Babysitters

(21 Posts)
Capricorn Mon 26-Mar-01 20:07:56

Can anyone please provide the internet address that was mentioned earlier for babysitters. I would like to check it out. How safe do you reckon the site is and are references available also.
One other thing I wish to know is how much is the going rate for sitters these days? Are there different rates for weekends and weekdays. I was considering around £3.00 an hour, it not an official job as such so no tax and national insurance is paid. It therefore just under minimum wage. Is it wise to draw up a contract with the sitter?
For those of you who have used babysitting organisations, what are your experiences and those of the children and what exactly are the sitters responsible for doing apart from the obvious?

Ems Mon 26-Mar-01 20:42:34

The only difference in rate I know of is if you are back after midnight, then it goes up slightly. All depends on where you live etc. Sorry cant be of help on the other questions (we pay £4 per hour).

Janem Mon 26-Mar-01 23:03:03

Hi Capricorn, Childminders is at
http://www.babysitter.co.uk/

They say they do reference checks, but I've never used them personally so can't comment on whether they live up to what they promise on their site.

Bugsy Tue 27-Mar-01 10:22:53

Capricorn, I don't know where you live but if you are in London or its nearby counties you may need to revise your rate. We pay our babysitter £5 per hour. I have never heard of drawing up a contract with a babysitter but possibly if you use an agency babysitter you may need to. Is there any chance you could get a recommendation from someone you know locally?

Viv Thu 29-Mar-01 20:18:55

Capricorn,

We live outside London (Hampshire) and pay £4.00 an hour to a wonderful girl who used to work at my daughters nursery and whom she adores. We take comfort from the fact that although young she does have proper childcare qualifications.
Have you tried approaching local nurseries to see if any of their staff would like to supplement their income by babysitting, I know most of the younger staff at our nursery welcome the extra cash as sadly as we all know childcare work does not pay well.
Good luck in the search.

Babynick Thu 12-Apr-01 21:58:27

Hello all, first time poster here.

SORRY... THIS IS LONG - BUT WORTH READING, IN MY OPINION.

Discussions on what rate to pay a babysitter always produces interesting replies, and is great to read.

Rates of pay vary throught the country... they also vary depeding on what age babysitter you want, what experience you want them to have, and what 'perks' you are going to provide them.

For instance, when I first started babysitting, back in the late 80's... I used to charge £1.50 an hour - at the time I lived in North-East Hampshire, not far from an Army base. I was then aged 13, totally inexperienced, and lack any qualification whatsoever.

As the years went by... I became more experienced and obtained some qualifications - such as in First Aid. I also did voluntary work at a playgroup and Mother & Toddler group, thus gaining vital experience, as well as getting to know children and their parents who were subequently to become 'clients'.

Now that I had experience, and a qualification - I could charge more. I was also older and thus parents were more confident to leave their children in my care. Thus, rates increased to £2 per hous in the early 90s.

All the while, I had my own transport - a pushbike - and I never objected to being out late, and would even stay overnight if required. Thus, I had many 'clients' - parents like you, who needed the vital babysitting service I provided.

As the years went by, I became NNEB qualified, got a car, and in the late 90's rates increased.
Now in 2001, I work for a select few parents, and don't have set rates - I get paid what they want to pay me. Most will pay somewhere between £4 and £7 per hour.

While money is an important consideration a parent needs to make, many of my current 'clients' have been with me for many many years - I have cared for their children since they were babies, and continue doing so now that the children have started school. Consistancy is vital - you don't want to have a different babysitter each time you leave your children... you want the same babysitter - and finding the ideal babysitter is very hard.

>We live outside London (Hampshire) and pay £4.00 an hour to a wonderful girl who used to work at my daughters nursery and whom she adores.

The key bit here is that your daughter adores her babysitter. It is very important that children like the person caring for them. £4 an hour does not seem a high price to me to pay... and for it you are getting most likely an NNEB qualified carer, who you daughter loves.

