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Has anyone used "Sitters" babysitting service?

(20 Posts)
catnip Wed 11-Jul-07 21:34:41

We've a wedding to go to in August, (no children, I know that's another debate,) and we need to find someone to look after DS who will be 7 months. We don't have any family nearby, and it's too long a stint to ask friends, and there are no obvious candidates. One friend recommended Sitters, but I am a bit nervous - has anyone had any experience of them?
Any other thoughts/suggestions would be much appreciated

catnip Wed 11-Jul-07 21:44:59

Sorry, have just done an archive search, and there is tons on them.

pinkteddy Wed 11-Jul-07 21:50:45

I haven't personally but a close friend of mine uses them very frequently for evenings out and has been very happy with them. The good thing about them if you use them a lot is that you can ask for the same babysitter each time. Is it for the whole day and evening? Not sure what the maximum would be but probably is on their website.

collisionfrances Wed 11-Jul-07 21:51:57

Where do you live Catnip?

catnip Wed 11-Jul-07 21:52:55

It would be from lunchtime through to evening - it is a long time, which is why I'm anxious. I suppose the thing to do would be to do a short trial run beforehand. That is reassuring tho pinkteddy. It will cost loads won't it, but I don't think we have any other options really.

catnip Wed 11-Jul-07 21:53:21

London - SE pretty central

pinkteddy Wed 11-Jul-07 21:57:45

yes good idea - try them for an evening out beforehand. Then if you like the sitter you may be able to use her again. Afraid it probably will cost loads though - but hopefully it will be worth it!

collisionfrances Wed 11-Jul-07 21:58:16

We are in Bracknell....I was wondering how far that would be from you!

catnip Wed 11-Jul-07 22:04:04

I see - miles unfortunately!

NewDKmum Wed 11-Jul-07 22:07:33

Hiya, just wanted to add that we have used Sitters and found them really great. We have had the same sitter on all occasions - she is mother of three grown children and working as a registered childminder during the day - very reassuring. We always have her come over and play with dd for about half an hour before we leave - works a treat!

mm22bys Thu 12-Jul-07 16:25:48

We've used Sitters heaps and are always very happy with them (except for the one time when the poor babysitter got lost, her mobile phone was flat, and her bf had to ring me to explain why she was so late!).

We don't use the same person everytime, but only because we normally only try to book a day or so ahead!

All the sitters have been great with both DS1 (3) and DS2 (8 months) - with two now it takes me ages to get ready after she arrives, so I normally get to see her in action ;-).

I would definitely recommend them (I'm in east London).

nzshar Thu 12-Jul-07 17:31:33

Just want to add my bit in here we have used sitters in the past and now I have joined up to be a sitter. They are very up on the fact that all sitters are to have relevent experience/qualifications. They ask for you to have done nanny/nursery or childminding work before they really even consider you. Fortunately for me I have done all three pity Im in Hertfordshire

collisionfrances Thu 12-Jul-07 23:08:11

Sorry Catnip! I would have happily had the baby for you but we are too far away!

i might look at being a sitter though. what did you need to show them nzshar?

I used to be a nanny and have full references and am CRB checked.

nannynick Fri 13-Jul-07 09:19:45

Catnip, Sitters to my knowledge does not normally do daytime care though I think they can arrange it occasionally, so check with the agency if they are able to provide care for the times you require.

Plus Points:
# You are very likely to get someone to babysit - national agencies have lots of people on their books. However, it does depend on location, more availability in Cities/Towns v rural villages.
# You don't need to check the persons background yourself as the agency will have already done this. Though I would suggest you still at least ask to see qualification certificate(s), First Aid training certificate, latest Enhanced CRB check (ideally not more than 12 months old).
# The agency should match the babysitter's experience to the age of your child. So as you have a baby, request someone with lots of baby experience.

Negative Points:
# You have an on-going membership fee to pay, so if you do not plan to use the service after the wedding, make sure you cancel your membership.
# The national agencies tend to only provide Evening Babysitters, typically working from say 7pm to 11pm. If you are wanting hours different to this, then check the terms & conditions carefully, as some agencies may have different rates for after midnight, or for childcare before 7pm. Sitters charge extra for sittings starting before 6pm, and for sitting at locations other than your own home (hotels, temporary addresses)
# It may be tricky to arrange to meet your babysitter prior to the actual evening, due to the babysitters daytime job. Therefore the babysitter will be unknown to your DS, which I personally feel is not good for babies. When I babysit for families for the first time, I always meet the parents and children first, so that when I babysit, I'm not a complete stranger - this does however add quite a delay to the booking process, but I feel it's for everyone's peace of mind - the parents, the children and my own.
# Cost wise, the hourly rate charged by agencies can appear quite low. However once you add in the Membership Fee and Booking Fee, plus any other additional fees, the actual cost can be quite high - especially if you use the service infrequently. You tend to get best value from agency services when you use them on a frequent basis. I babysit in the Bracknell / Wokingham / Camberley / Guildford area and I found that my fee compared very well with Sitters, if parents needed a babysitter once a month.

Weegle Fri 13-Jul-07 10:45:18

We use them and are very pleased with them - we have 2 regular sitters. But I don't think they do daytime.

Neena28 Fri 13-Jul-07 10:47:37

Always been great for us. Used them many times and always had one of three women come. Turns out we have mutual aquaintainces with all of them which was reassuring too.

Don't think they do daytime though although asking won't hurt as they are always super friendly.

catnip Fri 13-Jul-07 22:11:50

Thanks all, I rang them and they said that they do daytime in London, but no bath etc, not that that matters. Tbh the woman on the phone was a bit dopey sounding, but not enough to put me off in the light of all your feedback. If only we had family nearby....sigh
ps thanks, esp to collisionfrances, v kind offer

nannynick Sat 14-Jul-07 08:42:09

no bath? Do you mean not in Bath, or do you mean that they won't permit the childcarer to give your child a bath?

WideWebWitch Sat 14-Jul-07 08:45:21

Sitters have always been fab when I've used them. The quarterly fee is only £12 I think and then yopu ay a booking fee of £5? Might be less and then you pay the sitter the going rate.

But a 7mo not being allowed to a wedding when you have no-one to have him? Mad, mad, mad imo. (sorry, won't say any more).

catnip Sun 15-Jul-07 17:29:23

won't let babysitter give a bath. www, I know.....

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