I try to always ensure that my dds are in bed before the babysitter turns up, but dd1 has SN and would be upset by the thought of me going out, and someone esle looking after her. So I try to avoid that.
At some point you will have to tackle the going to bed for a babysitter issue - is this sitter happy for them to be up? And happy to try to put them to bed?
I would also pay more for waking hours babysitting (which is what you seemt ot think is likely to happen) but that does depend on area.
At that age, I was quite happy to put children to bed. May be easier if you get them bathed and in PJs, then they can play for a while and then your babysitter can read bedtime stories and tuck them in.
generally try to have dc in bed, but when too early have them ready for bed.
However, had to go out the other night before DD was home from Beavers. She had strict instructions to go straight to bed once home, and at 7 needed little from the babysitter, apart from a bedtime story once in bed.
Our lovely babysitter knew this was the deal and was more than happy.
NOw DS is a bit older, and especially as we have a male babysitter who he looks up to, he sometimes is up to play a game or 2 with the sitter before bed. Sitter enjoys a game of chess or Mario Kart as much as DS does!
I usually try not to put them to bed so that they know who is there and looking after them. If I put them to bed and then they get up and find someone else there and me gone that would upset them. But if they know I've gone out and who is there when they go to bed, then they are fine with it. This is especially true if it is a new babysitter.
I usually book my babysitter for 6pm (after I have bathed them) - she plays with them for 30 mins while I get ready to go out and then gives them their final milk feed of the day (12 month DTs) and puts them down at 7pm when we leave.
That way - she gets familiar with the boys - they get familiar with her and if they wake up or something goes wrong I have more confidence that she can deal with them and that they will be comfortable with her.
If babysitter is from Sitters.co.uk I will pay a bit extra for this hour as they charge less than babysitters I have from private contacts.
I think it depends on how well they know their babysitter? I am a childminder and sometimes babysit my minded kids, and I get there, give the lil one her bottle, bath them, read them their stories, put the to bed etc. No problems at all.