A DAD has designed his own childcare app to help streamline payments to nurseries and prevent childcare workers from being underpaid.

Paul Harding, 42, an IT software engineer born and raised in Swindon, has launched Kids Covered to help childminders and parents cover childcare costs at the touch of a button.

It automatically calculates the cost of each session and transfers the payment seven days after the booking is taken.

The idea came to Paul after he saw his wife filling out a paper form to scan in and email over to their local nursery in Lechlade for daughter Matilda.

Paul told the Adver: "The crux of it is taking away the paper, and the incorrect fees and missed payments, which Ofsted is currently quite hot on.

"I speak with practitioners and nurseries and it's all about getting paid, and this is where this is totally unique. You don't need to chase money, you can't sign up for childcare unless you pay in advance.

"There is a problem of parents paying on time. Our biggest user said they did their accounts recently and they had £330 owed. It's a massive problem."

The app is also useful for safeguarding, as it helps parents set up alerts for early years children and arrange a daily diary for parents to pass onto childminders.

"Each childminder creates a secure profile and invites parents of the children they are caring for to link to it – for safeguarding reasons this is the best way to approach this," Paul added.

"Once linked, parents can book their time with their own registered childminder and flowing from that parents can see live updates on their phones.”

The app can be used for holiday and breakfast clubs, but Paul wants to expand it to cover all child activities, from rock-climbing to kids rugby and has big plans to turn it into a one-stop shop for parents to get childcare covered.

The platform is already being used by Manor Farm Nursery in Lechlade and generates a modest income by taking £1.20 fro each booking made. Anyone interested in finding out more or to sign up can go to www.kidscovered.app