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Have just booked my first ever evening babysitting with Sitters agency - and now I'm all wibbly

(19 Posts)
michaelad Mon 21-Sep-09 10:48:07

Hi everyone,
I have just booked my first ever babysitting date with the Sitters agency and I'm seriously wibbly now over whether that was a clever thing to do. I have booked an extra hour earlier so that the kids can get to meet the complete stranger who will look after them before we disappear off into London for the night. And I have heard from other people who use agencies and are very happy with them..but still.. sighs

michaelad Mon 21-Sep-09 11:03:58

Anyone out there who can reassure me a bit?

nannynick Mon 21-Sep-09 11:09:16

How old are your children? Were you able to find out quite a bit about the person who is coming?

At least you are getting them to come an hour early, so they can meet the children whilst they are still awake. That way they won't wake up to find a complete stranger in their home.

IsThisNameTaken Mon 21-Sep-09 11:13:10

michaelad - I was exactly the same first time I used them! Have been using them for a couple of years now and have never had a problem

michaelad Mon 21-Sep-09 11:16:19

nannynick - the boys are 4 and 6 1/2. No, can't find anything out. The agency will send a sitter who is to ring me on the day to confirm she's coming and I've booked an additional hour so that they (and I!) can actually get to meet her first. Still feels very odd to leave them with a "stranger"..

michaelad Mon 21-Sep-09 11:17:13

Isthisnametaken - really? How did your kids react to this stranger showing up? And what sort of impression did you have?

pagwatch Mon 21-Sep-09 11:20:23

It is very unusual to get no information about your sitter from this agency.

I usually get a call sayingthat x is available and that she is ( for example) a former nurse who has two children under three and who has been with the agency for x months or years and lives locally.
When I rebook I am then usually given the option to choose that sitter again.

My DS2 has SN and the sitters have all been excellent.
The hour before call is usually just to check time and or location/parking etc and to confirm she is on her way.

Give them a bazz and ask about her...

IsThisNameTaken Mon 21-Sep-09 11:27:19

didn't they send you a text with a few of her details - how many dc's she has, what qualifications etc? I'm sure they've always done that with any new sitters they've booked. We have had about 6 different people i think over the last couple of years (generally use them once or twice a month), but more often than not it is one of 2 people.

There was only one lady I was a bit hmm about - but that wasn't anything to do with the way she was with the kids, they liked her. I found her very bossy with us! "You WILL be back before midnight, won't you?" as we left (I'd already told her that as long as there were no problem with trains we expected to be back about 11.30).

DD (6) was fine with it, but then she does like to talk to anybody and everybody so the responsibility of showing someone round the house and telling them her routine was right down her street. DS (2) is just happy to follow his sister round, so as long as she was OK with it then he followed suit.

The first couple of times it was really, really odd leaving a stranger in the house with the kids but we have no family nearby and no other babysitting options so it was a case of trust Sitters or never go out!

addictedtomn Mon 21-Sep-09 11:37:19

i'm a sitter for that agency and i get really nervous going to new peoples houses.

at least you know the person has been CRB checked and works with children and usually has children.

she will appreciate the extra hour so she can get to know your children and ask questions rather than a quick 5-10 minute hello and then your off.

it will be ok

michaelad Mon 21-Sep-09 11:38:42

Isthisnametaken - well, I booked online and haven't had a confirmation from them yet. I assume I'll get the details then. Good to hear that you've had positive experiences with them. Puts my mind at ease a bit

We have no immediate family here either so this really largely is our only option for time out together.

michaelad Mon 21-Sep-09 11:42:34

addictedtomn - thanks! Another worry I have is that we have to have her come over at 4.30 in order to have the 1 hr before we have to leave to get into London for our do. Website says that they prefer children being in bed or ready for bed. I guess it's only 90mins between us leaving and them going to bed which can (on this rare occasion) be spent watching some kids tv if the sitter doesn't want to play with them. I just hope it's ok..

squeaver Mon 21-Sep-09 11:42:40

You will get a text saying who the sitter is and what qualifications/experience she has. That always happens for us. In fact, they bombard you with texts: we're finding a sitter for you; we've got a sitter for you; your sitter is xyz; how was your sitter etc etc

If they haven't done that within two days of the time, call them back.

I have only ever had good experiences with Sitters and you are doing exactly the right thing by getting her to come early.

Finally: if this is what you're like now, what are you going to be like when you're out? Sorry to be harsh, but you need to chill or you'll never get out!

pagwatch Mon 21-Sep-09 11:45:41

The sitters ALWAYS play with DD and read to her etc etc. She is never left to watch tv. Absoloutely never. And whilst I usually have her in her nighty this is not always the case and she is never in bed.

You are worrying about nothing. They offer a good service

michaelad Mon 21-Sep-09 11:47:46

Thanks ladies for all the good advice! I solemnly promise to be less wibbly next time. It's only first time nerves, I swear

BertieBotts Mon 21-Sep-09 11:51:01

My mum used to use Sitters <young> - they were great and honestly the best babysitters we ever had. They always used to bring things to do with us and we had great fun, unlike other babysitters who would sit in front of the TV while we played in our bedroom.

Also we accidentally tried to poison one once with some cakes we had made, she was great about it grin

nannynick Mon 21-Sep-09 13:02:21

Your boys are old enough to be able to tell you what they think of the sitter, so if they like her you can try to request her again. If they didn't... then you can ask for someone different next time.

Given that you have two boys, did you ask for a male sitter? I would wonder how the agency would react to being asked that... doubt they have many male sitters on their books.

hf128219 Mon 21-Sep-09 13:05:30

We use Sitters all the time - every person that has babysat has been lovely - and professional. DD is only 20 months - so I have her ready for bed and then the sitter might read her a story.

It will be fine! smile

delilha Mon 21-Sep-09 14:01:50

Hi i`ve been sitting for sitters for over 2 years now and have a lot of regulars ,you can ask for the same person if you like them, just ask the sitter for a card with there name on that way you and your children know who is coming.

WreckOfTheHesperus Mon 21-Sep-09 14:13:30

I have used Sitters since DD was 12 months old; all the Sitters have all been professional, friendly and confident, and we've never had any problems.

DD is usually shy with the babysitter whe we introduce them, but seems to accept that this is what happens from time to time. The more notice you can give them, the more likely it is that you can have the sitter that you want.

And we ply the sitters with cakes and chocolate to try to make sure that they want to come back for more smile

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