Q&A With Cornwall Childcare

Elsie from Cornwall Childcare running wedding childcare and wedding creches across Cornwall

We talk to Elsie from Cornwall Childcare about being inspired to create her business following her own wedding, the different services she offers couples looking for wedding childcare, and the challenges of running a wedding creche.

Interview with wedding childcare provider, Elsie, from Cornwall Childcare

Tell us a little bit about your business and services?

I originally started my business when I was in my 3rd year of university and started to babysit and nanny for the families that were in my housing estate. However, when I moved home after graduating Cornwall Childcare then became a nanny and babysitting service for those down on holiday either in holiday cottages or in hotels, as well as for locals. After a short break to go on maternity leave I then came back and became a nanny for a local family. 
However, just over a year ago I got married, and as someone who comes from a fairly large family this meant that when organising the wedding I had a lot of children, of varying ages, to occupy. Luckily due to my background of working in various childcare settings and my degree I already had a range of activity ideas up my sleeve, it was at this point when I realised that there were bound to be people who were getting married or organising events who may not know what to gather together to keep children busy. This was when the idea of branching out into wedding childcare was born. 
So for those who have children attending their wedding we offer a range of services, which mean we are able to cater for every couples needs.
Wedding Nanny – this tends to be for the Bride and Grooms child or the younger members of the bridal party. A wedding nanny will be there from the very beginning until the end, helping to get children ready for the big day as well as looking after them during the day and making sure they are happy and entertained but also where they need to be at key moments of the day.
Wedding Crèche – this is normally for several children and will include a range of age appropriate toys, games, activities and crafts. These are run with a minimum of 3 team members (in order to follow OFSTED ratios)
Wedding Babysitting – looking after children during the evening reception so guests can let their hair down and fully enjoy the wedding, knowing their child is asleep and being cared for.
Overnight – carrying on from babysitting (a service usually used by Brides and Grooms) the nanny will look after the child during the evening and stay with them through the night and into the morning.
Activity Hampers – If you only have a few children attending the wedding and don’t think they would need a nanny we also offer hampers full of crafts, activities and games all age appropriate to keep the children busy during those key moments such as speeches.

What makes you different from other wedding childcare services?

I like to have a very personal and non-formal relationship with all bride and grooms that book with me – they initially book with me and will deal with me throughout the whole wedding planning process. This comes from an aspect of ‘I’ve been there, I know how it feels’, I am also a mum and had worked at several weddings as a nanny before starting the business. This also goes with the wedding planners and venues I work with and deal with on behalf of the couple. 
They want the day to be special and I will try my upmost to ensure the children have a memorable day as well.

What do you find most challenging about being a wedding ‘crèche’?

The most challenging thing about being a wedding crèche is people not knowing that it’s a service they can book and therefore spending most of my time liaising with venues and planners and promoting the service.
Another challenge is probably stopping myself from having too much fun when playing with the children at the crèche and remembering that it is actually my business and I need to maintain professional.

And what do you find the most rewarding?

Being at the wedding and seeing the children having fun, meaning that I can then see the parents and consequently the bride and groom having fun and a sense of relaxation knowing their children are enjoying themselves and the guests are enjoying.

What advice would you give to couples when deciding on having children at their wedding?

Having children at your wedding is a very personal choice – for some it’s an obvious they are going to have children attend whereas for others it’s an outstanding no. However, there is one thing that you will need to remember about inviting children to the wedding, they will be excited and they will probably be noisy, but for me personally this adds to the enjoyment of the day hearing children laughing and playing, but for some this could be their worse nightmare. 
Just remember if you want children at your wedding or even if you don’t this is your decision, yes some people may not be able to attend if they cannot get childcare but you have to way up this against whether having these children will make your wedding the special day you want.

As a general ‘rule’, how much should a couple budget for wedding childcare?

This really depends on what sort of childcare they would like – a nanny would differ to a crèche. As an example a 6-hour crèche (our most popular package) costs £450 and includes at least 3 team members, whereas a nanny for half of the day (5 hours) costs £100.  

Do you need lots of space for a wedding crèche?

Depending on how many children are attending will determine how much space we would need – however, we are able to set up in various settings – marquees or a venue, and set up adequate equipment to ensure the area doesn’t look sparse or overcrowded.

How do you deal with a wide range of age groups?

We always follow OFSTED ratios, and normally over staff so we are always in ratio if someone needs to leave the room. This means that we can organise the team so that the different age groups can be looked after in appropriate ways ensuring they have an enjoyable time – for example, if the older ones want to go outside and play while the younger ones stay at the crèche we are able to do this without having to worry about having enough adults to do so.

When not working at weddings, what do you do to relax?

When I’m not working I like to craft – crochet and cross stitch mainly, the repetitive nature of them means I find them very therapeutic – however, these are only possible when I get any down time from my little monkey. 

Looking for wedding childcare providers in your area? Check out our Wedding Directory.

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