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Babysitter etiquette - help me to make sure I don't go wrong!

(19 Posts)
MaximumVolume Tue 15-Nov-16 06:02:17

I've booked a babysitter for the first time ever for Friday night, so that DH & I can go to the cinema about 20 minutes' walk away. It will be only our 4th night out together since DS1 was born over 4 years ago; family, though lovely, just aren't bothered/able to help out in this way much. It's DH's birthday, which spurred me into actually organising this.

The babysitter is DS2's lovely key worker from nursery.

We've agreed a rate per hour & that I will leave a supermarket pizza and snacks as she won't have time to eat between work & starting with us.

The film finishes at around half-ten so I'm planning that we'll be back around 11.

When discussing where the house is, she mentioned her Dad dropping her off, so I assume she doesn't drive/have her own car (not something I have needed to know before!). She's 21 & lives at home.

So, whose responsibility is her journey home? I suspect at that time a taxi would be at least £15-20, so a good portion of her earnings unless I offer to pay (which I would do, but it would make me think twice about using her again, as I'd end up spending £60 quid on babysitting for a cinema trip!).

I don't particularly want to drive her home; not my idea of a relaxing night to have a 40min round-trip at the end, not to mention that I wouldn't be able to have a glass of wine, & DH would have to stay with the kids, so our night our together would end not together. Again, I will do this if necessary to make sure she's safe.

Or maybe she's arranged for her Dad to come & pick her up, which seems harsh on him, but maybe he's happy to do it for her to help her earn extra cash!

Please set me on the right course: what's expected?

JeanGenie23 Tue 15-Nov-16 06:05:41

Well I do some extra work through a babysitting agency and their guidelines say that if public transport can't be used because of the time then a taxi should be provided.

She is 21 she should be able to arrange her own way home. You said you will be back about 11 it's not like it's 1am!

MaximumVolume Tue 15-Nov-16 06:12:45

Do I need to ask her how she's getting home?

To be clear, this is coming from me. She hasn't put any expectations on me except for the hourly rate, which I asked about. I realised that coming for 7pm she wouldn't go home first after work, so offered to get the food in, and she gratefully accepted.

I come from a long line of overthinkers so I need a sense check! At the same age I used to walk home from my student job in a pub at midnight, but I'd rather be on the kinder side (without being a total pushover about it)!

sianihedgehog Tue 15-Nov-16 06:17:24

I would expect to be driven home or to have a taxi provided in this situation. Perhaps see if a local minicab company is cheaper and book ahead?

JeanGenie23 Tue 15-Nov-16 06:22:33

By all means ask but (and maybe I am being a bit mean) I don't think it's your responsibility to get a 21yr old home at 11pm, (would be different if it was after midnight) if she can't get back she shouldn't have accepted the babysitting job.

If she does say that she doesn't know how she is going to get back, could you point her in the direction of a bus? You mention the price of a taxi, are you sure it would cost that much for a 20minute journey?

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Tue 15-Nov-16 07:11:51

Check with her. When I used to babysit as a teen I made my own way home or my Dad picked me up. Generally people were out for a beer so they couldn't drive me themselves, in fact I never had a lift or a taxi!

At 21 I'd expect her to have made plans, but check today and if needs be, cost up a taxi journey.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 15-Nov-16 07:13:23

She's 21. Not your responsibitly to get her home. She needs to work out her own way whether bus - dads cabs - etc

cookieswirls Tue 15-Nov-16 07:26:03

You really just need to ask her but like you said she hasn't said she expects you take her home. At 21 I would hope she's arranged her own way home

curr78 Tue 15-Nov-16 07:47:54

If it was me I would message her
And just say you been thinking about her journey home ,
My eldest daughter is 19 and she is a key worker at a nursery too so often babysit for parents , she usually charges a set fee of 25 pound for a standard night 7-12 but adds a five pound an hour after midnight , she sorts her own way home , although often her boyfriend collects her , or I do.
I suspect the girls probably thought of it , you certainly don't want to be booking taxis until your sure she's hasn't arranged something.

MaximumVolume Tue 15-Nov-16 07:59:34

Thanks all, you've given me a sense check, which is what I needed.

I think what I'll do is leave off worrying about it, and if it's obvious that she's getting a taxi then I'll give her a contribution (maybe £10?) rather than the whole cost.

GettingitwrongHauntingatnight Tue 15-Nov-16 07:59:55

Ask her. Tbh I wouldn't use a non driver again!

JeanGenie23 Tue 15-Nov-16 08:26:46

I suppose it depends where you are, but I am in London and rarely drive to and from my babysitting jobs, I can get the night bus home for about £1.35 so any other mode of transport is often not worthwhile!

VodkaValiumLattePlease Tue 15-Nov-16 08:34:27

Do you have Uber in your town?

MaximumVolume Tue 15-Nov-16 09:29:41

All sorted!

With confidence that my expectations were broadly normal, I asked her if she would be okay getting home on Friday night & she replied "yes thanks, I've got a lift".

Thanks team.

RentANDBills Tue 15-Nov-16 09:47:15

For future reference, the babysitting agency I'm registered with stipulate that parents are responsible fore the taxi if arriving home later than midnight, which seems typical (London)

Aliveinwanderland Tue 15-Nov-16 09:51:41

I don't understand why, in any circumstance, the parents would be responsible for the travel home. Especially when the babysitter is 21.

No-one organises lifts home from work for me! The sitter should only accept a job they can travel to and from. Can't think of many other jobs where transport home is provided!

MaximumVolume Tue 15-Nov-16 10:13:29

Alive I know! That's what the business person in me kept saying. Then the other part of me chipped in "you can't let her spend most of her earnings on a taxi". But she's organised herself, so it's fine.

Artandco Tue 15-Nov-16 10:23:35

It's because most babysitters don't charge a huge amount per hour compared to many jobs and also it's 4-6 hrs an evening, not a full time job.

£10 an hour 8-12 is £40. £10 8am-6pm is £100. If taxi was £20 then that's half of the babysitting money so makes it less worth doing, compared to 1/5th if it wa Seth same cost after a full day. Hence many agencies say you cover taxi after midnight.
Also many regular jobs finish before midnight and generally babysitters are young so it's about safety also if they needed all that £40 so tried to save taxi and walk home in dodgy areas for example

Karoleann Tue 15-Nov-16 10:54:49

My eldest is 10 and w've used many different babysitters and have never paid for transport home.

Unless she has specifically asked for a lift home, I wouldn't worry about it.

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