ishi

“Many individuals thought it was an insane thought, and that it included disregarding the kid home,” says the author of

Rather the administration is planned with the goal that mum or father can complete some work at home, while another person, by means of a PC screen, keeps the children involved. The kid must be matured in any event two for guardians to utilize the administration.

“More youthful youngsters need a touch of amusement, and if guardians are working they can’t generally give them the time they need,” adds Mr Conway. “So we thought having a virtual babysitter, who is a genuine caretaker, by video would be an extraordinary arrangement.”

Recently, Thea Herodotou, 37, a senior instructor in London, masterminded a virtual caretaker to take care of her girl Zoe, matured five.


  • With Zoe’s nursery shut during the primary lockdown, Thea says it was “unmanageable” shuffling nurturing and telecommuting.
  • “My better half and I would take continuous breaks with Zoe, and engage her, yet it was upsetting.”
  • So they booked Antoinette Wood, an Ofsted enlisted proficient babysitter, for an hour daily.

It took Zoe a couple of meetings to settle, says Thea. “My little girl would run out of the room [to start with]. In any case, Zoe gradually became acclimated to the every day meeting and I had the option to leave them in the room.”

Antoinette says the meetings work in the event that they are “completed for an hour at a time, especially as little youngsters have limited ability to focus”.

Children and a worker at a Tiney home nursery

“I am an extraordinary organizer, so I arranged an exercise plan of how Zoe and I would spend our virtual hour together every day,” she says. “I likewise sent her top notch of things, for example, paper, pencils, pastels, scissors, dice and a beverage of water that she would require during this hour.

“The hour meeting comprises of a little hi and talk, story time, singing rhymes and checking, games, music and development. The hour is driven by the youngster, and every day we finish our meeting with moving around the family room to a notable melody.”

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Richard Conway says there are currently in excess of 4,000 virtual babysitters accessible through his site, and that in excess of 50,000 guardians have made enquiries about the administration.

Nonetheless, it is protected to state that the possibility of somebody taking care of your children from the opposite finish of a video call won’t be for each mum and father.

Nurturing master Sarah Ockwell-Smith, writer of The Gentle Parenting Book, says it’s anything but a substitute for face to face human communication.


“Kids specifically truly battle with carrying on with life through a screen,” she says. “The division from companions and family members, who they would regularly observe frequently, however can now just view through a screen, and moving all social association and classes on the web, I think has made somewhat of a ticking delayed bomb.

“This isn’t the way we are intended to live, and I do think we will see an enduring effect on this age of youngsters as they grow up.”

For guardians who need a childminder or sitter who will be truly present, there are applications, for example, Bubble, which has more than 20,000 on its books.

Going from understudies to caretakers, each needs to experience a check cycle. This incorporates personality and reference affirmations, and a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, which checks whether an individual has a criminal record.

  • Each childminder joined is then likewise surveyed by guardians.
  • Mum Sri Nujella utilized the application back in March to book a 19-year-old understudy to care for her little girl Ishi, who is three.

Sri Nujella and girl Ishi

A task director, Sri says she required assistance since she was only three days into a new position when Ishi’s nursery needed to close. Simultaneously, her significant other was away in India with work.

“My occupation requested a ton of consideration,” she says. “I was edgy to discover childcare.”

So she utilized Bubble to book cover for a large portion of a day, Monday to Friday, for a month.

  • Ari Last, the CEO of Bubble, says there has been a major change in how the administration has been utilized for the current year.
  • “Pre-Covid, guardians were reserving childminders for nights, however well that has been supplanted by daytime. Telecommuting with kids is unthinkable, and guardians are utilizing Bubble for when they have a significant video meeting, or just to watch their children while they work.”
  • Another tech firm attempting to expand childcare alternatives is site and application Tiney.

The stage permits individuals to prepare to become childminders and set up nurseries in their own homes. They get exhortation on the most proficient method to maintain their business, including support in regards to protection, installments, exercise plans, wellbeing and security, and correspondence with guardians.

Kids and a laborer at a Tiney home nursery

Tiney says it has had 7,000 applications from individuals needing to retrain as childminders since the beginning of the primary cross country lockdown. These incorporate individuals who have lost their positions because of the pandemic, and previous educators and nursery staff who need to maintain their own organizations.

At the point when a parent pays for a childcare place through the application, Tiney keeps 10% of those assets. Childminders need to remain with the organization for at least two years.

“There is an enormous lack of childcare,” says Tiney manager Brett Wigdortz, who likewise established instructive cause Teach First, which means to help improve the school execution of understudies from low-pay foundations.

“The entire childcare area isn’t working at this point. We’re attempting to make childminding run like a nursery, with basic agreements and solicitations through the application.”

Mr Wigdortz adds, to the cheerful ear of many worried guardians: “Innovation makes everybody’s life simpler.”