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"Minimum" rates for

(37 Posts)
CocoaBeanPlease Sun 15-May-11 21:57:35


I've just registered with and have been sent the link to the Guidance for Parents section. I was surprised to see that there they say "the rates of pay we recommend should be considered as minimums" - didn't see that on the website before registering.

So if you've used Sitters, could you please tell me how much you actually pay? If most people overpay, I'm worried that if I use the suggested rate my babysitters will be offended and refuse to come back!


I generally round up to the nearest fiver so pay £25 rather than £23.60 or whatever but wouldn't round up to the nearest tenner. My babysitters always come back smile

PatriciaHolm Sun 15-May-11 22:38:32

Same as Christine: I round up a bit e.g if I owe £27, I'll probably pay £30. We have several sitters who come time and again so I guess that's OK!

Lily311 Mon 16-May-11 06:22:15

I used to babysit for sitters but now that they changed the minimum hours of booking time I stopped. I got the exact amount most of the time, parents rarely gave me more than the minimum. It was fine by me as I knew how much I would get and wasn't counting on anything extra.

What really annoys me now is the minimum of 3 hours booking- it's not worth for us to babysit for £17 sad. Unfortunately parents have a loophole, they book us for 4-5 hours (so they def get a babysitter), come back in 3 and pay only for the 3 hours. I would have not taken a babysitting for 3 hours, so after lots of disappointment I decided not to babysit for them anymore.

Going back to your question, yes, the minimum payment is normal and the sitter is not expecting anything more than that.

PatriciaHolm Mon 16-May-11 10:01:38

That's really mean, Lily - if i book for 4 but use 3 hours, I pay for 4, as that's what I asked for and what the sitter accepted the booking based on! It's quite mean of the parents not to do that, I can see why you would be annoyed.

Lizcat Mon 16-May-11 10:42:36

Again as a parent using sitters I always pay for the time I have booked, I always round up to the nearest five and if I slip over into another hour I pay that full hour.
I also have sitters who come again and again, all are lovely Ladies. We have one particular lady who is a primary school teacher on maternity leave who has been fab at helping us with DDs reading.

nannynick Mon 16-May-11 10:48:47

All lovely Ladies - don't the agency ever send you any men?

PatriciaHolm Mon 16-May-11 10:59:25

Nick - no, I've never been offered one! Wouldn't bother me in the least but it's never been an option!

CocoaBeanPlease Mon 16-May-11 13:33:51

Thanks everyone for the feedback, I’m reassured! Our intention was to apply the suggested rate and then round up at the end, so that sounds like it will be fine.

Lily, that really isn’t fair. Even if we had to come home early for some reason, I would always pay for the agreed amount of time.

Ok, off to book my first agency babysitter! I was quite nervous about it until I read so many good comments about Sitters on MN (including yet another here by Lizcat, thank you!)

Lily311 Mon 16-May-11 13:37:41

Good luck!
I really enjoyed working for sitters but last months experience made it sour. I was also regular for most families which was great for them and me too. I am registered with other London based agency and they send me babysittings for a min of 4 hours, they are as good as Sitters.

Mollymax Mon 16-May-11 13:40:20

I work for sitters too, most round up to the next pound eg £24 instead of £23.60.
One or two have paid the excact amount by counting out the coppers!
One even daid 40 pence less.... I could not be bothered to make a fuss.
I think if you round up to the nearest pound it makes it easier as nobody needs worry about change.

Strix Mon 16-May-11 14:04:16

Lily, who is the other London based agency?

feckwit Mon 16-May-11 14:07:31

I also work for sitters and have had similar experiences.

Some parents round up but most pay to the nearest pound and I too have had many parents book me for 5 hours then return after 3...

i think very carefully when accepting jobs now as sometimes it is barely worth it when you factor in petrol.

I wish they would return to a minimum of 4 hours...

mranchovy Mon 16-May-11 17:17:45

I am a parent and always round up. I believe that the terms that parents agree to is that if they return home early they still pay for the time booked so you should check this with the agency.

cinpin Mon 16-May-11 19:37:52

I work for sitters and i do not take any bookings that are less than 4 hours it is not well paid as it is.

I usually get the exact money some times they ask for about a pound change but i say I have not got any, one couple kept me another ten minutes finding change so they did not have to give me a pound too much, i did not go back to them when they requested me.

Lily311 Mon 16-May-11 19:43:54


It's Likeminders. Just google it and you'll find them, they ara based in BAttersea but cover all London. As a nanny I really like them, they update us by emails regularly.

safehands network is another babysitting/childcare agency and pay about the same as sitters but in my experience have always been better - dont do work for either now though as get most work privately.

good thing about safehands is you can negotiate rate and if they are desperate for that nights often they will pay travelling costs if more than 15mins travelling and pay a higher rate per hr (the agency pay the extra costs)

Mtorun Thu 19-May-11 21:21:35

Whatever Lilly said. I have also stopped working for Sitters as it is not worth for my while. I have never ever paid more then they suppost! to pay. And as a sitter you can't complain. One occasion Sitters said "the families pay you don't. And if they book you for 4 hours and came in 3 hours they need to pay you 3 hours not 4 hours." That was the response I got from Sitters. Needless to say I do not work for them anymore. I get offers from my regular families but I don't accept them.

I'm also registered with Likeminders and they are very professional and lovely people and they do care about their sitters. Also they are cheaper compare to Sitters and they give more to their sitter.

TheseThingsAreGoodThings Thu 19-May-11 21:54:44

I use sitters a lot. Always overpay. Will round up to the nearest hour and then to the nearest fiver.

Always book til midnight jst in case but we are usually back by 11 pm. But that is still a 5.5 hr booking.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Sat 21-May-11 20:17:08

Hi, I work for sitters and I love them!

