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Has anyone used

(10 Posts)
ratflavouredjelly Sat 08-Oct-11 15:16:21

I wondered if anyone has experience using babysitters from or similar? My husband and I never get to go out together as out families are 300 miles away and we've never trusted anyone to babysit my 2 and 4 yoz. We need some quality time together and wondered if anyone has used an agency? I'm still not sure about it though!


Lizcat Sat 08-Oct-11 16:13:33

We have used sitters and all the ladies we have had have been super all have been registered childminders, teachers or TAs.

nannynick Sat 08-Oct-11 19:06:45

How about trying to meet someone local to you instead? Then they could come to visit you before hand, get to meet your children. You could then end up using them on a regular basis, instead of calling an agency and possibly getting a different person each time.

Sites like will list details of local babysitters. It will cost to join to send those people messages but once you have found someone you no longer need to pay the fee, or per booking fee, like you do when using an agency. You just deal directly with the babysitter instead - cut out the middleman.

It has been said on here by numerous nannies/childminders that they no longer do work via Sitters as the pay they get is too low. If you are not paying an agency fees, that may enable you to give the babysitter a bit more money than they would get via an agency.

I think it depends how you would use the service. If you need someone at short notice then an agency can be good. If you can plan ahead, maybe adapt when you go out to when your babysitter is available, then using just one particular person can be better as they get to know you and your children, thus your children are happier to be left and you feel more secure knowing they are well cared for by someone you know.

ratflavouredjelly Sat 08-Oct-11 20:54:33

Lizcat & Nannynick thanks for both replies. That's really encouraging that some ladies are nannies, childminders, teachers etc. In which case they deserve more pay anyway IMO. I'm going to look into both recommendations. I have friends round here but don't like to ask them as they've got shall kids too. I might also ask my childminder if she can recommend anyone local. As I would like to get the same person regularly and get to know them. That's the downside I guess of families no longer living in the same communities.

madwomanintheattic Sat 08-Oct-11 21:01:43

we used sitters a lot. it means you can ask for specific sitters once you get to know them, and also tag the ones you don't like so they don't book them for you. it's also far less emotionally taxing than dealing with the 'how many people do i owe a favour to' thing and i hate asking people for help. blush so the impersonal use of tinternet to book instead of calling someone specific to ask if they are available suited me! (i would hate people to think they had to say yes to help me out etc)

they are great for last minute sitting needs and always managed to help me out of a fix if dh was away etc.

hadn't heard the low pay thing before - the sitters we used seemed happy enough, and were obviously long term employees.

nannynick Sat 08-Oct-11 21:05:10

Asking your childminder if they know of anyone is a great idea. They may even do occasional babysitting themselves.

I think with sitters you can choose to overpay, as you are giving the money directly to the babysitter. The membership fee and booking fee are paid via credit card direct to sitters.

Look into the various options. You could even advertise in a local shop (if they have an ads board) to see if anyone local gets in touch. Word of mouth and shop ads is how people used to find babysitters before the internet. There were also babysitting circles - friends babysitting for each other. Those still exist sometimes, my local church has some sort of thing like that where parents who know each other through church babysit for each other.

When using an agency the babysitter may not always be a lady. Sex discrimination act applies, though I do wonder how many men they have on their books. I'm a bloke (in case you are new to the board, or if you have been around a while and hadn't realised by now) and I work as a nanny caring for young children - babies, toddlers and school aged.
If you hire someone directly, you get more control as you make the choice as to who you have care for your children.

orienteerer Sat 08-Oct-11 21:09:24

Yes, have used them once (likewise have no family within 250 miles). It was therefore a "blind" sitting. Worked absolutely fine, admit I have cancelled subscription but not because I had a problem with Sitters, simply because I not used them enough to justify monthly/quarterly charge.

ChitChattingWithKids Sat 08-Oct-11 23:49:53

I tried using Sitters for a daytime job, and after 2 weeks had no reply - they were still 'contacting people'. So I gave up!!!

I joined and contacted loads of people who were interested in babysitting. Not that many replied, but the ones that did were good. Some were nannies, others CMs and one was an Infant School teacher. I now have several babysitters who I use regularly. The Infant School teachers is particularly brilliant because she is capable of doing an earlier mid-week start compared to CMs or nannies.

The only problem that I found with is that if you type your postcode in it's not particularly accurate as to which people are closest to you- gave the details of people who were miles further than the nearest town. I now type in the name of try the closest town name first, and then tried the postcode. (Richard, if you're reading this feel free to PM me and I will give you the specific postcode/town name where this has happened!!!)

For the day-time jobs I posted/looked on Netmums and found a few people who were able to cover a few daytime sessions.

kitya Sun 09-Oct-11 00:00:27

what area are you in?

electra Sun 09-Oct-11 00:12:48

I've used them and found them very good, generally. Occasionally we'd get a bossy one who asked lots of nosy questions but I just stuck with the people we got on with best.

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