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Child-free wedding at opposite end of the country. How do you find great childcare?

(22 Posts)
BranchingOut Tue 16-Aug-11 15:33:26

What's the best way to go about finding someone to look after our soon-to-be 2 year old son for a day when we go to a wedding next year. It would need to be someone willing to do so in a hotel or self-catering setting.

I would really want a trained/professional nanny, rather than a student or inexperienced sitter. How would i find them?

boombangabang Tue 16-Aug-11 15:50:23

where is it?

PaulaMummyKnowsBest Tue 16-Aug-11 16:34:41

if you tell us where you need the help, someone from here may be able to help

Bramshott Tue 16-Aug-11 16:45:34


afishcalledmummy Tue 16-Aug-11 16:47:22

If he's nearly two why not leave him with someone at home and have an adult weekend away? I babysat for my nephew when he was about 18 months old for a night when he was excluded from a wedding - we had a great time together and my sister and her DH had a wonderful child-free weekend.

Strix Tue 16-Aug-11 17:43:35

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 16-Aug-11 18:04:31

often there is a nanny/cm on here who is in the right area

look on netmums/nannyjob under

ask the hotel you are staying in, often they have regular babysitters they use/recommend

contact local agencies in the area

Namechangeoshame Tue 16-Aug-11 18:11:40

I went to an agency - Sitters I think, the girl they sent was absolutely fine.
The one problem was that when I discussed it with the hotel I was about to book the hotelier was shocked and scared by the entire idea that I would be letting in a STRANGER to look after my child in her hotel.
So we went to the Hilton instead, which was a crap room but able to cope with the concept of babysitting.

Danthe4th Tue 16-Aug-11 19:40:20

I babysit in hotels and for weddings, I am known to the hotels I work in and I usually get the work through the wedding planner as they usually work with the hotels. Loads of agencies up and down the country.

BranchingOut Tue 16-Aug-11 22:15:34

Thanks - lots of good ideas.

The wedding is 5+ hrs away, so we would really need to spend two nights away if we left him at home. One would be ok - not sure about two.

I won't give location for now, but will probably definitely be on here asking for recommendations closer to the time!

I get the impression that 'sitters' is more for a person who sits downstairs while children are slumbering, whereas I would probably want someone to look after him from 1pm ish to night time. Assume it is an afternoon wedding - don't know the timetable for the day yet.

When people say 'agencies' do they just mean straightforward nanny agencies?

nannyl Wed 17-Aug-11 09:05:09

Most people who are registered with sitters are nannies or CMs or other childcare proffessionals who DO care for children all day everyday, or thereabouts. So while is normally evening baby sitting, it can be putting them to bed etc etc and if in daytime hours doing daytime stuff

However the pay is so rubbish, I personally wouldnt do daytime bookings from them, especially a day at the weekend!!!!
Personally Id rather leave my toddler somewhere where they are familiar (ie at home or grandparents / aunts home etc) with a familiar person, who already knows them and their routine, than drive half way across the country, and leave them with a complete stranger on some hotel room or B&B etc...
I imagine the former would be much easier for a toddler to cope with too....

Why not leave him for 2 nights? Im sure he will be fine!!!!!

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 17-Aug-11 09:12:43

toddlers adapt - i do many wedding creches/babysits/all dayers and 99% of children been fine

i have one this saturday as well as 2 in sept - a lot of my work is through an agency but also this castle where the 2 in sept are know me as reconmend me through the agency to their guests

it does help if your child is used to being away from you, did have one child last year that was a screamer as NEVER been away from his mum and she stuck him in a creche i was doing and all he did was scream and made his self sick plus we had 4 other babies to look after between the 3 of us so in the end had to get mum back

BranchingOut Wed 17-Aug-11 09:58:14

He would be used to being away from us - but I also think it is quite justifiable not to want to be away from him for two nights. smile

That creche/baby situation is exactly what I want to avoid - poor baby. I am quite happy to pay for someone wonderful/very experienced, but just need to work out how to get them.

I may well be on here stalking some of you for babysitting next summer!

pollywollyhadadollycalledmolly Wed 17-Aug-11 13:07:29

Not sure if any help but i'm a cm in Scotland, i do loads of babysitting, i'm also insured for it to etc smile As ive said not sure if thats any help as dont know the location :D


boombangabang Wed 17-Aug-11 13:34:43

There are specialist hotel babysitting services who employ registered childminders and other experienced people who are all over 21, but only in certain areas as far as i know. I do know of one but without knowing the location it fairly pointless recommending it. Good luck in your search

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Wed 17-Aug-11 13:37:48

I'd leave him with gparents. As someone else said, two nights with people who he knows and loves is better than a day with a nanny who however great they might be, will be a complete stranger to him. But that's just me.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 17-Aug-11 17:32:53

totally understand why you dont want to leave dc for 2 nights smile

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

Mandy21 Thu 18-Aug-11 09:57:30

We did this earlier in the year when my sister got married. It was going to be the first time that we left our DC with complete strangers - had left them before with grandparents / very good friends but had never left them with a stranger before and so did not want to use agencies / some random person that didn't come with a recommendation. I asked mums at school / old university friends etc etc if they knew of anyone with children / used childcare in the area where the wedding was. As a result, I found out that one uni friend used a private nursery up the road (and some of the staff there would have babysat for us - she would have asked one of them for me) but a Mum from school had a friend who lived about a mile away who had a private nanny who did it for us. I spoke to the friend beforehand, made sure she recommended the nanny and then got in touch with the nanny. So, it was a stranger, but one that came with a personal recommendation.

One thing to be wary of though. There were a couple of other families with young children at the wedding that thought the nanny service was part of the service provided by the hotel / bridal couple for all the guests and got quite uppity when the nanny said she was only looking after my DC. If you're looking to have the nanny there from 1pm, its going to be a long day (if its the evening reception too) - you'll need to arrange food / drinks etc. We also arranged for the nanny to come 2 or 3 hours before we needed her to take the children so we could all play together at the hotel, children could get used to her before we left etc. It also helped that everything was at the same place so we could keep popping in to check and were on hand when the little one got a bit upset. Good luck - know it can be quite traumatic.

lachesis Thu 18-Aug-11 10:06:14

I'd leave him with the grandparents for 2 nights rather than a stranger for the day.

But then, I'd not go to a child-free wedding that wasn't local at all.

BranchingOut Thu 18-Aug-11 10:37:29

Thanks for input. Will see closer to the time about leaving him for two nights, though would rather not.... It also depends on GP being happy/fit/willing to do it.

Mandy21 - what you had sounds like what I am looking for. We wouldn't be staying at the wedding venue (venue is not a hotel) so hopefully no problems in terms of other guests!

diamond2101 Sat 27-Aug-11 10:53:56

You could try and look for someone from now through a babysitting/nanny agency or through word of mouth through friends/family. Perhaps you know someone who already has a regular nanny/babysitter that wouldn't mind doing this for you?

If you were to meet a babysitter sometime soon, you could start to introduce them to your child and maybe book them for some babysitting previous to the wedding to see how it all works out!

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