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Parents rejoice: There's a website being dubbed the 'realestate.com.au' of childcare.

Show me a parent who doesn’t organise their family’s life online, and I’ll show you a person who doesn’t have WIFI. From booking swimming lessons to printing photos to ordering school lunches, the internet has made the logistics of parenting so much easier.

Paper forms, pens, posting things, and speaking on the phone, seem to be largely from the dark ages. What did time-poor parents do before the internet? How on earth did they manage to research and organise stuff for their kids?

Thankfully, we will never have to know! Everything’s online these days, and there’s not turning back. There’s now even a new website that makes finding a childcare place for your kids less time-consuming, too. It’s been called the “realestate.com.au” of childcare. No more phoning around, chasing up waitlists. It’s www.spotachildcare.com.au.

It’s simple to use. Just enter the suburb postcode to find local child care centres – both with and without vacancies. And you can check out the centres you like, and wait list your child. Brilliant. Just like realestate.com.au, which revolutionised house-hunting, this site takes away the stress of finding childcare. You can even do it in your pjs in the middle of the night.

The site’s founder, Olena, was a busy mother of two, precariously balancing work and family responsibilities when she came up with the idea to streamline the process of finding care for kids.

“I always found it very difficult to find a quality childcare centre. I relied on friends to tell us about childcare vacancies and for referrals.  The first childcare centre we found was in an adjacent suburb and we really didn’t like it,” she said.

But SpotaChildcare makes the process easier and quicker than ever.

“We experimented with a number of centres that just weren’t suitable for us as a family, losing bond money along the way.  At the time, we were extremely unhappy and struggled with juggling work and caring duties whenever our children fell sick. Finally we were lucky to come across Elizabeth Street ELC in Sydney CBD where the centre manager Jessie was very professional and helped us to find a spot for our child.”

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Do you need to put your foetus on the childcare waitlist before it’s even seen the light at the end of the tunnel? We discuss, on Hello Bump. Post continues after audio. 

Olena and her husband knew what they had to do to help other parents. They created a website prototype, and participated in the GovHack 2016 competition for technological innovations that make life simpler. There they worked out that information from different sources could be pooled to simply speed up childcare finding for parents.

Spotachildcare.com.au went on to be placed first in the category ‘Smart Cities and Collaborative Economy’ for the most innovative solution. The award category was judged and presented by the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI).

And, knowing that a lot of parents rely on Facebook for information, they launched their service there, too.

Thank you, information super highway, for giving parents another brilliant life hack. Now if only more parenting could be done in pyjamas…

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