Note: Please bear in mind that this is a discussion board, not a place to advertise childcare vacancies or recruit childminders/nannies etc. We don't mind the odd mumsnet regular mentioning that they're looking for a job/mindee (although you're probably better off in MN Local) but repeated job "ads" and posts from nanny/babysitting agencies aren't fair to people who are paying for small business ads. Do feel free to report any you see. Thanks, MNHQ.

sitters.co.uk another thread about a thread

(79 Posts)
germyrabbit Sat 17-Nov-12 19:54:38

but was surprised to see they paid £22-27 for three hours for childcare professional babysitting

this is very cheap for qualified, mostly ofsted registered practitioners isn't it?

am a bit fed up to think that's the going rate. not really worth signing up is it

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 18-Nov-12 22:14:21

Mrs C - guess depends on area plus if lots of nannies about

On one hand sitters pay more then nmw and most of the time it's sitting on bum watching tv - compared to say working in coffee shop or maccys d's

Sitters are fab for parents - they rig and get a sitter and as below said dont worry about paying cabs etc

Saying that no parents should have to pay for the sitters transport

For nannies , not so good. They can get cancelled within 30mins and no fee - annoying if tuned down other work

CharlieCoCo Sun 18-Nov-12 22:46:59

Transport is debatable. i did a babysitting job for my friend's bosses as she couldn't do it. I got £40 for the babysitting and £30 for taxi as i wasn't local and they wanted me as i was their nanny's friend, was in London after midnight so no tubes and i wasn't about to get 2 night buses via Central London on my own on saturday night nor see why £30 out of my £40 should be paid for taxi home. They would rather pay someone they know a taxi home, than a local stranger. However, they are the exception, normally i would imagine you babysit locally grin

happychappy Sun 18-Nov-12 23:16:26

Black, if you don't use 15 years olds why? Then think about what you are actually paying for, is it the sitting watching the telly or the just in case? If its the second then perhaps youre not really appreciating what your babysitter is doing and you are paying for. Regardless, it's you're choice, just as it's mine but I wouldn't work for what you're paying to be overly tired the next day taking away precious time with my children.

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 19-Nov-12 09:43:04

Happy - I pay £7.50 an hour normally as I've said on this thread as I always round up. The 2 women I use have grown-up children so your point is not relevant to me.

And obviously I'm paying for the 'just in case' element but if I was using a local teenager - some probing locally seems to indicate thats £5 an hour round here. So I'm paying 50% more than that.

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 19-Nov-12 09:44:37

Oh and 11.30 is the latest I'm ever back as you know have my own small children to get up with.

If I was out until 2am I can see it would be reasonable to pay more smile

happychappy Mon 19-Nov-12 12:11:03

That being my point, it's all relative. If you always round up and are home relatively early and your kids never wake but thats you not everyone. My daughter wants some babysitting work she's 15 with lots of experience with children and I said £5 was reasonable.

Tanith Mon 19-Nov-12 13:20:56

When working for Sitters, I've had to cook tea, bath and get the children to bed. I've had to deal with power cuts and terrified children, teething babies, kids who can't/won't sleep, vomiting bugs, undisclosed special needs (autism, ADHD), sleepover parties, defiant and rude kids, unfriendly dogs. Then there's the parents: late, rude, quibbling over payment, insisting I don't use their courtyard so I had to walk through woodland in the pitch dark. The pay in no way covers all this. I'd rather be putting my own kids to bed than having abuse screamed at me by a spoiled child who thinks I'm her servant.

Not all of them, I'll grant you. Some do have their delightful kids ready for bed and they're beautifully behaved.
Some of the parents are lovely. They became regular bookings.
The point is, you never know unless you've sat for the family before, and even then the unexpected can happen.

Sitters couldn't give a damn about the people working for them. They don't check out their clients at all. They refuse to introduce basic safety checks and try to prevent us from taking safety precautions ourselves. If we have to cancel, it goes on our record and affects future bookings offered; if the client cancels, tough.

I don't work for them any more. Less hassle, more payment and no membership fee for the client to pay, too.

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 19-Nov-12 14:28:51

God Tanith - cooking supper etc is so out of order. The reason I used them initially is because I live rurally so its very hard to find babysitters and have no family nearby.

Can you feedback to sitters re. unreasonable people?

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 19-Nov-12 15:50:46

mrs c - place an ad on netmums under childcare board asking for a babysitter/any local nannies/cm about

or have a look on the site and message those that advertise to see if they would do babysitting

costs nothing smile

Victoria2002 Tue 20-Nov-12 00:05:49

Some of the babysitters provided by this agency may be earning something similar in the day as a ta or nursery worker, they are qualified child care professionals.

