I know about www.sitters.co.uk/, and their rates are £5.75/hour here in Surrey, which seems quite reasonable, but they want to slap on booking fees (which is tolerable I suppose) and membership fees (which is taking it too far).
Only trouble is, looking at places like gumtree and asking around there are babysitters asking £8 or £9/hour, which is outrageous in comparison.
local teenager is always going to be the cheapest.
alternativly would you consider putting an ad up in the local college. youcould find someone doing a childcare course. that way they get a bit of hands on experience, you get the peace of mind that they are at least interested in children and have basic knowledge....and they'll be cheap
How about signing up with a Child Minder- they don't charge as much as what you've said about babysitters- at least I don't and they have the necessary qualifications and annual inspections, are first aid trained and have had police checks.
I would suggest contacting local sixth form college and asking if any of the childcare students would be interested or your local youthworker or school nurse and ask if they run babysitting course and if they do if any of the young people would be interested.
remeber you get what you pay for really and some people are happy to leave children with a 14yr old for the evening and thats fine whereas others would rather pay the £8-£10 an hr and have an experienced and qualified person which is fine too.
Put an advert in your local newsagents/postoffice/cornerstore type place. If you state how much you will pay, the hours you need someone, then people in your local area can apply. May appeal to a local teenager.
You are right when you say about the additional charges that agencies add to the hourly rate. It does add up. If you don't use a babysitter often, it can be lower cost to go direct to a childcare provider, rather than via a national agency. Example
Childcare costs in Surrey are quite high. If you have a very young child, then you need to consider if you would leave them with a teenager, or if you would be prepared to pay the higher cost of childcare provided by a qualified experienced childcarer.
mamamea, i asked around at our local toddler group until i found a teenager who suited. I'm in Surrey (Walton) and she is £5 per hour. The lady who runs the toddler group has a list of sitters she recommends.
I am concerned at the reference to finding "cheap" babysitters. Most babysitting work is in the evening when anyone working would expect to get a small premium for anti-social hours. Why should a babysitter be "cheap". It is an extrememly responsible job and if the family has more than one child, the sitter may be having to handle children waking and needing resettling throughout the evening, especially in this very warm weather when I am finding my young children cannot settle as easily. It seems that babysitters are often looked upon as a cheaper form of childminding!
agree with blondes you need an inexperianced teenager if you want it cheap
and you will NOT get a qualified childcarer for that £5 / £6 / hour
I charge £8 / hour and like blondes get more work than Iwant to have.... (at least now i am older i have learnt to say sorry im busy that day! ) (when you work 11hours + a day (no break) with children often that last thing you want to do is babysit again in the evening.
My bosses and their friends take turn to babysit for each other (free)
nannynick - have read through your costs v sitters and it only works out cheaper if the parents only go out for 3 hours rather than 4, though obviously you are very comparable and it goes to show that £10 may seem a lot of money per hour, but in fact it is quite reasonable.
Yes, it only works out cheaper in certain situations. As well as how long a family goes out on each occasion, the number of times they go out in a year will also make a difference. Some parents only go out a few times a year, in which case the membership fee charged by agencies can make those agencies expensive.