Revolutionising the school run with We Are Fetching


It will not be news to any parents of primary school children that the school day does not work well with a full time job.

Even if you work relatively close to your child’s school, the standard full time worker either needs to agree some flexible working arrangement, juggle with a partner, or pay for additional childcare such as a nanny or after-school club. The cost of the latter can be prohibitive and, for more than half of stay-at-home parents, it is this alone that is preventing them from returning to the workforce.

About two years ago it snowed in London. My son’s school declared a snow day and a note went out instructing parents to collect their children by 12pm.The class WhatsApp group was alive with panic.

 Many parents were stuck at work, those who could get away were hindered by snow-affected transport. What would happen if they were unable to make it to school by the requested time?

One by one, parents who lived or worked within walking distance of the school came forward offering to pick up a few extra children to ensure that all of them were collected.

This sense of community and desire to help is not unusual in schools particularly amongst close groups of friends and I questioned why we couldn’t do this every day.

The obvious answer is that not everyone wants to commit to regularly collecting other people’s children.

Some people take advantage of the good will of others and never return the favour. Then there is also the faff of asking, the profuse apologies, contacting the school, making arrangements to collect from your friend when you can, and yet more apologies.I was sure that with a bit of technology and some form of credits system, those who needed help could request it, and those who had capacity to take a few more children on their school run could help them out on an ad-hoc basis.

There didn’t appear to be anything in the market, so I decided to create a platform myself. 

Clearly it was not as simple as it sounds (there is definitely another blog’s worth of challenges and learnings that I can share), and let’s not pretend I did this alone. There are developers, testers, investors, advisors, schools and many more besides but eventually the app was created.

This app allows parents to build a secure network of other parents that they know and trust. To give them the ability to help each other when they can, and to ask for help when they need it, with no parent having to undertake more than another.

By collecting another person’s child as well as your own, you earn credits that you can use at a time when you need your own child collecting.

 The school is of course in the loop as well. We have a platform for them where they can see everyone who is approved to collect a child, and who will be fetching them on any given day.

The UK is in the top five most expensive countries in the world for childcare so, in order to shake things up a bit, we have made We Are Fetching completely free for parents and schools.We believe that the cost of childcare should not prevent a parent from doing something they want – particularly going to work, if they wish.

No parent will have to run sweating and panicking to the school gate, and no teacher would ever have to stay late again.

No child would ever be left behind, not knowing why they hadn’t been collected.

Instead they can enjoy the diverse experience of being part of a different family for a few hours. Spending time with their friends.

There will still be families that require a nanny – parents who simple can’t put time into the system.

However, for many, this will be an opportunity to support their fellow parents and reduce their childcare costs.

We have learnt a lot recently about working together. There are so many benefits to keep that going.

For more information click