Mosman Fri 23-Nov-12 14:12:00

I was babysitting at 15 for a fiver per night and thought it was brilliant.
I pay £20 per night these days to the girl next door, you don't need a nanny to babysit just somebody who can use a phone in an emergency

pinkchick1 Sun 25-Nov-12 09:03:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

minderjinx Sun 25-Nov-12 09:20:06

I understand your concerns Pinkchick, but to be fair it is obvious that a lot of people would use a local teenager or somebody advertising in the local newsagent, with no background checks or references and no first aid training or other qualifications, so you could argue that limited checks by Sitters are a step up from that. Also the new(ish) enhanced CRBs don't go out of date - they are on a central system and can be revoked or whatever the correct term is if there are subsequent offences or even concerns.

Mosman Sun 25-Nov-12 09:32:02

C r b's are out of date the next day and to be honest they only tell me the person hasn't been caught yet if they are of a mind to be a criminal.
I think you have to go with your instincts and you can tell a lot by getting the sitter arrive half an hour before you leave the house and watch them with the children. I'd also never leave a non verbal child with anyone I didn't know.

pinkchick1 Sun 25-Nov-12 09:38:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pinkchick1 Sun 25-Nov-12 09:50:22

@ minderjinx, I would happily use an individual from an advert or from childcare.co.uk or nannyjob.co.uk. I would simply vet them myself and as they were my own sitter, I can pay them to spend time with my children before I leave, I actually have 2 regular babysitters, I vetted them both myself, they both have written references, first aid, up to date CRB checks. I have seen written references and taken verbal references, I also have looked at all their qualifications and experience myself.

minderjinx Sun 25-Nov-12 12:06:28

I'm not disagreeing that a parent would be wise to make their own checks. Nor am I suggesting that Sitters is the way to go for most parents, but I do think some level of checking is better than none, and generally speaking that using a childcare practitioner is better than a local teenager or other unqualified and inexperienced individual. I think clarifying that the company offers an introduction service rather than a recruitment service is a useful distinction.

minderjinx Sun 25-Nov-12 12:09:55

I also don't think anyone should be unduly complacent about using a nanny agency either - there are some disreputable and negligent ones out there as many nannies and parents on here have testified.

pinkchick1 Sun 25-Nov-12 12:25:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scrablet Sun 25-Nov-12 12:51:04

Just like to add, however, despite being a qualified, certified, working teacher, Sitters did ask me for NEW CRB check.(Only last year) and really, how often do you want these checks done? They cost a lot (I had to cover the cost) and they really are only valid on day they are issued...like an MOT [sad}

pinkchick1 Sun 25-Nov-12 13:15:18

@ scrablet, you are self employed working for sitters, you are bound under self employment law to pay for everything and then put it threw your tax return at the end of the year. You CRB should be free if you do this, it would be classed as income and lower your tax, also you can put petrol costs threw to and from the sit as that lowers your tax also. If you ask inland revenue about the benefit side, if you have another job, say a nanny, you can then be part employed and part self employed.

BackforGood Sun 25-Nov-12 13:20:20

Think being, most of the (qualified in childcare up to Level 3) girls who work through the day in day nurseries, are doing so for £6.19 an hour, to look after up to 8 pre-school children (3 if they are all babies, or 4 if inbetween) all day, whilst they are all awake and active.
I'd have thought your average 2 - 3 child household, where mostly the children are likely to be asleep for most of the time, would be pretty easy in comparison. No Learning Journals to write or obeservations to do either smile.
If they were not planning to go out otherwise, then sitting on someone else's sofa watching a bit of TV, or reading or whatever rather than their own, is easy money for them. When I was paying babysitters (always local teens), then I'd round up a bit or add some on top if they'd had to do extra.... never happened to me, but as someone said above, if a child had been sick...., but generally it's a minimum wage job.
Not sure why you are protesting about it so much OP - if you don't want the work, then don't do it. Simples.

pinkchick1 Sun 25-Nov-12 13:32:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BackforGood Sun 25-Nov-12 13:47:20

Sorry Pink - I was replying to the OP, not you. Indded, I x-posted with you smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 25-Nov-12 14:30:52

pink - I am a bit hmm about CRB checks, because they only tell you about that person up to the current date.

I pay extra for a new babysitter through sitters to be here for half an hour before we go out so that I can make sure the boys are comfortable with them, and that I feel comfortable leaving them with them.
I would rather use sitters than employ a local teenager with no experience of looking after preschoolers.

I think you are over thinking it with your scaremongering really. Of course I would approach hiring a nanny or choosing a childminder in a different way, because I would want them to provide a nurturing, educational environment for my child, and they would be spending a lot of time with them.
Half an hour before bedtime to read a few stories and get them a drink of water if they wake up is not the same at all.

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