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(10 Posts)
Audreyhelp Mon 02-May-16 15:31:27

Thinking of joining sitters wondering if anyone on here works for them. Or is it better to advertise for sitting on childcare ? Thanks

badgerhead Mon 02-May-16 18:22:15

I sit for them & have done for several years. However, I also have a few private regular bookings as well. With Sitters you can pick & choose when you want to sit, how far you want to travel etc. The payment rates can be poor, especially if you factor in travelling time to the booking. I tend to restrict my travelling time to no more than 30 minutes although will go up to 40 minutes if the booking is for a decent length of time. Where I live most of the bookings I am offered are in postcodes which pay at a slightly higher rate, but I am offered some in a different postcode where the rate is lower & as those tend to be on the further distance to what I am prepared to travel so I won't accept those because it isn't financially worth me doing them.

Audreyhelp Tue 03-May-16 07:44:46

Thanks badger head , do you have to do lots of sits ?
I can't do any in August would they be ok with that ? Can't seem to find on website how many you need to do a month.

bump6 Fri 06-May-16 19:19:06

Sitters say it doesn't matter how many bookings that you accept. This is not true.
in my experience I have accepted the same amount as friends who also sit. But for some reason is an issue for me & not them.
It's also ok for parents to cancel/change details with few hours notice but not for the people who are sitting.
Sitters will always get there £4 booking fee.
The sitters themselves will get nothing.
It would seem to me that sitters are happy to take the yearly fees and booking fees for parents & not care too much about the people that actually do the work.
You receive emails offering potential sits, the distance is done in a straight line, so might say 12 miles which in reality can be as much as 20 or more miles... Which for a 3/4 hr sit really isn't worth doing.
Sitters say you can ask parents for fuel(via sitters) this is completely untrue.
You are expected to reply to the emails and do have option of saying for travel reasons you can't accept.
However in reality you don't always check your emails or have time to go through 20 to state your reasons.
If you get local sits then it's really good if you like the family you will be asked again if they liked you.
I would suggest that you call sitters and ask them directly. Also note who you spoke with.
Good luck

RattieOfCatan Fri 06-May-16 20:22:58

I applied for sitters, didn't end up working for them but I was told a lot about how they work by their local rep. You can't pick and choose your jobs, my area had a text alert and you had to respond to every alert within a certain amount of time and you could only turn down a certain amount out of every ten you were contacted about. Not sure if she was trying to keep a well oiled ship or if you'd actually get dropped from the books but it was helpful to know that before I'd signed up! It wouldn't have worked for me in the long run. It was a popular service in my area and I was told to expect at least one job a week, possibly more. They seem to go through sitters quickly here and it doesn't surprise me.

I live in an expensive SE city but it only qualified for the lesser rate, so a three hour booking wouldn't be worth anything once you'd paid for parking or a bus to get to the job (think it was £6.50ph). I know that the area had an issue with people booking longer slots but only being out for a few hours just to guarantee a sitter taking the job. You wouldn't be paid the full booking even if they did return early.

Families can ask for you specifically but they will still share the message with everybody else in the books so if you don't respond first you will lose out on it.

My employers use sitters when I can't babysit or one of their others cannot sit, they have mostly been happy but they get annoyed by the random sitters being sent sometimes, on a few occasions they've contacted their preferred sitter first to check that she's available but when they've tried to book her through sitters (as they aren't supposed to book her directly) she's never been sent the text and they've been told that she's unavailable.

I'm relocating later in the year and am planning to sign back up to it then as the new area is much cheaper to live in and get around, but if you live in an expensive area or an area plagued by parking restrictions or bad traffic I'd think very carefully about whether it's worth it.

Audreyhelp Fri 06-May-16 21:02:41

But surely you couldn't respond all the time ? I work and not allowed to be on my phone.
Could I not say that I only want to work in a ten mile radius ?
Think after reading the above I will try another agency .
I have a gas guzzler so would only go as far as ten miles if they offer no petrol money .

bump6 Fri 06-May-16 21:30:15

It would seem if you say you are available then you should be checking all the time..
As you say this is unrealistic.
Think they need to re think how they measure there distances and like you say you can stipulate how far you are prepared to travel.

RattieOfCatan Sat 07-May-16 07:30:12

audrey I'm not sure, my local rep gave me the impression that you couldn't pick and choose areas, but she said nothing about radius. Most of my city is within a ten mile radius to me but there are certain parts that I wouldn't be able to drive to (literally no parking, non-resident spaces taken up extremely quickly) and would have taken me well over an hour on the bus, she told me that on those occasions I would have to use taxis or have my husband drop me off, despite taxis costing more than the amount I'd be paid hmm Again, could just be the area I'm in or it could just be her trying to keep a well oiled ship, but it did feel like she wasn't bothered by what she saw as "excuses" to get out of some of the jobs.

But it wouldn't be an issue in the area I'm moving to which is partially why I'll sign back up. That and the money goes further there, so a 3hr stint won't be an issue.

It's worth checking out your local family information service, I've got loads of work from my local FIS and there's no obligation. Nannying, creche work, babysitting and some work covering childcare for social services meetings. You do have to be Ofsted Registered though. My details are on a local database that parents have free access too. I've had some enquiries from MN local as well.

Yerazig Sat 07-May-16 10:41:33

I've been offered jobs that are literally about 20 miles away I'm based in London. Sitters give you a 3 point scoring. If you don't accept like 1 in 20 booking your score will get lower and lower. What I don't understand the pay is so low it should just be used as "pocket money " so surely you would too busy at a proper job to be checking your sitters account every minute. As you literally have about 30secs to accept a job.

Audreyhelp Sat 07-May-16 20:08:57

Thanks ladies all been a big help.
Think I will try and getting babysitting another way .
Sounds like they are all for the clients and not the sitters. As I want all of August off, will try the other places first.
Really silly that you get scored as two a month is better than none a month.

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