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Has anyone used 'sitters'?

(21 Posts)
melmog Wed 19-Aug-09 11:14:11

Sorry if this is the wrong place for this but wondered if anyone had used the sitters online babysitting service?

I've just registered as we have no relatives in the area and have a short notice work do to go to.

I'd like to hear how wonderful they are and how the dc's were brilliant at having a stranger looking after them please??!!

melmog Wed 19-Aug-09 11:21:23

Anyone evene heard of it? It's called sitters.co.uk.

skybright Wed 19-Aug-09 11:29:49

My sister has used them and has formed a good relationship with one of the sitters and only really uses her.

The kids she say's have been fine,they are six and eight and both go to bed pretty early so there is not that much interaction with them.

nannynick Wed 19-Aug-09 14:46:05

Sitters are OK if your children are in bed - if you look on the sitters website it says what they consider babysitting to be and it talks about children being in bed, or ready for bed. If your children are the more active type, light sleepers, then you may find the person babysitting isn't so keen on doing it as the pay doesn't reflect children being awake.
Sitters use Registered Childminders, Nannies, Nursery Nurses and other people who have experience of caring for children. So you have the reassurance that the person knows something about children.
Be careful with regard to their membership fee... to my knowledge it auto-rebills. So make sure you use the service enough to justify the membership fee. If you will be only using them once... don't forget to cancel the membership.

EldonAve Wed 19-Aug-09 14:51:25

we use them and it has been fine

nannynick Wed 19-Aug-09 18:47:10

melmog - some children don't mind being left with strangers, others object quite strongly - so it really depends on your DC.

I tend to care for young children (under 5's are my speciality) and I find it is helpful to meet them during daytime a few days before babysitting for the first time. Helps them to recognise my face when I then come to babysit. With Sitters I don't think you can meet the person doing the babysitting beforehand - but you could ask them to come an hour early, so your DC are still awake... then you put your DC to bed before you go out. From then on you could try to get the same person to babysit... agencies will aim to ask that person first, but they can't guarantee that you will get that person.

LynetteScavo Wed 19-Aug-09 18:50:47

Yes - once in an emergancy. All sitters have been faboulous. smile

yomellamoHelly Wed 19-Aug-09 19:14:02

We've used them on a number of occasions when let down by friends.
The babysitters have always been ridiculously well qualified (primary school teacher and various nannys). The nanny's in the day have been a bit more variable experience wise - though it's actually meant that our youngest has had a very "busy" (walk, visit to park and feeding ducks at 8 months for example) time rather than something more low-key as I'd have expected. During the day though the boys have always been happy and kept busy.
I'd recommend them personally, though they're not cheap!

melmog Wed 19-Aug-09 19:47:41

Thanks everyone, I feel reassured.
I'll be arranging for the sitter to come an hour before bedtime so they'll have time to 'bond' a bit. I'll make sure they're both in bed asleep before we go too. Don't mind being a bit late for the meal. Mine are just 3 and 17 months so could go either way I guess.

Thanks again.

AtheneNoctua Wed 19-Aug-09 20:16:52

We use sitters and I NEVER put them to bed before she arrives because if they woke up to some stranger they had never seen before that would surely be more frightening then seeing someone they played with in the living room before she put them to bed.

I don't expect the sitter to give them a bath or do the dishes. But if the kids are still eating dinner when she arrives, I would expect her to sit there with them, get them into their pyjamas (which they can pretty much do themselves if given firm instruction to go do so). I do expect her to make sure they brushed their teeth. And I do expect her to play with them and read them a story before bed. Surely this all falls in the job description of babysitter.

If I just needed someone to sit on the sofa and do nothing, I'd get a CCTV camera.

melmog Wed 19-Aug-09 22:07:14

Good point, well made.

The little one wouldn't be a problem but the big one is going through an 'I'm scared' of everything stage so it may be best if we knacker her out during the day, stop her from napping, let her meet and play with the sitter and put her to bed ourselves.. just for the first time.

I think I may be a bit pfb!

How old are yours Athene?

AtheneNoctua Wed 19-Aug-09 22:16:40

They are 4 and 6, but we have used sitters on and off for several years. Mine are both great sleepers, but I always think what if they got up. I don't think I would like to wake up to a stranger in my house, and I'm a grown up.

Also, I think it depends on if your kids are used to childcarers (nurseries, childminder, nanny, etc.) I have always worked very full time so introducing new carer to them is real rather a routine and not a big event.

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 19-Aug-09 22:20:15

Yes, for the first time last week. I xplained that DS would be in bed but DD can be a problem and can get very tearful, they suggested she came earlier which she did and was fabulous, we have booked her for this weekend. There is only 3 in our area so I know who we will get, she was a regular for another family but they have moved. She is an ex childminder but now works for our local council.

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 19-Aug-09 22:21:22

She also put DD to bed exactly how we asked her too, DS woke up and she gave hime a cuddle and put him back down.

glamourbadger Thu 20-Aug-09 09:51:13

I was very nervous about using Sitters (stranger in your house with your kids!) but after we got over the initial couple of nights I was hooked.

We use them regularly and have found two excellent local babysitters. You can rank your sitters in your order of preference on the Sitters website so we usually get one of our top two. All the sitters we have had have been local teachers/nursery teachers/teaching assistants, etc at schools we recognise and we've never had any problems. They all seem very well vetted, we have never had anyone we didn't feel comfortable with.

We always get the babysitter to arrive 15 mins before the girls go to bed so they know who is looking after them. They are used to carers at their nursery so have never batted an eyelid!

nannynick Thu 20-Aug-09 11:50:45

glamourbadger - how old were your twins when you first used Sitters? I'm wondering if age of the children concerned with regard to parents choosing to use an agency babysitter.

TheInvisibleHand Thu 20-Aug-09 16:51:59

I used them when we took DD (about 18 months at the time) to a wedding with us away from our area. She was great, and seemed to deal well with a slightly disastrous scenario (hotel managed to discover the only cotbed anywhere near the area was broken at 6pm on a Sunday night when there was no longer any option of buying one...). TBH we were on the point of turning round, putting DD in the car and going home, and were only waiting for the sitter so we could pay her, but she reassured us and took charge!

glamourbadger Thu 20-Aug-09 19:49:00

Nannynick, I didn't start using Sitters until my girls were about 2.5. My neighbour recommended them - was the first I'd heard of them.

I probably wouldn't want to leave a young baby with the girls we regularly use. They are very capable (both trainee teachers) but young (19ish).

If you did need help with a young baby I'm sure you could phone and request it. We did once have a proper Mary Poppins style older lady who had years of nannying experience so they must have some on their books.

onemoretimetoday Wed 02-Sep-09 14:13:28

I've used them for years, both at home and in hotels and have always been extremely impressed with them. I think that we've used them from when the children were about 4 months and reliably sleeping for a good stretch of time in the evenings.

nannymcphee Wed 02-Sep-09 22:26:43

I'm a sitter with 'sitters' and have never had any bad experiences putting children to bed, children waking up etc. Sometimes children need a story and then bed, othertimes they're asleep and it's a sit in front of the TV with mending/paperwork etc. If we didn't have such a good babysitting circle at our school I'd definately use them for my children smile Also I have my regulars who an request me, so you do build up a relationship with the famiy and hopefully meet the children sometimes!

tigersmum Wed 02-Sep-09 22:31:20

My friend works for them and she is excellent.

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