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thoughts on babysitting agencys etc, to trust or not to trust?!!!

(3 Posts)
pleasegivemeacuddle Sun 12-Dec-10 17:46:23

Hello, oo its my first post on here! Just wanted to ask fellow lone parents what they think of using babysitting agencies etc?

I'm not too sure, but thought it could be worth asking about as i do tend to be far too overprotective. I have no family near and ex is long gone(as well as my free time, social life,self esteem and many other things) as sad as it sounds i only have 1 friend who could babysit, but she's also my only friend and if she babysat i'd have no one to go out with!!!

I've gone off the point..so basically whats the general opinion on them, i know they would probably be police checked but at the same time, your inviting a stranger into your home to look after your most valued possession. help please!

anothermum92 Sun 12-Dec-10 18:01:39

Message withdrawn

missmehalia Sun 12-Dec-10 18:15:13

Have used one before with no problems, though I found it very expensive. When I was a lone parent I ended up being extremely lucky with sitters - had three teenage sisters who still lived at home over the road from me. One of them was almost always available, and because I knew the family (and they came with a recommendation from the lady next door, who was well known to me and I trusted her) I decided to go for it. No regrets, they became like big sisters to my DD, and she adored them.

Other than that, have always gone by recommendation, and been happy with the teenagers I've used in preference to a couple of childminders who've also done babysitting. I'm not sure why it was - maybe it was because I knew their families?

If I were in that position again, I'd try advertising at the local college on some of the final year childcare courses, and ask for undergraduates with references. And check them!! At least that way you know they've been recently CRB checked, know about childcare basics and don't mind being up late, accepting reasonable rates, etc.

A lot of the teenagers who've babysat for me have also been much more enthusiastic in playing with my DD, as opposed to shuffling her off to bed as quickly as possible so they can watch Coronation St. I've always had them visit beforehand, too, on a totally separate occasion, so that I could get a sense of what they were like and to see how they responded to DD. I always knew where they lived too, so I had a fair bit of info on them before I offered them the work. I'd also ask them if there was anyone else on their course who was interested, so I could get to know a few of them, and had more than one person available. If they've got parents who can collect them afterwards so they've got a safe journey home, so much the better.

Good luck! It's worth the hassle of sorting out someone good, all parents (esp lone parents) need me time.

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