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How do you go about finding a babysitter when you've moved to a new area (and therefore don't have friends/family to rely on)?

(19 Posts)
MadamAnt Sat 12-Jul-08 15:00:05

Do you have to go to one of the agencies?

I think I'd be too worried about responding to e.g. an advert in a shop window or whatever.

In fact, I even feel a bit weird about using a stranger from an agency.

Am I being overly cautious, and if not, any tips for finding a babysitter?

rookiemater Sat 12-Jul-08 15:06:34

Use it as a good excuse to meet the neighbours, particularly ones with children. If they aren't able to point you in the direction of any local teenagers, then perhaps you could all set up your own online babystting circle www.mynightout.com is fab and free.

Good luck.

dilemma456 Sat 12-Jul-08 16:14:41

Message withdrawn

FruitynNutty Sat 12-Jul-08 16:16:44

Have a look at your local CIS. I'm sure there will be plenty of registered Childminders who are willing to babysit. Also, try local nanny agencies and babysitting agencies like Sitters.

nailpolish Sat 12-Jul-08 16:18:15

we live 90 miles from family so we dont have babysitters

we only get out twice a year if we are lucky !

does your dc go to nursery? ask one of the workers there. that way you know they have had disclosure checks. or call or pop into the local college that does nursery nurse courses

or im sure you will meet your neighbours soon and you never know they might have a lovely teenager looking for pocket money.

Dynamicnanny Sat 12-Jul-08 16:23:39

Ask the local nursery/pre-school/college - (NNEB students)

Check out gumtree, nannyjob, netmums, mumsnet local, findababysitter.com, mindthekids.co.uk and viva street.

Ask your neighbours, or other mums at you child's school/nursery - it's a good way to open up communication.

Put up your own advert - asking for a regular babysitter - and what you want; first aid, experience with children, crb if poss, references etc

Where are you madamant?

schneebly Sat 12-Jul-08 16:24:46

any good babysitter will be happy to come and meet you prior to babysitting your children. Then you can ask if they ahve CRB checks, transport and about their experience etc. It also goves you a chance to see if you 'gel' with them. I am a babysitter but have gotten most of my work through my day job at an after school club.

Do you have children in school? Can you ask other parents?

If you are in the North West I may be able to help grinwink

NotQuiteCockney Sat 12-Jul-08 16:25:05

I use the same babysitters as my friends. If someone I trust is happy with a teenager, then I'll use them too. (It helps that my two are not that young, though, I'd be more nervous leaving a baby with someone, iyswim.)

Tatties Sat 12-Jul-08 16:26:05

Would you be able to place an ad at the university employment service? I don't think you are being overly cautious. I haven't left ds with a babysitter yet, but theoretically I would like to get to know someone before I left ds with them, maybe have them round to entertain him while I was there getting on with stuff to begin with, and only leave him when I was totally comfortable.

nailpolish Sat 12-Jul-08 16:27:18

am i wrong, have you moved to my neck of the woods?

MadamAnt Sat 12-Jul-08 16:57:45

Wow - you lot are so knowledgable! Lots of brilliant ideas there. Thank you

Nailpolish - you're not wrong. God it's fab here isn't it?

phraedd Sat 12-Jul-08 17:33:29

www.findababysitter.com

www.nannyjob.co.uk

Poppychick Sat 12-Jul-08 17:44:54

How about local NCT they sometimes have babysitting circles I think and if not you may at least find a like-minded friend who you could take turns with.

willali Sun 13-Jul-08 14:52:06

This happened to us recently - we use Sitters (www.sitters.co.uk) and have been really happy - but depends on the age of your children - ours are older and I would probably have reservations if they were say under 3 with the potential of a different sitter each time. HOwever in practice we have 2 ladies who are our regulars and on the rare occaision they are not available my children are old enough to take it on the chin if it's not someone they like - they can just go to bed! We are happy that these are well qualified mature people who have been checked out.

nannynick Mon 14-Jul-08 09:12:03

It will always be a bit strange using a stranger at first. That is why as a babysitter I always meet families who contact me, prior to actually doing any babysitting. I find that helps a little, as we can have a chat over a coffee and the children can start to get to know me a little.
As an independent babysitter, I can only be in once place at a time, so families who go out often I find will use an agency as a backup for when I'm already booked. A plus point of using an agency is that they have many people they can call upon, but that is also a negative point - as it means a stranger coming to your home, rather than someone you and your children have got to know over time.
All my work now comes via parents who find me on the internet. I suppose that may be due to presenting myself in a professional way, giving a lot of details on my website (for example, you can read testimonials from other families), saying what childcare qualifications I have, CRB check and Ofsted registered etc. I find the more a parent knows, the happier they seem to be to meet me.

My tips for finding a babysitter these days are as follows:

Google Search using a phrase such as "babysitter in townname" - so if you were in Camberley, Surrey for example, you could use "babysitter in Camberley"
This will often bring up search results for local ad sites (such as vivastreet, gumtree) and also independent babysitters websites, like my own. Avoid the Sponsored Links, as those will typically be the agencies. Visit the websites, contact the advertisers on the local ad sites, and obtain as much information about them as you can before arranging for them to visit your home to meet your family.

From September 2008, Children's Information Service is supposed to be providing information about all kinds of childcare provision. They should be able to tell you about Registered Nannies and Registered Childminders working in your area. They may be able to offer occasional babysitting.

Try posting on your Mumsnet Local to see if any other parents in your area can suggest anyone suitable.

If you attend church, perhaps try placing an advert in the next church newsletter.

Hope that is of help.

ShrinkingViolet Mon 14-Jul-08 09:15:12

If you're looking for a teenager, try speaking to the local Guide leader, or Church youth group leader.

nannynick Mon 14-Jul-08 09:17:06

Agree with willali, with older children you will have less worries about leaving them with someone you don't know.
I specialise in caring for babies and toddlers - cared for 4 week old twins on Friday night for example.
Older children can tell you how things went, and also don't need as much care (most will go to bed and stay there - may even be in bed before the sitter arrives). With babies, it's different, so if you have a baby (twins, triplets, quads) then I suspect you will want to know far more about the person babysitting - thus why I operate a policy of meeting families first.

nailpolish Mon 14-Jul-08 18:18:10

why dont you come along to a meet up one day

im a shit hot babysitter grin

willali Mon 14-Jul-08 18:18:39

The other place you might try is a local school - our local girls only private school does babysitting courses for their GCSE year girls - basic first aid etc - and have a notice board for people to advertise. The only downside would be that you would probably have to take the girl home / send in a taxi.. HTH

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