>Have you tried approaching local nurseries to see if any of their staff would like to supplement their income by babysitting,

This is often a good way of finding a babysitter. Many nursery staff are under-paid and seek extra work to suplement their income.

>The only difference in rate I know of is if you are back after midnight, then it goes up slightly.

I don't change my rate personally... after all - how many children are still awake at Midnight!
The time when a babysitter should get paid the most, is when they are Entertaining the child, Teaching the child (for example, if children I care for have their own swimming pool - and some do - then I will teach them to swim), Putting the child to Bed. When children are in bed, asleep, that is when babysitters are getting a good rate of pay.

>How safe do you reckon the site is and are references available also.

It is always hard to tell if a babysitter from an agency will be any good or not. After all, you are asking someone else to do the checking for you. A downside of using an agency is that you may not always get the same babysitter each time.
Generally most agencies will check employees as best they can - but YOU SHOULD still ask to see references and qualifications of those babysitters you employ.

>Is it wise to draw up a contract with the sitter?

Contracts can be useful on occasion, for example if you are wanting the babysitter to collect your child say once a week from school - you don't want the babysitter leaving your employment part way through a school term. Generally however, I find that contracts are not needed - as an informal agreement works well.

>what exactly are the sitters responsible for doing apart from the obvious?

A babysitter should be only be responsible for the obvious - the care and well being of your child. They are also responsbible for your home and it's contents.

A babysitter should not do things such as the Ironing, Household Cleaning, Gardening etc. However, they should tidy up any activities they do with the child.

>I saw Sitters advertising in something recently, perhaps an NCT mag. They apparently use local childminders.

Sitters do indeed advertise in the NCT mag, and many local edtions of the NCT newsletters.

* If you don't know what the NCT is, email me. *

Sitters claim to use Childminders, Nursery Nurses and other childcare professionals. However, they have never replied to any of my emails regarding if I can work for them - may be it's because I'm male (hmm... I wonder!).

Imogen wrote:
1 Put an ad in the local paper or college if you have no personal recommendation.
2 Make sure that the children and potential babysitter have time to get to know each other. Don't be afraid to hire a man.
3 Offer bed and breakfast.

I like you Imogen... Don't be afraid to hire a man - I don't think any of my clients have regretted it!

Always interview a babysitter - have them come over for a coffee and a chat, it's not like a real job interview. It's important that you observer how they interact with your children, see if your children like them or not. Even if you have a very young baby, still get the babysitter to come over - get them to hold the baby, watch how you baby reacts... but don't be too put off if your baby crys for you - that is natural, but should cease if you are in eye contact distance.

Well... getting rather long... so if anyone does want to ask any questions off the board - please do not hesitate to contact me. I've been babysitting for over 10 years!

Nick
nick@childsitters.com

Susiet Tue 14-Aug-01 12:19:06

Has anyone tried Babysitting Circle - you can access their website through the mumsnet web guide (under childcare). I have set up a new babysitting circle for Bedford using this service, but as yet have no other members. I would love to hear from anyone else who has used this service - has it worked well for you?

Look forward to hearing from you

emsiewill Sat 23-Mar-02 11:39:48

Just need a quick update - we're going out tonight, and for the first time are using a "for money" babysitter, rather than "for love" (ie grandparents, aunts, etc".
Bearing in mind we live in South Wales, the woman is a work colleague of mine, and the girls will probably be in bed for most of the time, do you think that £4 per hour is a reasonable rate (plus taxi fare if necessary)? As I work with her (well, the same company, but not directly with her), I don't want to embarrass us/her by offering too much/too little. And I want her to come back!

WideWebWitch Sat 23-Mar-02 12:49:59

I think it sounds ok given that you are not in the South East and that she will probably have an easy quiet night. You could try asking her what she expects and see what she says before you go out.

star Sat 23-Mar-02 13:23:19

I think that sounds enough to me,for her age. I wouldn't want to pay any more than that for a sitter. We pay 3.50 an hour for ours and she is fifteen. My friend thinks that is extortionate by the way but I think it's worth it for an occasinal night out. Have fun tonight

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now