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Should I pay my babysitter more money in emergencies?

(31 Posts)
Kitoma Mon 25-Sep-17 13:30:56

My partner and I are both working full time, our baby is 14 months and in the nursery from 8 to 6. He gets sick a lot and sometimes we have to work late. We have a babysitter but she’s often not available when we need her. I think my kid is starting to prefer familiar faces, so don’t want to get a new sitter each time.
Should I offer my sitter more money to come and sit my child in an emergency, if she’s not available? How much more should I give? What if she’s going to take advantage of me the next time? so confused!

nannynick Mon 25-Sep-17 13:47:15

If your babysitter is not available, how will offering to pay them more help?

Allthebestnamesareused Mon 25-Sep-17 13:56:02

If she is not available why will she suddenly be available because there is more money?

I'd look for alternative sitters and ensure your child gets to know a few (maybe 3) so you have backups to call on if need be.

WheresTheEvidence Mon 25-Sep-17 14:00:14

But she's not available - probably because she's at work

Kitoma Mon 25-Sep-17 14:11:28

my sitter is a student, so i'm hoping that if I offer her more money she'd skip a class or something. Do you think that would work?

MrsWooster Mon 25-Sep-17 14:12:38


TiramisuQueenoftheFaeries Mon 25-Sep-17 14:14:35

I think that'd be a pretty unfair thing to do to her tbh. If you frequently need last minute "out of hours" care and you want someone consistent, I think you should find someone specifically for that rather than putting pressure on your babysitter to deprioritise her education.

Ginfernal Mon 25-Sep-17 14:16:17

Don't encourage a student to miss classes!! That's horrid!

BritInUS1 Mon 25-Sep-17 14:20:06

No ! You shouldn't ask her to cut classes to babysit for you. Find someone else

Kitoma Mon 25-Sep-17 14:28:05

Thanks for responses. So do you all have more than one sitter for these type of situations? what's the ideal number?

INeedNewShoes Mon 25-Sep-17 14:31:33

Why don't you get a full time nanny if you want your child to have as few caregivers as possible.

Having said that, I'd hate to work for the kind of person who thought it was appropriate to bribe a student out their classes.

Kitoma Mon 25-Sep-17 14:36:13

Hey, just to be clear I'm not forcing my sitter to cut class! Just wandering if my kid is too sick to go the nursery and I'm desperate for some help and can't get any, if more money would help to change their minds.

Kitoma Mon 25-Sep-17 14:38:51

And it may not be class, but other plans. Like hanging out with friends or going shopping.

TiramisuQueenoftheFaeries Mon 25-Sep-17 14:40:34

Well, it's possible that it might, but it's a shitty choice to give to a student. You need to look beyond your own wants and needs a bit here.

If you want one flexible, available-at-short-notice carer then you need to pay for a nanny or find a nanny share. Emergency care is always possible but it costs extra and you have to take whoever's free. If this is a regular thing for you then a casual babysitter doesn't fit your needs.

Migraleve Mon 25-Sep-17 14:46:44

So do you all have more than one sitter for these type of situations?. I have never is d a sitter for a sick child. If any of mine are ill then either DH or I will go home.

ZaphodBeeblerox Mon 25-Sep-17 14:46:49

A babysitter is typically for planned nights out etc right? Not for ad-hoc childcare when your kid is sick. You might be better off pulling your child out of nursery and getting a nanny or a nanny-share. Our friends ended up doing that after their DS kept getting repeated infections and falling ill in nursery - just doesn't seem to suit some kids.

It is feasible to fix the problem by throwing more money at it. Just not via a babysitter. But you're probably going to get slated a bit since most of us don't have the extra cash lying around to throw at this problem and are likely to feel jealous.

Migraleve Mon 25-Sep-17 14:46:58


martellandginger Mon 25-Sep-17 14:49:43

You want to get a babysitter that sits at home waiting for you to ring with a job? You might need to re think your needs.

ZaphodBeeblerox Mon 25-Sep-17 14:52:54

Also, it'll be a lot less inconvenient to ask someone to extend their hours from 8-6 to 8-7 on one day if your DS is sick. Much more disruptive to randomly ask them to show up 6-7 one evening because your DS is sick.

Can you ask any of your DS' nursery staff if they might do some child minding after hours if that's allowed by the nursery?

TiramisuQueenoftheFaeries Mon 25-Sep-17 14:55:21

ou're probably going to get slated a bit since most of us don't have the extra cash lying around to throw at this problem and are likely to feel jealous.

I don't really think that's it - I do have a nanny share and it's in part because it solves the issue of not being able to send a sick child to nursery. But regular, last-minute evening care is a different proposition again - my nanny is very flexible and we explicitly discussed the question of evening babysitting but we still use it very rarely without prearrangement because it's a big imposition and if it's going to happen often needs to be explicitly contracted for.

Money can indeed solve many problems but I would suggest that OP needs to take into account that she is asking quite a lot of a child carer. I think she should get a nanny and either be prepared to pay that nanny over the odds for, say, 2 last minute evenings a week, or also have a short-notice babysitter that she pays over the odds to accept that kind of unpredictability. Because it's a bugger to ask of someone. It prevents them being able to reliably plan their own time at all. And nannies do long days as it is, so asking one to do a 14+ hour day is asking a lot.

ZaphodBeeblerox Mon 25-Sep-17 14:59:26

Yeah, didn't mean that bit too seriously, and I agree with you Tiramisu.

It's funny isn't it to sometimes run into things that money can't actually buy. I haven't given these much thought because a nanny would be unaffordable for us - so we just plan to tweak our hours and working days etc to accommodate nursery pick up / drop off etc. I just vaguely assumed that someone able to afford a nanny would not need to do any of the advance planning / running home from work at 4.50 on the dot etc that we'd have to. But thinking about it, of course one would!

Runlovingmummy81 Mon 25-Sep-17 15:02:54

Maybe at 14 months old your baby wants their mother or father of they are sick. 8 to 6 every day is a long time to be at nursery, especially with all the bugs that go round. My step son does this and it's heartbreaking. His mother would rather he was there than with family.

Maybe speak to work and see if they can be more flexible with using hours for annual leave or working from home?

TiramisuQueenoftheFaeries Mon 25-Sep-17 15:08:24

I mean, a nanny does help with that stuff! If you have your own you don't have to go elsewhere for dropoff/pickup and you don't have to take time off for sick children. But yes you absolutely still have to get home on time for pickup. It is a benefit though that with pre-arrangement and agreement our nanny will take my DC home and put him to bed. But if I were regularly calling to say I wouldn't make pickup, I would expect to be having to pay her well above the average to tolerate that kind of uncertainty and long days. Very occasionally when I've been ill and DH can't make pickup in time we've paid her an extra hour to take DC home and put him to bed.

My nanny share costs broadly the same as nursery but of course a lot depends on market rates in your area and the family you are sharing with. I also still have to do pickup and dropoff most days as it's hosted at the other family's home.

ZaphodBeeblerox Mon 25-Sep-17 15:19:51

Yeah, there's a large difference in costs the last time I checked. Also because the nursery is subsidised by DH's workplace so it's pre-tax, which makes it a lot more affordable. But on the flipside my work is extremely flexible, so we don't really need the kind of flexibility from childcare that others might.

Anyway, not meaning to derail OPs thread. Hopefully s/he finds a solution that works!

Scrumptiousbears Mon 25-Sep-17 15:49:06

If my kids are sick I or my partner leave work and stay home with them.

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