Some families round up, others pay the exact amount. I don't mind. I only expect to be paid the agreed amount so anything more is a bonus.

All my families have been lovely

pinkchick1 Sat 24-Nov-12 00:33:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tanith Sat 24-Nov-12 02:23:24

You probably won't get male babysitters with Sitters.
My DH, also an Outstanding graded childminder with the same experience as me and a Level 3 qualification, was actively discouraged when he tried to apply to them.
When he persisted, he was told very grudgingly that they'd put him on their books, but they doubted very much that he'd get any bookings. angry
Another reason I don't work for them any more.

Their ratings are a complete waste of time as well. I had regular clients, positive comments from parents, never any complaints and I was rated "poor".
I tried to find out why and they didn't seem to have a clue how the ratings were worked.
"Perhaps you didn't smile enough?" was one suggestion they came up with!

knowittoowell Sat 24-Nov-12 02:26:55

God, they sound awful

biscuit to them

malovitt Sat 24-Nov-12 08:17:07

I'm an occasional sitter, and make it quite clear by text that my absolute minimum is 4 hours.
I also always take along a purse with a selection of coins & notes, so I have the correct change myself for any note I am offered.

One occasion of being left hanging around for 15 minutes at the end of the night whilst parents scrabbled around the house/their kids' money boxes for change was enough. It's so rude!

pinkchick1 Sat 24-Nov-12 12:50:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tanith Sat 24-Nov-12 13:31:18

Thank you, that makes perfect sense!

I live in a semi-rural area and was offered a lot of bookings miles away, often for a couple of hours. I think the furthest was 15 miles! They also sent several bookings at once so, even if you did accept a booking for one evening, you obviously couldn't accept those offered for the same evening.
No wonder they were so evasive!

Didn't smile enough indeed! angry

pinkchick1 Sat 24-Nov-12 18:16:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lalulalu Thu 15-Aug-13 17:15:03

hate Sitters.
They NEVER listen to you .
They NEVER are Wrong.
They are ALWAYS grumpy
They sent me 24 miles away!!!!!!!!!!

Could you not have turned down the job lalu? & this is a 2 year old thread...

lovelynannytobe Thu 15-Aug-13 18:48:16

lalulalu didn't you check the distance before accepting? I never take anything over 7 miles away.

SimLondon Thu 15-Aug-13 21:52:17

I was thinking about sitters, we have no-one to babysit and the girls at our nursery aren't allowed to babysit for parents :-( sitters have a great reputation but it feels odd to leave a stranger at home -hhmm

Jemjem12 Mon 18-Nov-13 19:05:22

Although this is an old thread I totally agree with lalualu. Having worked for sitters for a number of years I would definitely NOT use it for my own kids!

My 'interview' was by a local mum which consisted of two questions - what's your favourite book and how do you know if a child is ill (duh)

I built up good relationships with regular clients who told me of awful experiences they had, ones who had rifled through drawers and even one who let an expensive cat out and lost it!

All sitters cares about is filling jobs and making money. They are rude, unappreciative and greedy.

I would 100% recommend Likeminders over sitters! A pleasure to work for and extremely professional

pinkchick1 Sat 01-Mar-14 16:57:37

I also worked for sitters and I ran a nanny agency for years as well as being a nanny. I also agree with comments above, I would never leave my child in the care of the sitters company.

They are rude, uncaring from the sitters perspective.

I actually can say, I interviewed many, many years ago. I worked very well with the company, it was then bought out in 2007 I think, don't quote me on that. I was never once re vetted from the time I started to the the time I left. I also stopped and started working for them over the years so I technically could of done anything and they would not have known.

After working in the agency industry, I realised, they work under the nanny agency guidelines, this means they are basically a data base of names, parents and child carers. This means that the parents need to be interviewing their babysitter before the babysitter looks after their child, they then need to be taking up references, preferably 3.

So basically I ask, if you were to employ a nanny for your children, would you simply call the agency, have them turn up on a Monday morning and care for your children, no references or interview, this is in effect what you are doing with this company.

Yes the child care providers may be in the profession, or may have been in the profession when they registered. But are they still, if not and why, or have nanny agencies black listed a nanny etc for a serious reason.

I won't use this company for my child ever, I won't trust her safety.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sun 02-Mar-14 01:59:40

So is Likeminders the one to go to? Any other good ones in London?

Btw would a babysitter think it was awful if the child was up when they arrived? In pjs & washed, possibly teeth done... But awake and wanting to play/ read books etc?

I loved it when I was a babysitter but I loved the children I babysat for so probably was different!y Ds sleeps late and there's no way I would be able to present the sitter with zonked out child for the evening...

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 02-Mar-14 06:40:06

Depends what time the bs arrive and age of child. But generally it is nice for child to meet bs incase they wake - so yes I'm happy to put child to bed after a story

This is an old thread but rem Reading it then - thought I did reply but often sitters threads so prob replied on another one

I won't bs through sitters as pay is rubbish and also have a 4hr minimum booking and even if use less I make clear they still pay for 4hrs updront

Pink chick1 - I'm intrigued what your old replies were that you asked to be removed then bump up old thread with a new reply

Tanith Sun 02-Mar-14 10:51:11

Blondes, the deleted message answered one of my earlier ones about their rating system with some very detailed information that I think could have identified Pinkchick. I'm guessing that's why she asked for it to be deleted.

Basically, what she said was that the rating system was calculated differently to what it said - ie, not customer satisfaction at all! My experience bore that out.

I can also confirm that they don't continue to vet their siitters: I know an ex-childminder who stopped working with children 8 years ago and is still accepting bookings.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 02-Mar-14 15:20:27

thanks tanith - im nosey lol

tho agree that sitters dont seem to vet their sitters sad

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