We’re really excited about a new feature we’ve just released called Express Book.

Express Book, allows a parent in need of a babysitter at short notice (today or tomorrow) to post up their sit requirements. They then get a shortlist back of willing babysitters, and confirm the sit with the one that’s right for them. It also allows for local babysitters to bid for the work in real time.

It’s early days, but so far, on average, Express Book has been providing potential babysitters to parents in less than one minute – 43 seconds to be precise!

You can watch a video of it in action here:

This is truly childcare on demand and will massively help us deliver on our mission of giving parents a tool to easily find trusted childcare, anytime, anywhere and irrespective of how soon they need it. Picking a babysitter to look after our kids, is, and always will be, a highly personal choice. So while we want to see our options quickly – we don’t want to do so at the expense of the curation and consideration we need before making our decision.

Express Book gives the mums and dads on bubble the best of both. The functionality is designed to be rapid and easy, yet at the same time, it still leaves the decision of who to use with the Parent, making it easy for them to review who they’re looking at; see their skill-set, check out which friends have used them before and read up on the experiences that other parents have had.

The algorithm that determines which babysitters get the opportunity to bid for the job – and in what order – is also designed to surface the babysitters that we believe are right for the person looking. Babysitters with the best reviews, the clearest profiles, most community connections and fastest response times are automatically prioritised when the app determines which sitters should be allowed to apply to any given job.

This means that by design, the best babysitters are being rewarded, and everyone is highly incentivised to give parents the best service possible. So in short, speed and convenience is no substitute for quality or curation here – it’s actually enhancing it.

Every day, we see parents turning to bubble for last minute appointments, work emergencies or as a savior when their regular childminder is sick and can’t make it. Not to mention those moments when we just decide that we’re in need of some time out and time off right now.

We absolutely love coming to the rescue at moments like these and Express Book will mean we can do it faster and more often. As usual, thanks to all the Mums, Dads and babysitters who fed into the design of it – we hope you enjoy it and do get in touch if you’ve got any feedback or suggestions on how we can make it better.

Ari