TRYING to find last-minute child care can be a nightmare for busy families.
In most cases parents won't be able to contact their local childcare centres until they open, which can throw busy morning schedules out completely.
Kindy Patch West Ipswich manager Kasey Trevor said such problems could be a thing of the past, thanks to the new KindyNow app.
The app lets parents instantly notify their childcare centre if their child is going to be absent - allowing other parents to see when a spot becomes available for their last-minute childcare needs.
"It lets us fill bookings which is a benefit for us, as it increases occupancy, and it's a benefit for parents too," Mrs Trevor said.
"About 40% of our parents are using the app. We got it last week.
"It saves them picking up the phone and ringing, it's a lot easier."
The new KindyNow app is growing in popularity with childcare centres and parents and is free to download.
Mrs Trevor said parents needed to be registered with a specific childcare centre to apply for a vacant spot and the app was growing in popularity with her clients.
As an added bonus parents at Kindy Patch who use the app to let the centre know their child will be absent receive a $15 credit if that empty spot is filled.
"It helps our business so we give parents a credit," Mrs Trevor said.
"As a parent I think it's pretty handy you can do everything from your phone.
"It's really helpful for shift work, being so close to the hospital we have a lot of nurses so it really helps them out.
"I've had parents tell me it's amazing, anyone on the waiting list is happy to take the spots available."